The Use of Intelligence to Compete in the Future of Work

by | Apr 5, 2022 | 1 comment

The Future of Work is a complex mix of external and internal drivers which will exert pressure on the telco to change – both immediately and into the long-term.  The term means different things to different parties within the ecosystem of thinkers, consultants, and commentators on technical and strategic topics:

  • to more technically focused parties, it is about company responses to the “fourth industrial revolution” and the impact of technology on markets
  • to those focused on organizational or human resources advice, it is about the changing nature of the workforce and the cultural change that this will bring with it
  • to longer term commentators, it is the impact of all these trends on the economy, the wealth gap, skills requirements, and government policy into the mid- and longer-term
  • to more tactical thinkers commenting on short term trends, it is the impact of the pandemic and how companies have/will continue to respond

What do “Future of Work” Trends Mean for Telcos?

These four trends will have a wide range of impact on telcos – the most significant are:

  • The markets in which the telco wishes to compete will speed up and become increasingly complex (from an ecosystem and product perspective). This will create more ambiguity and risk and require the telco and its employees to become more flexible and adaptable to change
  • The use of more intelligence and cloud services in a market, gives potential opportunity for new players or for telcos to expand into more markets as they can get over barriers to entry more quickly
  • Some job descriptions or parts of a job will disappear, and new ones will appear over time
  • Humans and machines will work together, and telcos will need to create symbiotic relationships.Humans will need to be front and center of this new world and focus will be needed to ensure job satisfaction and to build trust as machines become part of the working lives of more employees
  • As younger generations join the telco – they will demand more flexibility in work practices
  • There will also be flexibility in how telcos recruit. Core jobs will remain within the telco – but there will be an increasing use of specialist companies and independent specialists to provide as-needed help, particularly in new markets
  • This, along with the increased interest in remote/hybrid-working, will require new leadership skills and tools to support successful arms-length relationships
  • Cultural change trends which we see already will continue to play a part in telco decision making – including climate concerns, diversity, inclusion, and the steps that they can take to support employee mental and physical well-being.

How Will Telcos Need to Change?

Telcos will need to consider change in a number of areas: within the workforce to build new skills and develop different leadership styles. Their products and services will need to be future-proofed as Industry 4.0 impacts the markets they work in.   Flexibility is also needed – particularly the ability for the telco to make good decisions at increasing speed in increasingly complex situations.  Telcos already have analytics and available data but the use of ML to provide insight on these more complex problems is still relatively immature.

Into the medium term, intelligent decisioning will therefore need to be developed.  Including:

  • the use of increasing computational power and intelligence to ensure faster and more accurate decisioning, especially where the correct solution may be difficult for humans to find because the problems are complex with subtle relationships between the factors involved
  • the ability of machines to take in human input and use it to create better decisions
  • the creation of algorithms which bring more deductive and inductive conclusions – more able to understand subtleties such as intent or customer emotions
  • a range of techniques/technologies to eliminate error within intelligence (e.g., bias).

The telco network is a key place for these new types of decisioning as it throws up significant number of complex problems which will need solving in real-time to enable new types of automations – such as the development of a self-healing network.  Such a network will need to understand that it has a problem, decide on the cause of the problem and then prescribe an action to be carried out in order to resolve it.

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