DTW Session Recap 3: Public Cloud—An Unstoppable Force

When it comes to the public cloud, telcos may have arrived late to the party—but that doesn’t mean the party is over. With features like dependable reliability, remarkable scalability and lower costs, the public cloud has much to offer to communication service providers (CSPs).

In the Digital Transformation World session, “The public cloud in telecoms: an unstoppable force?,” industry leaders discussed the current state of public cloud adoption, the importance of collaboration and the course moving forward.

The Current State of Public Cloud

During the session, attendees were asked where they currently stand on their journey to a cloud-native, Open API strategy.

Here are the most common responses:

  • 57 percent of respondents use Open APIs, coupled with a hybrid cloud strategy
  • 17 percent utilize Open APIs, combined with a mostly public cloud strategy
  • 17 percent use Open APIs with primarily non-cloud infrastructure

Only 7 percent do not use either Open APIs or cloud-native solutions. The responses made it clear that cloud technology is the future, whether it be public, private or hybrid.

Collaboration is Key

The era of 5G is creating a unique ecosystem—and every thriving ecosystem features an environment of collaboration. Teena Piccione, Managing Director of Telco, Media, Entertainment & Gaming at Google, believes that a shift in attitudes must occur between hyperscalers and telcos.

Instead of having an adversarial relationship, both parties must establish a mutually beneficial partnership to be successful. At the core of this partnership needs to be a strong element of trust. The operator will ultimately be accountable for their customers’ data, so they need to trust the cloud provider explicitly.

A Test Case

When two innovative experts in their respective fields work together, good things happen. This is especially true when it involves emerging technologies. Take, for example, AT&T and Microsoft. AT&T became the first telco to entrust a public cloud provider with its entire network. This monumental shift included moving their existing customer base to Microsoft’s Azure public cloud through a multi-vendor deployment.

The project started with an on-premises network cloud solution. Later, a cloud management layer was added, including lifecycle management, orchestration security and DevOps. Today, the solution is a hybrid cloud, with a mixture of on-premises solutions at AT&T and in Microsoft Azure. This relationship allows AT&T to focus on their customer experience and 5G services, while Microsoft concentrates on the cloud.

The Road Forward

Agility and innovation enablement are the main benefits of a cloud migration. However, this shift involves a steep learning curve for CSPs. Every telco’s path to the cloud will look different, but each cloud strategy needs to include a trusted hyperscaler to ease the transition and manage the cloud. With the right cloud provider, telcos can reduce time to market and focus on innovation and their customers. Being late to a party doesn’t mean it’s too late to find a dance partner and enjoy what the party has to offer.