3 minute read 5 Apr 2021
Colorful sunrise at london

How you can leverage resilience as a competitive advantage

By Jose-Luis Garcia

EY Global Technology, Media & Entertainment and Telecommunications (TMT) Managed Services Leader; EY EMEIA Technology Sector Leader

Over 30 years of senior executive experience supporting successful, large-scale business transformation. Skilled in management consulting, Telecoms and IT, sales and operations.

3 minute read 5 Apr 2021
Related topics TMT Telecommunications

With telcos navigating towards the future, it's all about taking a closer look at possible strategies and managing desirable outcomes.

This article is part of the EY NextWave Telecommunications Journal

In brief:
  • With such a reliance on network stability, every organization must plan for resilience.
  • An end-to-end strategy is crucial – from the impact of new business models, to handling surges in demand, it all needs to be accommodated in a single platform.

When I started working with EY teams over 15 years ago, one of the priorities I was tasked with was analyzing the events that could hamper a customer’s business – and working out how to prevent them from happening.

The aim was to make sure that our customer’s networks could be available 24/7 and I used to spend a lot of my time working with telecommunications organizations specifically. This is when we started talking to customers about the idea of resilience and today, with the advent of 5G and the internet of things (IoT), this concept has only intensified.

A telco is no longer just a telco

We now find ourselves surrounded by changing business models. A telco has become a bank, an applications service provider, a B2C company and a B2B company all in one – and it relies on a resilient infrastructure to work.

For instance, with many telcos now supporting payment services from providers such as Google Pay and WhatsApp Pay, what would happen if a critical transaction couldn’t be carried out? In health care we’re seeing more and more consultations conducted online – there are even surgical procedures being carried out by IoT devices and AI robots – so, what would happen if connectivity was lost at a crucial moment?

A further example can be seen within smart cities, which is currently one of the biggest use cases of 5G and IoT technologies. What would happen if cars lost their connectivity to an app that detects traffic and intelligently changes traffic lights? One single break in this infrastructure could bring the city to its knees.

Planning for resilience

With such a reliance on network stability, every organization must plan for resilience. The past year alone has shown us that anything could happen at any time, and the network needs to remain available.

In a moment’s notice, for example, thousands of students may be told to study from home, putting vast amounts of pressure on the entire telecommunications infrastructure. If your network hasn’t planned for that surge, then you will almost certainly experience bandwidth issues that will affect performance. This, in turn, will negatively impact customer satisfaction, which can ultimately lead to revenue loss with customers choosing to switch to a more competitive provider.

It’s a domino effect that can harm a business’s reputation and it means that resilience isn’t just about keeping the lights on or providing an effective disaster management strategy for devices; it can also be your competitive advantage.

An end-to-end strategy is crucial

Every organization has some sort of resilience in their DNA; that’s the human way of doing business. But when you’re planning to deploy, operate and manage a network, you need resilience built into each of these phases – which can be hard to achieve without support.  

From the impact of new business models, to handling the surge in demand following yet another lockdown, all of these elements need to be accommodated within a single platform.

We look at resilience from end-to-end: from making sure you have the right processes and technologies in place; to checking whether you’ve factored in a single point of failure for the entire network; to analyzing the distribution between core, access and transmission networks.

Taking a proactive approach

EY can work with the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) to begin with an assessment exercise, looking at any pre-existing strategies to see if they are comprehensive enough before going on to provide detailed guidelines that support the resilience of the entire network.

Once a strategy has been designed, we can either hand it over to the customer to manage it or we can deliver our managed services to support the successful implementation of the plan. We draw upon our in-house team of around 400 dedicated members of staff with deep industry knowledge, as well as our trusted ecosystem of partners, to achieve the desired outcomes.

However, I’m afraid to say that many telcos only look for support when an incident has occurred, which in my opinion is the equivalent of having your home burgled and then going out to buy an alarm! Equally reactive is when telcos approach us solely with the intention of meeting regulatory requirements when applying to governments for licensing. My best advice, therefore, is to be proactive instead of reactive.

To read more about Future Network Now take a look at the full NextWave Journal (pdf)

Summary

Resilience is not only about failover planning; it can help you realize new efficiencies and cost savings; it can make you more attractive than your competitors; and it’s ultimately essential within the wider crisis management piece.

About this article

By Jose-Luis Garcia

EY Global Technology, Media & Entertainment and Telecommunications (TMT) Managed Services Leader; EY EMEIA Technology Sector Leader

Over 30 years of senior executive experience supporting successful, large-scale business transformation. Skilled in management consulting, Telecoms and IT, sales and operations.

Related topics TMT Telecommunications