Telco organisational and data structures are preventing many telcos from adopting Big Data and those that ignore Big Data do so at their peril, according to independent research firm, Ovum.
In new research, Big Data Analytics and the Telco: How telcos can monetise customer data Ovum revealed that a well-executed Big Data analytics project requires flexible business structures and logical processes, not siloed structures with artificial constraints that have been defined by the network domains.
Ovum telco operations practice head, Clare McCarthy, said in order to succeed, telcos need to become more data-centric and take lessons from the leaner and more agile data analytics models that are currently being pursued by over-the-top operators.
McCarthy claimed that telcos will be able to effectively monetise the increased volume, variety, velocity, and value of the network, subscriber, and business data that they collect as part of their businesses only once this issue has been resolved.
"The proliferation of smart devices and services has led to a considerable increase in the number of customer--telco interactions. This is happening through multiple channels, which is forcing telcos to sharpen their focus," she said.
"As a result, mining a greater volume and variety of data, and doing so in real-time, is becoming a powerful competitive advantage for telcos."
However, the research also showed that many telcos still lack the necessary data management and analytics skills in-house to make their data work for them.
McCarthy mentioned that as data scientists are in high demand and short supply, this area is ripe for vendor support, either with pre-integrated solutions or hosted services.
"Telcos are generally turning to one of four sources for their Big Data analytics needs: their existing OSS/BSS providers, trusted IT vendors, telco analytics specialists, or incumbent network equipment providers. Each carries its own particular competencies and strengths in vying for a share of a Big Data analytics market that Ovum forecasts will be worth $US7.7 billion in 2018."
McCarthy also suggested that predicting and reducing churn, promoting loyalty, upselling and cross-selling offers, and personalising services are all key areas where telcos can leverage Big Data analytics for business benefit.
"Transforming operating models and business processes is a difficult task and many telcos are not entirely sure what they are transforming towards. Therefore, choosing a business intelligence and analytics solution and partner will be one of the most important strategic decisions in the next year," she added.