Strategic planning – elephants in the room

The ‘elephant in the room’ is something that everyone is well aware of, but they deliberately or subconsciously choose to ignore it. Sometimes we encounter clients who refuse to face the fact that their industry is declining or that something hugely impactful is about to happen.
Alan Iny
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There are a number of elephants that face our industry:

  1. Many people in the communications industry have lost confidence in the OSS brand, with some of the reasons as follows
  2. Our customers’ businesses were built around connectivity and we built OSS to support that. Now they’re built around technologies and services that are more flexible and varied, as are their business models. Not all OSS are adapting to this change
  3. Too many OSS projects run over time, budget or under-deliver on output. Project sponsors are becoming ever more reticent to fund major OSS works
  4. Even if OSS projects are delivered on time, schedule and function, too many become expensive to maintain due to upgrades, integration, data cleansing, etc
  5. Customers become wary of doing any upgrades because they expect vendors to rort them as they’re now looked into that vendor
  6. Many OSS and their underpinning technology stacks are struggling to cope with current operational loads, with operators kicking off activities and then having to take a coffee or lunch break. With a touch point explosion looming due to network virtualisation, sensor networks and other technologies, some OSS could become unviable
  7. The technologists in all facets of the OSS industry are so caught up in the technology that they lose sight of the fact that OSS are business efficiency and insight generation tools
  8. The tools could be perfect but they become unusable because they are so reliant on perfect data, which we find almost impossible to guarantee
  9. We are caught in a three-way struggle between network ops, IT and business groups for control over OSS priorities, functionality and spend. Each has a valid claim but rarely has enough knowledge of, or collaboration with, the other groups to ensure harmony
  10. New paradigms within related tech (eg network virtualisation) has the potential to supersede traditional OSS models due to their thirst for improvement versus the traditionalists’ more laborious approaches
  11. Our solutions have so much complexity that we need to put integrators, designers and operators through extensive training before they begin to become productive. This also leads to major challenges around skills shortages. We have to overcome this problem to remain viable for so many reasons

Note that not all of these elephants cause problems for all players but they are quite representative I believe.

I’d love to post-edit your ideas into this, so please drop me a note with the other elephants that I’m subconsciously choosing to ignore. 🙂

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