Digital exploitation

To be successful, the Chief Information Officer must be seen as a peer level thought leader, partnering with other C-level executives to visualize and drive the digital agenda for each company. They need to combine vision, strategy, technology governance and talent, to exploit digital opportunities and move the culture toward a digital business viewpoint.”
Annie Turner
in “The C-level outlook: Where are the growth opportunities?

The TMForum report quoted above also suggests, “the majority of our respondents recognized the importance of transforming to a digital business. The three fundamental drivers behind this are:
* Digital channels are quickly becoming the most popular channel of interaction for customers.
* Costs are dramatically lower in a digital environment than in an analog one.
* Bringing together the various parts of an organization in a customer-centric approach is only possible if the information streams are aligned, which drives the digitization of the whole process

These pose an interesting dynamic to how IT changes are effecting future business models and types of employees. Whilst digitisation of businesses is on the increase, in-house digital infrastructure expertise is on the wane due to cloud (XaaS) service offerings. Fewer businesses are maintaining their own IT infrastructure, so the increase in corporate digitisation is being facilitated by a more software-centric human resource – data architects, digital marketers, application developers, digital security experts, content creators, etc.

This change also brings about a shift in how the OSS industry needs to support digital enterprises. There will still be the infrastructure providers, the data centres and CSPs that design, implement and support bare-metal devices within their equipment rooms. These organisations will need to manage and monitor the infrastructure via traditional-style OSS tools that manage physical inventory, alarms, performance, etc. They will also need to manage the multi-tenanted virtualised platforms that reside on this infrastructure.

Then there are the organisations that don’t want to manage the IT infrastructure as it isn’t their core business, but they are so reliant on their digital presence that they need to use more sophisticated tools to reliably manage their mix of hosted systems, content, services, comms links, devices (eg tablets, VMs, VNFs, etc), policies, security, etc. This is a different type of OSS entirely, one that is more app-aware, and services a different type of customer to the ones that OSS vendors have traditionally sold to. But like traditional OSS, it still represents management of a multi-vendor environment and it also represents a much larger potential customer-base.

What products / vendors / technologies are you most excited about and which do you think show the most promise to service the latter type of organisation? Do you even think that OSS is the appropriate term to describe this type of management software?

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