Remote workforces add to telco network management complexity
With the telecoms industry proving critical for the COVID-19 response and business continuity around the world, the sector is now finding itself under growing pressure to ensure networks perform as expected in an increasingly demanding, complex and dispersed environment.
According to Donovan Marais, IT Service Management Architect at IBM South Africa, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of efficient telecoms network management.
He says: “Partly due to the sudden move to remote work at scale, the 4G network has been inundated with information with so many workers using mobile devices, and many end-users have reported slow speeds and a poor experience.
”But remote work is not the only culprit – data volumes are increasing exponentially and networks are becoming increasingly complex."
“Now, and in future, uptime and network performance is critical, so telcos need the ability to be more predictive. When issues do occur, they need to be able to address them rapidly, but they also need to be able to analyse data from these systems and events, and use AI to predict where events and outages may occur in future,” says Andrew Hewitt-Coleman, Red Hat Synergy lead for Hybrid Cloud integration at IBM South Africa.
This will become increasingly important as telcos move to hybrid environments, he says. IBM expects to see the telecoms industry around the world stepping up the shift to hybrid cloud IT and network architectures and operations with extreme automation. This will propel deployment of open, seamless networks that deliver new levels of orchestration and agility. Changes to accommodate major shifts in workload, load balancing and more infusion of AI/machine learning (ML) into the network at the core, edge or vRAN will become key to investment strategies and sustained operational efficiency.
IBM, using IBM Watson AIOps and partners such as ServiceNow, is moving to address challenges in network management by introducing AI-powered software and services to deliver deeper insights from IT data and take succinct recommended actions to prevent and fix IT issues at scale, before they become problems. This will enable organisations to decrease time spent on maintenance and will ultimately be able to reduce the overall number of incidents that occur.
“Using AI, it becomes possible to predict events days in advance and take steps to avoid them, instead of waiting for events to happen,” Hewitt-Coleman says.
IBM will host an executive webinar, AI-powered IT incident resolution, on 25 November. For more information and to register for this event, go to https://www.itweb.co.za/webinar/ibm-data-driven-aiops-executive/index.html.