Telecom operators rightfully want to thrive in the digital age, but often the nagging questions is: Where to start? I always suggest starting with the Ericsson’s Quick Portfolio Assessor (QPA), which was specifically designed to help operators identify their best starting point.
Taking on something new can often be intimidating, particularly when it means doing things much differently from before. I think about major changes in my own life—and how introspection and an assessment of the overall picture helped me reach my goal.
I think the same process can easily be applied to Telecom operators who are looking to modernize their application estate and reinvent their ways of working to be able to get ahead in this digital age. However big or small the change may be and whatever the cost associated, the biggest is hurdle is often how and where to get started.
Ask the right questions
A modernization engagement is an intensive exercise, so it is imperative to have a clear understanding of the strategic intent behind the application portfolio rationalization goal. By asking the right set of questions, modernization experts can identify the rationale for the change while also uncovering the associated pain points. These often include lack of competence, increased complexity, high cost of maintenance, IT and business misalignment or other technology challenges.
Speak to the right people
To get a holistic view into an operator’s existing processes, it is key to identify the right set of stakeholders. This could include the service desk team on the ground handling frequent issues right through to the business owners who may give insights into process deficiencies.
At an organization level, we need to understand the vision of both the CIO and CTO regarding technology trends that they wish to adopt, and how they envisage the business transformation. While cost involved in maintaining the existing system is normally a key driver in most legacy estates, sometimes lack of harmony between an operator’s IT and business vision can be the core of the problem. This disconnect can lead to large scale failures which often are not obvious without some deeper digging.
The viability of the existing technology base and the challenges it creates must be brought forward. But this can only be achieved by asking the right questions of the right people. Only once all the pieces of the jigsaw are assembled, can the competence of the existing team be identified, areas which require process improvements recognized, and the complexity of the existing system understood.
Assess the existing application portfolio
With our unique experience of working with Telecom operators on application modernization initiatives across the globe, Ericsson has developed a detailed approach to performing Application Portfolio Assessment and Rationalization (APA/R). To give a taste of the full APA/R, we have also developed a short version that we call the Ericsson Quick Portfolio Assessor (QPA) with questions divided among 6 core areas of investigation:
- Operating Model
- Ecosystem Maturity
- Cost of Ownership
- Digital Strategy
The full version of the APA/R Framework consists of over 50 templates that are used by our subject matter experts (SME) during interviews at the customer site.
The span of topics and interviews have been carefully selected based on our years of experience helping operators modernize their applications, combined with industry best practices in helping to determine the scope and direction for application rationalization and transformation.
Start with our six-question test
The quick Ericsson QPA provides an instant snapshot of the types of questions we ask during a typical operator engagement. With a broad stroke approach, Ericsson QPA gets to the core of what needs to change by deriving and understanding your key business drivers, the maturity of your technology base, your high-risk applications and your overall process maturity. This quickly provides some key information needed to make the right business decisions—to either modernize, retire, retain or enhance systems—as you ultimately reach your digital ambition.
Take the Ericsson QPA-test and see if your application portfolio is ready for modernization:
Also read the first blog on how to define your cloud transformation strategy.