Early in the pandemic, organizations were pushed to find solutions to new business problems, literally overnight. Many companies amped up their online operations, deploying chatbots, conversational AI, and virtual customer service assistants to handle the deluge of online service requests that replaced face-to-face interactions.
Two years in, it’s obvious that automated online customer service is here to stay and will continue to evolve with more and more personalized and nuanced engagement and relationship-building tactics.
Not only can we expect the accelerated pace of change to persist, we can also expect it to impact every organizational sector. New business intelligence tools are driving increasingly sophisticated analytics and automation, sending closed-loop control and orchestration deeper into the technology stack, including the lower layers of the network. Organizations can constantly evaluate dark corners of the network they’ve never had access to before, identifying and monetizing trends sooner.
Many are asking, “How do I sustain this level of change? I’ve already used every trick up my sleeve.”
The old assumptions are broken
When people had one or two devices connected to the internet to watch movies or play games, telecom providers could schedule upgrades and maintenance windows without impacting familiar traffic patterns. Now, folks may have up to five devices connected to a critical streaming service for work or school all the time. Add in smart devices and sensors, and there could be hundreds of connections required per household.
Imagine a service disruption within this construct caused by a disaster: storms, flash flooding, or worse, an act of sabotage like the Christmas morning attack on a telecom hub in downtown Nashville. With regular network traffic already eating into capacity previously reserved for peak traffic times, how will networks maintain availability, resilience and quality when out of the ordinary events occur?
Telecom providers need a precision approach to new product and service development that is inherently flexible, gets products and services to market faster and scales easily to keep pace with customer demands. That doesn’t necessarily mean boiling the ocean with all new infrastructure and containerized applications. It means creating a “composable” business that is ready for anything.
Welcome to the composable business
According to Gartner, “composable business means creating an organization made from interchangeable building blocks. The modular setup enables a business to rearrange and reorient as needed depending on external (or internal) factors like a shift in customer values or sudden change in supply chain or materials.”
However, IDC asks, “should organizations take a wholly disruptive year to be the kick starter they need to reengineer their entire operational fabric for composability?” Yes. The reality is, “demand for new services in compressed delivery cycles is upending the old approach of managing an optical network with careful, diligent CAPEX planning and controls.”
There’s no arguing that a digital business needs agile strategies, continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) processes, and flexible technology architectures that automatically adapt to the needs of customers and ecosystem partners. But it’s not just about adopting new tools and anything with “cloud” in front of it. Providers have proven they have the resources to drive new customer value in the face of rapid change; a composable business provides the ability to do it in a reliable and sustainable manner. That is the core benefit of the composable business model.
Composing the digital business, block by block
To fully leverage new capabilities enabled by the digital business, every department and line of business (LOB) must see itself as a packaged service with whom users can easily interface. Each packaged service becomes a business building block with standardized requests and streamlined deliverables that can be easily understood and quickly scale to increase profitability, organizational productivity and efficiency. The business can compose and re-compose building blocks to provide and fulfill products and services to internal and external customers. Agile technology architectures and technologies that leverage containers, microservices, and microapplications readily support the composable concept, enabling the business to roll out new products and services faster and more economically.
Creating highly functional and streamlined building blocks starts with a deep understanding of the external environment and the systems needed to deliver the required outcomes and products. Operational goals that consider macroeconomic awareness and regulatory factors can be vital inputs, as can institutional knowledge regarding significant revenue drivers and loss-leaders. Valuing and nurturing critical partnerships are also key to the composable business, and shouldn’t be an afterthought.
The beauty of a composable business is that it is situationally aware and self-organizing, able to build itself one way, then quickly re-build when unforeseen factors come into play. Each building block identifies gaps and technologies that might fill them, and use that analysis to form a new building block if necessary. As new business models emerge, building blocks can be assembled (or re-assembled) to meet changing needs.
Surface organizational inefficiencies faster
The composable business forces each building block to acknowledge current operational processes, procedures, and culture and drives out inefficiencies that impede product and service delivery. Building blocks that fit well develop more accurate trend analytics, allowing them to solve problems faster, with greater operational transparency.
Organizations seeking to implement the composable business model need workers who understand and embrace their role in the building block concept. This means that workers’ talent profiles typically includes organizational automation, imagination, and the ability to contribute to automation initiatives. In the hands of the right people, streamlined building blocks can transform lengthy waterfall projects into CI/CD sprints and nurtures service-focused outcomes that create new value, one new element at a time.
The composable business model can also bridge the integration gap between closed and proprietary legacy business elements/systems and new open business elements that can pivot on a dime. Standard composable processes, procedures, and systems enable the business to take advantage of emerging market opportunities with a flexible, self-organizing culture that constantly seeks new ways to collaborate across organizational and technology domains.
The composable business constantly communicates
It’s crucial that the outcomes and deliverables of all business elements are well communicated and accepted by everyone across departments and LOBs. That includes knowing how to request a service, the menu of services, and how long it takes to deliver a product or service. The composable business invites intra-business collaboration because dependencies and schedules are well understood and accounted for, with the most successful organizations tying incentives to outcomes. In this way, cooperating building blocks become integral to meaningful strategy execution.
To sustain the level of change that the business requires, telecom providers must figure out how to continuously deliver value. All the tools in the world will never replace a business with good ideas that works well—together. Explore how you might get started with Network Digital Transformation, and realize the benefits of the composable business with this new white paper from Fujitsu.
Explore how you might get started with Network Digital Transformation
Realize the benefits of the composable business with this new white paper from Fujitsu.