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Managed network operations: What will
the future look like?

New survey reveals what CSPs will expect from managed services partners in the future

Find out how CSPs see the future of operations and get insights on what your peers are planning. See why demand for managed network operations is shifting from OPEX and CAPEX control to digital transformation enablement – with services that accelerate 5G monetization, grounded in AI/ML, network security and cloudification.

Key results

Nokia partnered with analyst firm GlobalData to explore the future of managed network operations. The study provides deep insights into how CSPs’ operations needs are evolving and what they will expect from their network operations partners in the coming years.

Questions were focused on service priorities, pain points, partner preferences and consumption models.

Download the report

Who we surveyed

  • 50+ respondents
  • Director level or above
  • Roles including senior management, network architecture & operations, procurement
  • MNOs and MVNOs

The new role of network operations

Network operations plays a central role in CSPs’ digital transformation.

For 79% of CSPs, network operations plays a central or the most important role in setting priorities and plans for digital transformation.

Network Operations is one of the most important groups in driving digital transformation. Less than a quarter of respondents relegate Ops to a follower/execution-only role.

new role of network operations
new areas of value creation

The new areas of value creation

Operations partners provide substantial value to CSPs in the areas of digital transformation, 5G ROI and customer experience. OPEX and CAPEX are less in focus.

  • CSPs state that their operations partners have a very positive impact on their business. 84% highlight the positive impact of operations partners on their digital transformation and cloudification journey
  • 84% say their operations partners are having a direct impact on 5G return on investment (ROI) and ROI on other new technologies
  • 81% see their operations partners driving end-customer experience measured by Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • Traditional concerns such as OPEX and CAPEX rank lower

The new support needs

CSPs’ support needs are becoming more strategic. They are counting on their operations partners to help them navigate new technological domains including network security, AI/ML, data management and cloud architectures.

Where do CSPs need help from their operations partners?

  • Network security (55%): Security concerns are growing due to new attack vectors associated with new devices, applications and 5G network functions
  • Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (45%): AI/ML offers a huge opportunity to transform CSP operating models. But a lack of skills and knowledge about AI use cases and how to operationalize them is fueling demand for support from operations partners
the new support needs
new KPIs

The new KPIs for network operations partners

CSPs will measure their operations partners by their impact on customer experience and service agility.

  • 45% will measure operations partners against customer experience KPIs such as NPS
  • 24% will prioritize service agility KPIs such as time to market
  • Traditional network availability KPIs are still important, but will be less in focus

New demands will transform partner relationships

New infrastructure and business models will expand and deepen the operations partnerships of CSPs.

The transition in infrastructure and business models is changing the purchasing behavior of CSPs. 

  • 74% are planning to add additional responsibilities to their existing operations partners
  • 53% are going to add new partners for new strategic areas
  • 42% are open to replacing their current operations partners in one or more areas
new operations partnerships

Learn more about Nokia Managed Operations