The next wave of business transformation will create the foundations of a new reality – a shared reality that seamlessly converges the physical lives we’ve been leading with the digital lives we’ve been rapidly expanding.
of communications executives agree the convergence of digital and physical worlds over the next decade will transform their industry.
agree investments in emerging technologies will help their organizations remain resilient on the global stage.
Accenture’s Technology Vision 2023 identifies four trends that are key to unlocking this new shared reality, with three having a direct impact on communications service providers’ (CSPs) operations and the industry. AI’s disruption relies on a foundation of data from customers and enterprises. This data and how it is used in the new hybrid world is tied to identity – the critical bridge from atoms to bits, where the communications industry has been at the forefront of innovation, but also at the core of technology’s evolution and spread.
1. Generalizing AI
Generated content is part of one of the biggest step changes in the history of AI. The introduction of pretrained foundational models with remarkable task adaptability, will revolutionize how and where enterprises across industries use AI. Even though employee training in AI still needs to catch up to the technology itself, pre-trained foundation models may help circumvent this limitation to drive growth. Telcos will undoubtedly have a critical enablement role, but there is also much to be gained in streamlining cost bases and exploring paths to new service monetization.
of communications executives agree software and services powered by AI foundation models will significantly augment innovation and creativity in their organizations in the next 3 to 5 years.
expect better customer experiences, and 61% expect accelerated innovation to be two major benefits from the use of AI foundation models.
Identifying the right roles for AI foundation models in telco ecosystem and operations will be key. From coding to customer service, use cases abound to free up capital in human-led services and redirect to innovation with AI-powered products and services. This comes with a caution: Responsible AI must be embedded in the models even before their introduction to operations (and monitored continuously) to control against biases, maintain brand alignment, and mitigate other risk exposures that threaten the broad customer base telcos serve. View Andy Walker and Davide Bellini’s article on the implications of generative AI technology for the telecoms sector.
2. My data, your data, our data
AI cannot reach its full potential until companies figure out their data reservoirs. This means breaking down data silos and modernizing their data foundations. Leaders have an unprecedented opportunity to build trust with partners and customers by proactively becoming more transparent – or risk having someone else do it for them.
of communications executives agree new data architectures and strategies are required to manage the dramatic changes to their organizations’ data landscapes.
of communications executives agree emerging data management approaches including Data Fabric and Data Mesh, will become critical in optimizing their organizations’ value chains.
In both a personalized consumer and wide-spread enterprise setting, maximising and extracting value from the data is intrinsic. The objective is to awaken dormant customer data within the organization and create a new experience around it. Transparency is a strategic advantage, and the most valuable resource for enterprises in the future. New advancements in hardware and data capacity like REDCAP that allows a smaller device footprint, requires a holistic data strategy. Leaders need to establish solid data management strategies to streamline and de-silo data architectures, to responsibly expose data that matters. Beyond technology, enterprises need to shift their mindsets towards embracing transparency and think multidimensionally about the value of data. Privacy and confidentiality should always come first in any decision surrounding data.
For everyday users, customer service is an immediate example of data empowering AI and tapping new services and revenue streams. In the enterprise, the promise of the IOT explosion and new revenue streams for telcos in the world of industrial use cases, private 5G for specific industries like manufacturing, mining and the few initial use cases that we have seen with TIM and Stellantis or AT&T and P66 can now become scaled and industrialized with availability of smaller footprint devices and possibilities of differentiated use cases at the Edge.
3. Digital identity
Digital identity is going to be at the core of the next wave of business disruption fuelled by digital-physical convergence. Our biggest technological ambitions, from personalization to the metaverse, are being held back by old models of identity. Emerging forms of foundational ID are finally breaking down the walls that divide enterprises and people’s physical and digital lives, sparking a torrent of change. As the physical and digital converge, telco carriers will be the constant, and must embrace the responsibilities with the opportunities.
of communicationexecutives view digital transparency as a strategic business imperative, not just a technical issue.
believe that issues with authenticating customers’ identity are negatively impacting their bottom line.
The ability to reliably identify people and things in a trusted and secure manner, will be key to break down past shortcomings of digital identity. CSPs continue to hold a higher trust quotient with consumers than the hyperscalers and whether it’s with data usage transparency or identity protections, they cannot afford to let this trust erode. CSPs are with consumers everywhere, and, just like in the Metaverse have the potential to play a unique and foundational role especially in the world of decentralised identity and getting into newer areas like trusted identity and access management. This could range from e-signatures to identifications in AR/VR settings.
Nearly all (98%) of communications executives agree advancements in generative AI such as GPT-3 are ushering in a new era of enterprise intelligence. Many telcos are already exploring and evaluating the technology. Next comes the bold decision to leave behind legacy and plan a new path forward with an implementation that supports telcos' needs for cost management and new service innovation. Tapping into the power of these mega technologies calls for a profound rethink of how the organization works, with multiple implications for enterprise IT architecture, organization, culture, and more. Resting on data management and identity’s careful balancing act calls for telcos to reinvent with a path to AI value-building. View Andrew Walker’s article on the State of Telecoms to learn more.
Senior Managing Director – Communications & Media, Global
Managing Director – Technology, Communications, Media & Technology Lead