Why popping pills is bad for your IT operations’ health

specialist

Sometimes it takes a specialist to keep you moving forward

When middle age found me at the back specialist seeking relief from the pain of a bulging disc, my inner geek (techie, or whatever you want to call it) couldn’t help but drawing similarities to the importance for service providers to find the right operations partner. After all, just as my orthopedist knew exactly which tests to order and what treatment I required, when operational issues start impacting your ability to serve your customers, only a real specialist will know how to identify your problems and draw up a strategy to resolve them.

Sure, for some things, getting an IT generalist may be enough (just as I could pop a couple of pain killers after a slightly overzealous game of tennis). But to run the core parts of your operations, you really need an expert who knows the industry. And this is especially true when you’re going through big changes, such as legacy modernization, introducing DevOps, or beginning to use artificial intelligence.

In many respects, for service providers, the IT ecosystem is far more complex than in IT environments in the health or retail sectors, for example. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Legacy systems: According to a recent survey, almost 70% of service providers report the presence of legacy platforms in core parts of their business, including billing, CRM, and payments. Expertise is needed to understand how these systems can be leveraged, despite their age, to interact with newer customer-facing applications, such as for mobile, web-based portals and more.
  • Scale of operations: People use the term “carrier-grade” to mean a system or network supporting large volumes of data. I remember years ago when a friend of mine was working as a financial analyst covering our industry, he would always tell me how shocked he was at how companies never spoke in millions, but billions. Knowing how to operate systems that handle huge volumes of transactions (and that number will only go up as IoT becomes more prevalent) takes a certain type of experience. There is no room for error, and even a minor slip in operations can have disastrous consequences downstream.
  • Multi-vendor environment: Sometimes, due to mergers and acquisitions, multiple lines of business or simply the desire to diversify, your IT ecosystem will typically consist of products and services delivered by multiple vendors. But this often leads to an environment of different development methods, different orchestration procedures and more. Knowing how to navigate and control such a complex ecosystem requires experience in this arena.
  • IT/network connectivity: Our IT systems exist primarily to support network services. Whether it’s for the activation of a new service or collecting usage data for billing and care purposes, the two are closely intertwined. This will only increase as SDN and NFV become more ubiquitous.

In short, IT in our industry is unique in many ways, particularly when it comes to the high level of specialization our operations demand. That’s why, just as I sought out a specialist who understands all the complexities of my spine, as a service provider, you need to seek out experts who understand your organization’s complexities, including the various interconnections and how changing one application impacts other parts of your operations. Wishing us all only the best of health!

Learn how you can partner with the industry’s leading provider of operations at http://www.amdocs.com/intelligent-operations-delivery

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