By: Phil Harris, GM, Service Provider Segment Vertical, Riverbed
Service providers are going through a massive transformation and are changing how they acquire, manage and deploy technologies so they can meet the needs of today’s digital customer. In 2018, service providers will play a vital role in helping organizations stay resilient in the face of the overall shift in the technology landscape.
Service Providers will be critical to enabling the success of IoT
IoT is quickly becoming a reality with an expected 30 bn IoT devices to be in production globally by 2020*. These devices must all be connected to the internet, managed, and secured while also delivering a high quality of service to end users. Service providers have the most diverse set of communication mechanisms that major enterprises will rely on for this connectivity be it mobility services, broadband, and network infrastructure. How IoT devices connectivity is managed will be a major concern for the enterprise and Service Providers will be leaders in facilitating this.
Service Providers will become the management layer for enterprises cloud environments
With the various types of cloud environments that enterprises are adopting (Azure, AWS, Google Cloud), each is unique in their complexity in managing and deploying services. If a company wants to put a workload into multiple clouds, it has to treat that workload differently based on each cloud. This is inefficient and time consuming. Service Providers, due to their expertise in infrastructure deployment and maintenance, will be capable of treat different clouds as abstract sets of resources and essentially commoditize the cloud as a service. Organizations will be able to hand their cloud management over to Service Providers who will shield them from the complexities of these cloud environments.
For service providers, user experience will be leveraged as a competitive differentiator
Today, the value of a customer facing service is measured in high availability, security and performance. While these are important, what isn’t emphasized is the user experience of that service, but this is because it is difficult to measure. Service providers will begin to quantify user sentiment, which is typically subjective, through the use of Natural Language Processing technology that can interpret human communication channels (eg, Twitter, Facebook, message boards, etc.) and measure satisfaction. This measurement can then be used to determine where application or network issues may exist based on the sentiment of the users that are interacting with them and not just on traditional monitoring technology. The move to measuring end user experience based on sentiment will allow providers to have an additional source of truth when determining how and where to address issues with their offerings – and those providers that can boast the highest level of user satisfaction will their services will have a competitive advantage.