Right from the first hotel reservation system “HotelType’ introduced in 1947 and the first automated electronic reservation system ‘Reservatron’ in 1958 to today’s AI-based platforms, hospitality technology has come a long way. While the industry was a bit late to adopt the cloud, it is quickly catching up with others in recent times.
The hospitality industry revenues are increasing at a rapid pace. According to Global Hospitality Report, the industry earned a revenue of $3,952.87 billion in 2021. This value is expected to reach $4,548.42 billion by the end of 2022, growing at a CAGR of 15.1% during the period 2021-2022. The smart hospitality market was valued at $10.81 billion in 2020. This value is expected to reach $65.18 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 25.1% between 2021 and 2027, as reported by Market Data Forecast.
The hospitality industry is aggressively embracing cloud solutions in recent times. Here are a few reasons that are driving this adoption.
‘Mobility solutions’ is a key aspect of cloud services. This is what the hospitality industry needs the most as its target audience comes from different parts of the globe. With a cloud-based hospitality platform, customers from any location and device can easily search for room availability, check out the available amenities and make convenient travel bookings from the comfort of their homes.
Unlimited Scalability of Operations On-demand
The hospitality industry is a special industry wherein traffic spikes are dynamic. During the off-season, the traffic is minimal while peak seasons bring a gold rush. For instance, Spring Flower Fest is conducted on the 31st of May every year at Callaway Gardens in Georgia. During this time, hotels and resorts receive a huge number of visitors. It is difficult for traditional software to handle this abnormal traffic spike. However, scalability is the key feature of cloud technology. Regardless of the size and nature of the traffic, hotel and resort management can seamlessly scale operations on-demand and only pay for the resource used.
Deliver Superior Customer Experience
Personalization is key to delivering a superior customer experience. The hospitality industry is no different. Today, customers are not just looking to spend a night in a hotel room but they expect something more. Cloud solutions augmented with AI analytics help organizations identify customer preferences, purchasing trends and browsing behaviours to offer personalized and customized offers. Be it about a special recipe, spa session or a visit to an amazing holiday spot and arranging the best travel option, customers will enjoy a convenient and exciting stay when they get much more than a hotel stay experience.
Seamless Integration across the Supply Chain
Traditional software doesn’t allow you to add new features that are not available with the vendor or integrate with other platforms. However, cloud solutions can be easily integrated with any platform across the supply chain. As such, organizations can quickly add/modify travel packages and seamlessly move between different vendors to offer customized offers to customers.
With automation incorporated across the business operations, hospitality institutions can concentrate on delivering a superior customer experience instead of worrying about property management.
In a traditional software environment, the hotel management has to invest heavily in the hotel management software licenses, and maintenance and then frequently update it. Cloud solutions come with a pay-per-use subscription model. It means you only pay for the resources used. There is no heavy upfront payment. During a peak season, the platform automatically scales up and down to meet traffic spikes. As such, operational costs are significantly optimized.
Simplified IT Management
While the technology improves the efficiency of hospitality operations, the industry doesn’t have the expert staff and required IT budgets to manage IT operations. Cloud solutions not only optimize costs but also simplify IT management. As the cloud provider handles the infrastructure management, software maintenance and updates, organizations are released from this burden. As such, they can deliver a superior customer experience while identifying ways to increase revenues.
The Covid-19 pandemic that forced a sudden lockdown across the globe expedited the digitalization of business operations and remote networks. This trend resulted in search for qualified IT professionals and the best technologies and services. While the dearth of qualified IT professionals posed a big challenge, dynamically changing technologies forced organizations to frequently update/change skillset and toolstack requirements. After going through the tedious hiring process that is burdened with insurance, labour laws and other perks, you don’t want to see a change in the technology that requires a different set of skills. This is where managed services come to the rescue.
Managed services is about outsourcing regular business operations to a 3rd party that has competence, skilled professionals and the right tool stack in a specific vertical. With access to a dedicated IT team 24/7, organizations can seamless perform business core operations without worrying about technical issues.
While every IT-related service can be outsourced, the most common managed services include managed software services, managed cloud services, managed network services etc.
Managed Cloud Infrastructure
Adapting cloud-native platforms is a key IT trend in 2022. Modern cloud-native architectures comprise container clusters deployed at rapid speeds. With dynamically changing infrastructure configurations, it is a challenge for administrators to keep a tab on change management. Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is a popular technology trend that is gaining momentum in 2022. Using IaC tools such as Terraform and CloudFormation, organisations can define infrastructure as code and thereby convert infrastructure into software. As such, software development best practices can be applied to infrastructure as well. With IaC and automation, organizations can seamlessly deploy and manage infrastructure resource provisioning. While all this looks good on paper, it requires expert knowledge to leverage this trend. MSPs possess these capabilities to keep you ahead of the competition.
Managed Network Services Leveraging 5G Technology
5G technology is becoming mainstream in 2022. The 5G technology enables organizations to virtualize software-defined networks and run them on commodity hardware. Each network function can be virtualized and packaged into a container As such, organizations can develop services as network functions and package them into containers. Container clusters are managed by container orchestration tools such as Kubernetes. Instead of investing heavily in infrastructure and IT professionals, organizations can outsource telecommunication services to an MSP to save costs while significantly improving operational efficiencies.
Leveraging IoT Networks
The rapidly evolving IoT technology boosted by the cloud, AI and 5G advancements provides a great opportunity for telecoms to create and manage IoT networks accommodating thousands of devices that communicate with higher speeds, lower latencies and are energy efficient. As telecoms possess the required infrastructure, they can easily leverage the 5G network capabilities. As 5G is still in the nascent stage and there are limited options in the form of customizing public IoT cloud or building an IoT platform from scratch, not many organizations have the required expertise and skillsets to optimize this technology. This is where MSPs can take over.
Managed Software Services
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a popular deployment model of cloud services where the software is hosted by the provider and delivered to the client over the Internet via a pay-per-use subscription model. Despite SaaS is an easy to use model, organizations use hundreds of tools and services that lack centralized management. Security and network configurations should be taken care of. Managed software services take this service to the next level by adding hardware and networking support. As such, organizations enjoy higher scalability, stability, predictability and security while optimizing cloud costs. For organizations that develop custom software, MSPs help you throughout the software application lifecycle.
The Bottom Line
Managed service providers bring a large plate of benefits to the table. Firstly, MSPs eliminate the need to install, configure and manage robust infrastructure containing a lot of moving parts. By placing the infrastructure responsibilities on the MSP, you can save huge costs as well as precious time. Secondly, MSPs offer the best tool stack that is always updated. As such, you can work with world-class technologies and compete with large enterprises without shelling out huge money.
The telecommunication sector is going through a tricky phase right now. The advent of the 5G technology augmented with the software-defined virtual networks is disrupting the industry on one side, opening a new landscape of opportunities. On the other side, there is tough competition from VoIP-based platforms such as Skype and Zoom. With an increased commoditization, telecoms are able to cut prices and stay in the competition. However, they had to take a hit on the Average Revenue per User (ARPU). Another important challenge is customer churn. With shrinking IT budgets and high competition, customer retention becomes a challenge for most telecoms. This is where IoT comes to the rescue.
How does IoT help Telecom Companies?
IoT technology is rapidly evolving. Telecoms can take full advantage of IoT networks as they already possess the infrastructure in the form of mobile phone towers and internet cables. When 5G is added to it, telecoms can build high-speed networks with low latency and accommodate a wide range of IoT devices wherein seamless connection is established between interconnected devices and people in the massive ecosystem. Telecoms can build IoT platforms that enable customers to connect and manage multiple endpoints and run IoT apps while managing the infrastructure from a central dashboard.
IoT with 5G offer high-speed networks with expanded bandwidths and low latencies to run real-time processes. Energy efficiency is a big advantage as companies can run millions of connected devices with minimal power consumption. With an IoT platform, telecoms can reduce churn while gaining new customers to increase revenues. Moreover, they can create new job opportunities and thereby contribute to the growth of the local economy as well.
IoT Use Cases for Telecom
While the basic functionality of IoT for telecoms is to provide connectivity services for the customer IoT devices, the use cases can be extended to industry-specific end-user apps as well.
IoT in home automation enables customers to control electronic devices at home using mobile apps or voice assistants.
Remote Asset Monitoring of physical assets such as orders, vehicles, patients etc. using a mobile application in real-time, benefitting healthcare, retail, logistics and several other industries.
Telecoms can perform Data Storage and Management (backend processes) for client applications.
Data Analytics services comprising storage of IoT-generated data and delivering actionable insights to clients using AI/ML algorithms.
Telecoms can offer cloud-based PaaS and SaaS services wherein clients can use IoT-based platforms to develop, deliver and manage software.
Build smart cities with autonomous vehicle systems
Choosing the Right IoT Platform
As the IoT industry is still in the nascent stage and evolving, telecoms have to either build a custom IoT platform from scratch or customize a public cloud IoT offering. When you choose to build a custom IoT platform, you get the flexibility and feature-set that tightly integrates with your existing infrastructure. However, it is a time consuming and costly affair. In addition to development costs, you should also consider the fact that you need to build and manage your own cloud. Alternatively, telecoms can customize AWS IoT or Azure IoT platforms quickly and reduce initial investment costs. The advantage of public cloud IoT platforms is that you can use extensive network services that are secure and reliable. However, you’ll incur cloud usage costs.
Telecoms struggling with increased competition and reduced margins can tap into new revenue streams by exploring IoT capabilities for the telecom industry. Not only can telecoms reduce customer churn but they can expand their services and solutions to gain a competitive edge in the market with IoT solutions.
CloudTern is a leading provider of IoT-based telecom solutions. Be it developing an end-to-end IoT platform or providing IoT consulting services, CloudTern is here to help!
Call us right now to fly high on the IoT plane!
The 5th Generation mobile network, popularly known as 5G, is the new global wireless standard that succeeds the 4G technology. The 5G technology offers high-speed network connectivity with low latency and accommodates a wide range of devices in the network. Today, businesses are aggressively embracing the 5G revolution. However, the majority of businesses are challenged to apply the 5G benefits to operations owing to the exponential growth of digital innovation that is augmented with data-heavy emerging technologies in the form of AI/ML platforms, AR/VR solutions and real-time analytics. The Covid-19 pandemic was a key driver of this digital innovation. This is where private 5G networks make a strong case.
An Overview of Private 5G Network
A private 5G network enables organizations to customize 5G technology to suit business-specific requirements, security and priority access to its wireless spectrum. It replaces the 4G LTE network technology. However, businesses can still use private 5G along with 4G LTE networks as both networks use different frequency bands.
Private 5G networks can be classified into two categories:
Full Private 5G Network: When the network spectrum and network base stations are owned by the organization, that network is called a full private 5G network.
Hybrid Private 5G Network: In this model, the organization share the network infrastructure wherein the network is sliced with different control plane and user plane functionalities.
While both public and private 5G networks replace 4G LTE networks and are similar in most ways, isolation and priority access are two important aspects that differentiate them. Using private 5G networks, operators can partially or fully isolate certain user devices from the mobile network operator’s public networks as a security policy to reduce exposure to public interfaces when sensitive data is involved. When security is not a concern, devices can seamlessly switch between public and private 5G networks. Similarly, operators can configure the private 5G network to categorize activities on the network into different priority levels such that business-critical tasks are served first. Other non-critical tasks can be offloaded from the network or moved to a different network.
Hybrid multi-access edge computing environments are gaining popularity in recent times. MEC environments comprise cloud, mobile and edge computing technologies installed closer to the usage environment allowing applications and their data to operate in close proximity to end-user locations. Private 5G networks support hybrid multi-access edge computing networks and public networks.
Why Private 5G Networks are gaining momentum?
As 5G networks are evolving, organizations have multiple options to leverage private 5G technology. They can acquire spectrum from the following sources:
Licensed wireless providers (Midband or Highband Spectrum)
C-band Auction (Licensed Midband Spectrum)
Citizen Broadband Radio Services (CBRS) Priority Access License (PAL) from 2020 FCC Auction (Licensed Spectrum)
Citizen Broadband Radio Services (CBRS) General Authorized Access (GAA) Tier (Unlicensed Spectrum)
Another driver of private 5G adoption is the software-defined implementation in the form of Network Function Virtualization (NFV) that allows organizations to operate on commodity components instead of expensive and specialized hardware. For instance, Radio Access Network (RAN) functions can run on a commodity server managed by software running on top of it.
Managed Private 5G Networks
With the ability to connect multiple devices and machines with any network across the globe, private 5G networks are creating enormous opportunities for businesses. Today, managed private 5G networks are available as turnkey telecom solutions to businesses of all sizes. For instance, ‘On Site 5G’ is a managed private 5G network combined with AWS Outposts that enables organizations to deliver AWS infrastructure, tools and APIs to any environment. Similarly, AWS Private 5G, Azure Private 5G Core and Cisco Private 5G are a few other examples of fully-managed services for private cellular networks.
Be it warehouse logistics, manufacturing, education or Energy & Utilities, private 5G networks are already in operation, providing organizations with the required customization and control of their connectivity. Now is the right time to tap into this trend and create new business opportunities.
Don’t worry about the complexities involved in the private 5G networks. CloudTern is here to help. As an experienced telecom solutions company, we help you quickly provision and manage your private 5G network cost-effectively.
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As businesses embrace microservices and cloud-native architectures, DevOps stands at the center, helping businesses efficiently manage IT workloads. DevOps is an innovative methodology that integrates development, operations, security and business teams to seamlessly coordinate and deliver quality products faster and better. From planning and development to delivery and operations, DevOps works right through the entire application lifecycle.
DevOps brings developers and operations together so that the code is automatically build, tested and deployed in a continuous model. It uses a Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipeline with automation incorporated across the product lifecycle to accelerate the development process and improve efficiencies while reducing costs.
A CI/CD pipeline comprises a series of steps involved in the delivery process of quality software. It includes the following steps:
- Build Phase: The application code is build and compiled here
- Test Phase: The compiled code is tested here
- Release Phase: The code is pushed to the repository
- Deploy Phase: Code is deployed to production
While DevOps offers amazing benefits to IT teams, many organizations fail to leverage it owing to a lack of understanding of this methodology. Understanding different categories of DevOps and implementing the right tool stack is important. Here are 3 important DevOps categories every organization should focus on.
1) Software DevOps
Software DevOps is where the core software is developed. It involves planning the design, assigning tasks to the team and creating artefacts using tools such as coding software, integrated development environment (IDE), version control system, testing framework and issue management.
Integrated Development Environment (IDE): Developers use a text editor to write, debug and edit code. However, an IDE comes with much more features than a text editor offers. Along with an editor, the IDE offers debugging and compilation enabling you to build, test and deploy code from a single dashboard. Choosing the right IDE improves productivity, reduces errors and eases the development process. While choosing an IDE, ensure that it can be integrated with services across the DevOps lifecycle. Visual Studio, IntelliJ and Eclipse are some of the popular IDEs available in the market.
Version Control System: When multiple developers work on a software project, keeping track of code changes becomes a critical requirement. A version control system helps you to keep track of each code change and revert to a specific version when a release crashes. Git is the most popular VCS system. CVS, Mercurial and SVN are other options available in this segment.
Testing Framework: A testing framework offers a set of guidelines to design and run test cases using the best testing tools and practices.
Issue Management: It is a process of identifying system-level conflicts and defects in the workflow based on events or metrics. It involves detection, response, resolution and analysis.
To achieve continuous delivery, it is important to choose the right CI/CD tools and implement automation wherever possible. Here are a few best tools for software DevOps:
Jenkins is an open-source CI server tool that comes free of cost. It supports Linux, Windows and macOS platforms as well as major programming languages. The main advantage of Jenkins is its plug-in repository. You can find a plugin for most of the development tasks. Moreover, it can be easily integrated with other CI/CD platforms. Debugging is easy. However, it is important to check if the plug-ins are updated. Another downside is the lack of a user-friendly UI. It has a learning curve concerning the installation and configuration of the tool.
Github Actions is a CI/CD platform that enables developers to directly manage workflows in their Github repository. As such, you can perform repository-related tasks in a single place. It offers multiple CI templates. Github Actions comes with 2000 build minutes free per month.
GitLab is a CI software developed by GitLab Inc. for managing DevOps environments. It is a web-based repository that enables administrators to perform DevOps tasks such as planning, source code management, operations, monitoring and security while facilitating seamless coordination between various teams through the product lifecycle. This platform was written in Ruby and launched in 2014 as a source code management tool. Within a quick time, it evolved as a platform that covers the entire DevOps product lifecycle. It comes with an open-core license which means the core functionality is open-source and free but additional functionalities come with a proprietary license.
AWS Code Pipeline
AWS CodePipeline is a powerful DevOps product from AWS that enables developers to automate and manage the entire product lifecycle. The tool automatically creates a build, runs the required tests to launch an app whenever a code change is detected. It offers an intuitive GUI dashboard to efficiently monitor and manage workflow configurations within the pipeline. As AWS CodePipeline is tightly integrated with other AWS services such as S3, Lambda or 3rd party services such as Jenkins, it becomes easy to create quality software faster and better. You can simply pull code from S3 and deploy it to Elastic Beanstalk or Codedeploy.
2) Infrastructure DevOps
Infrastructure management is another crucial component of a DevOps environment. With the advent of Infrastructure as Code (IaC), managing the infrastructure became simple, cost-effective and risk-free. Infrastructure as Code is an IT method of provisioning and managing infrastructure resources via config files, treating infrastructure as software. IaC enables administrators and developers to automate resource provisioning instead of manually configuring hardware. Once the hardware is transformed into software, it can be versioned, rollback and reused.
The advent of Ruby on Rails and AWS Elastic Compute Cloud in 2006 enabled businesses to scale cloud resources on-demand. However, the massive growth in web components and frameworks posed severe scalability challenges as administrators struggled to version and manage dynamically changing infrastructure configurations. By treating infrastructure as code, organizations were able to create, deploy and manage infrastructure using the same software tools and best practices. It allowed rapid deployment of applications.
IaC can be implemented using two models namely Declarative Configuration and Imperative configuration. In a declarative approach, the configuration is defined in a declarative model that shows how the infrastructure should be while the Imperative model defines steps to reach the desired state. Terraform and AWS CloudFormation are the two most popular IaC tools that enable organizations to automatically provision infrastructure using code.
Infrastructure as Code took infrastructure management to the next level. Firstly, it rightly fits into the DevOps CI/CD pipeline. The ability to use the same version control system, testing frameworks and other services of the CI/CD pipeline facilitates seamless coordination between various teams and faster time to market while significantly reducing costs. It also helps organizations leverage the containerization technology wherein the underlying infrastructure is abstracted at the OS level, and the hardware and OS are automatically provisioned. As such, containers running on top of it can be seamlessly deployed and moved across a wide variety of environments.
Secondly, IaC offers speed and efficiency with infrastructure automation. It is not confined to compute resources but extends to network, storage, databases and IAM policies as well. The best thing about IaC is that you can automatically terminate resources when they are not in use. Thirdly, IaC reduces operational costs as the number of network and hardware engineers required at every step of operations is reduced. Fourthly, it brings consistency across all deployments as config files use a VCS as a single source of truth. Scalability and availability are improved. Monitoring the performance and identifying issues at a granular level helps reduce downtimes while increasing operational efficiencies. Overall, it improves the efficiency of the entire software development lifecycle.
Terraform is an open-source IaC tool developed by Hashicorp in 2014. Written in Go language, Terraform uses Hashicorp Configuration Language (HCL) to define the desired state of the target infrastructure on a variety of platforms including Windows, Solaris, Linux, FreeBSD, macOS and OpenBSD. Terraform is a declarative-based tool that stores the state of the infrastructure using a custom JSON format along with details of which resources should be configured and how. The tool uses ‘Modules’ to abstract infrastructure into sharable and reusable code. HCL is human-readable and helps you quickly build infrastructure code. Terraform is cloud-agnostic and integrates well with AWS. So, it can be used to manage a variety of cloud environments.
AWS CloudFormation is a managed IaC service from AWS that helps you to create and manage AWS resources using simple text files. Along with JSON template format, YAML is supported. AWS constantly updates the tool to always keep it current while adding several new features regulalry. Nested stacks is a useful feature that encapsulates logical functional areas which makes it easy to manage complex stacks. Similarly, changesets is another useful feature that allows you to inspect changes before applying them. However, CloudFormation is native to AWS. If your infrastructure is AWS-heavy, CloudFormation will serve a great purpose.
3) Database DevOps
DevOps is not just confined to development and operations. Database DevOps extends DevOps capabilities to databases as well, integrating development teams with database administrators (DBAs) such that database code is also included with the software code. As such, database changes can be efficiently monitored and added to the DevOps workflows.
In a traditional development environment, changes made to an application often require changes to be made to the corresponding database. Developers wait for DBAs to make changes to databases that are stored in SQL scripts. These changes have to be reviewed before deploying data to production. As the review is done at the later phase of the workflow, the delay impacts the overall agility and productivity of the project. Errors identified just before a release can be risky and costly as well.
Database DevOps introduces a version control system for database changes. The source control allows you to run builds anytime and roll back if needed at your pace. It also offers an audit trail.
In database DevOps, database workflows are also integrated into the CI/CD pipeline with automation incorporated wherever possible. When a database code change is detected, the system automatically triggers a build. As such, database teams can closely work with other teams on code changes using a well-defined process to improve productivity while reducing task switching.
However, continuous deployment is not easy with regard to databases. When a code change triggers a change to the database schema, it should be migrated to a new structure. You need the right tools to do so. Snowchange is a powerful DevOps database tool that helps you in this regard.
SnowChange is a powerful DevOps database tool developed by James Weakly in 2018 to manage Snowflake objects such as tables, stored procedures and views. Written in Python, Snowchange fits easily into the DevOps CI/CD pipeline as all popular CI/CD tools offer a hosted agent for Python. It is a lightweight tool that follows an imperative approach to DCM (Database migration, schema change and schema migration). It uses a snowchange change script that contains SQL statements defining the state of the database. By looping target databases, the tool applies new changes to the required databases.
Sqitch, Flyway and Liquibase are a few other options in the DevOps database stack.
DevOps is a blanket term that deals with managing an entire product lifecycle. However, it is important to optimize every phase of the DevOps workflow. Choosing the right tool stack for the right process is the key to fully leveraging DevOps.
Confused about various tools, processes and configurations. Not to worry anymore. CloudTern is here to help. As an experienced DevOps company, CloudTern helps you in designing and implementing the right tool stack for your DevOps projects.
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The wait for 5G has finally ended as the new technology is already making waves in the communication segment in recent times. Three important advantages of 5G networks are high-speed internet connections, lower latencies and accommodation of a wide variety of devices in the form of IoT, sensors, smart devices into the network. Though it was launched in 2019 in a few states in the US, it took a while to spread out to other regions. While the Covid-19 virus delayed 5G adoption to some extent, the complexity in migrating workloads to the new network is another reason for this slow start. Right from autonomous vehicles and cloud gaming to smart cities and AR/VR apps, the year 2022 is going to see 5G networks transforming the technology landscape across all industries.
DevOps and 5G Networks
5G technology is powered by software-defined networks running on standard commodity hardware that is inexpensive, disposable and widely available. As such, it can be virtualized and deployed from a central location. Using Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) technology, you can virtualize network functions and package them in containers, eliminating the need for special hardware. As such, you can easily build and deploy Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) using cost-effective commodity hardware. Each function can be developed as a service using the microservices architecture. As such, these services can be deployed using containers and managed with container orchestration tools.
With SDNs, NVFs and VNFs, you don’t have to worry about traditional CapEx costs for the expensive hardware. Instead, you can subscribe to a cloud service and host central servers in the cloud. You can install edge computing at the work location and connect the local systems with the cloud servers. With a high-speed network and low latency, 5G technology allows you to deliver an on-premise experience to users. To further optimize costs, you can implement serverless computing wherein the infrastructure is automatically provisioned when a function is in operation. Once the function is executed, the cloud resources are terminated. That way, you only pay when your application is running. AWS Lambda is a popular serverless computing solution offered by AWS.
DevOps enables you to build, deploy and manage code and configurations with increasing efficiency. Using DevOps CI/CD pipelines, developers can build and deploy code in small batches with automation incorporated across the pipeline. The code is automatically tested, secured and deployed with continuous feedback loops. The same principle can be applied to infrastructure management. By implementing the Infrastructure as Code (IaC) method, you can deploy and manage infrastructure provisioning using config files. With configuration code going through the CI/CD pipeline, it will be versioned and deployed with ease. It means you can revert to an earlier working version in case of a crash. Terraform and AWS CloudFormation are two popular IaC tools that help you efficiently manage infrastructure automation.
The communication segment involves strict SLAs. Moreover, the presence of heterogeneous networks often poses a challenge to move network components between different CSP environments. With DevOps automation and continuous delivery, CSPs can efficiently manage SLAs. With Docker containers, network components can be easily deployed and moved across a wide variety of environments. It also brings seamless coordination and communication between vendors and the operators. With 5G networks accommodating more than a million devices per square kilometre that can seamlessly communicate with each other, businesses have endless options to innovate operations and stay ahead of the competition. Combined with DevOps, 5G is poised to disrupt the business network landscape.
As the entire business world is moving towards digital transformation, every company, regardless of the nature of business, has to manage an IT department. While IT-related firms have the expert staff and resources to build and manage business operations, non-IT companies struggle to be on par with dynamically changing technologies. Procurement, maintenance and upgrading of hardware infrastructure is a challenge. Hiring the right talent and training them adds up to this challenge. When the IT teams are overburdened, it reflects in the quality of the software. The best way to get quality software is to outsource the job to an expert software company. Outsourcing software development helps companies to cut costs, get talented professionals onboard, leverage the latest technological innovations while being able to focus on their core operations.
Software development can be outsourced to three types of companies:
Onshore Companies: Companies that are located in the same country as the outsourcing company.
Nearshore Companies: Companies that are not located in the same country but are within the geographical location of the outsourcing company.
Offshore Companies: Companies that are located outside the geographical location of the outsourcing company.
When it comes to outsourcing software, India is the best choice. Here are the top 5 benefits of software development outsourcing to India.
1) A Highly Talented Pool of Professionals
2) Flexible Time Zone
Another advantage for India is the time zone. India is 9-12 hours ahead of US time zones, 5-6 hours ahead of UK time zones, 5-6 hours behind Australian time zones etc. This difference in the time zone enables companies in the USA to run their operations 24/7. While the company runs in the daytime, the outsourced company works at night. On a quick deadline, you can prepare the guidelines in the daytime and get it ready by the time you come to the office the next morning. If you implement a hybrid approach wherein the local IT staff works in the day and the outsourced team works in the night, your business is always in operation, 24/7. This advantage translates into faster time to market and reduced development costs.
3) Reduced Costs
The average salary of a software engineer in the US is $119,130 per year as per Indeed. Additionally, you have to provide cash bonuses, healthcare and insurance benefits and other perks every year. Infrastructure costs, hardware and software installation, maintenance, software license etc. add up to the burden. In addition, you need to train and manage employees while complying with labour regulations
On the other hand, the average salary of a software engineer in India is $10,810, as reported by Glassdoor. When you outsource software projects to India, you don’t have to go through the cumbersome process of recruitment that involves huge salaries, healthcare and insurance benefits, paid and sick leaves etc. You just pay the agreed amount. While you get your work done at reduced costs, you don’t have to compromise on the quality.
4) Communication Matters
One of the biggest challenges for businesses while outsourcing projects is the language. For seamless coordination and communication across the teams, a common language is a crucial requirement. When it comes to India, most software developers are well versed in the English language and regularly use a variety of communication tools for interacting with internal staff and geographically distributed teams.
5) Supportive Government Policies
The Indian government recognizes the software industry as one of the most important verticals. The government passed the IT Acts 2000 bill that enabled several startups to launch their projects and successfully move ahead. The government is constantly improving IT policies and coming up with strategies to strengthen the IT sector in the country. ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ are a couple of initiatives that boost the IT infrastructure in India. With tax-related benefits, encouraging incentives, e-filing of docs and other supportive measures, the government supported the industry greatly. As such, the software market earned a revenue of $4 billion within the first half of 2020. Gartner reports that the Indian IT market is expected to touch $16.9 billion by 2025. It means your software projects are being built in the best environment.
Software technology is rapidly innovating. As such, it is not feasible for businesses to learn and adapt to quickly changing trends. The best way is to outsource your software projects to India. Not only do you receive quality apps on time but you also save huge money. Most importantly, you can sit back and relax with peace of mind that helps you to focus on incorporating quality into your core operations.
While DevOps started off slowly, it has changed gears now, rapidly transforming the business operations of every industry. When it comes to the Telecom industry, IT experts opined that DevOps adoption will be low compared to other verticals as telcos deal with physical servers, routers, load balancers, cables, switches and other network components. However, DevOps was able to make inroads into the Telecom industry as well.
VoIP, Cloud and 5G
VoIP and cloud computing solutions have taken the telecom industry to the next level. However, cloud computing also brought huge competition into the industry wherein mobile operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) had to look for value-added services implementing web services, HTTP/REST and webRTC protocols to sustain this competition. All these changes transformed the hardware-heavy infrastructure turns into a software-enabled environment, allowing administrators to manage it from a centralized location.
The arrival of the 5G technology has made a big difference too. While the earlier connectivity networks relied heavily on physical infrastructure, the new 5G technology is a predominantly software-defined network wherein configurations are delivered as software. The Network Functions Virtualization (VNF) technology virtualizes network hardware that can be deployed in containers using Virtual Network Functions (VNF) technology. Combining 5G and edge computing, telecom operators are now able to compete with web-scale companies such as Skype and WhatsApp.
Telecom Workloads Challenges
However, the IT workloads of the telecom vertical are unique and come with specific challenges. The Telecom industry involves complex workloads that require extensive infrastructure customization. For instance, the Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) technology converts various switches, routers, servers, load balancers, firewalls etc. into virtual network services, facilitating communication across the infrastructure. It brings several cloud servers as well as multiple app versions into the picture. Unlike regular IT workloads that comparatively operate on a fixed infrastructure environment, telecom IT network environments are dynamic and rapidly evolving. A notable challenge is performing functional testing on VNF network models wherein all 3GPP elements are required. Performing regression testing for every RF software update adds up to this challenge.
When it comes to deployments, companies are required to frequently release new versions or fix patches on live networks. You don’t have the luxury of performing planned maintenance anymore. With the lifecycle of software abstracted away from the workloads, gaining a comprehensive overview of the entire operations is a challenge.
DevOps for Telecom Industry
DevOps helps telecom companies solve most of these challenges. Firstly, businesses can separate each network function into a microservice and easily package it into containers using a containerization tool such as Docker. These containers can be automatically deployed and easily moved across different environments. Clusters of containers can be efficiently managed by container orchestration tools such as Kubernetes. The modular architecture allows you to move elements between various NFV environments. Using Infrastructure as Code (IaC), businesses can deploy and manage the infrastructure using config files.
In addition to infrastructure deployment and management, DevOps helps telcos easily manage application delivery CI/CD pipelines. It helps developers to develop cleaner and bug-free code in smaller units and frequently update the VNF environments using automation tools. The continuous feedback loops monitor the code performance and deliver feedback regularly. As such, businesses can automate operations, reduce CapEx and gain faster time to market while delivering highly available, scalable and resilient network services. It enables seamless coordination between various Communication Service Providers (CSPs) as well.
The telecom infrastructure is a tough nut to crack for DevOps. However, taking advantage of its robust ecosystem comprising Microservices, Edge Computing, Disaggregated Networks, Infrastructure as Code (IaC), Continuous Delivery, Containerization, Monitoring, Automation etc., DevOps helps telecom companies successfully undergo deep digital transformation while keeping their operations future-proof.
DevOps had a dream run in the year 2021 and is sure to continue it into 2022. According to ResearchandMarkets, the global DevOps market was estimated at $4.31 billion in 2020 and $5.11 billion in 2021. This value is expected to touch $12.21 billion in 2026, growing at a CAGR of 18.95% between 2021 and 2026.
DevOps is innovating at a rapid pace. As such, organizations should proactively monitor technology changes and reinvent IT strategies accordingly. Here are the top DevOps predictions for 2022.
1) Distributed Cloud Environments
After hybrid and multi-cloud environments, distributed cloud networks are rapidly gaining popularity in recent times. A distributed cloud environment hosts backend services on different cloud networks in different geolocations while offering a single pane to monitor and manage the entire infrastructure as single cloud deployment. It allows you to customize more-performing and responsive service delivery for specific apps while following regulations of local governments. Distributed clouds bring high resilience, prevent data losses and service disruptions as your apps keep running even when servers in one region crash. It means you gain 99.99% uptime. Edge computing can be considered as an extension to distributed cloud networks.
Distributed clouds offer amazing benefits to all industries. For instance, autonomous vehicles can monitor and process sensor data on-board while sending engine and traffic data to the central cloud. Similarly, OTT platforms can leverage ‘Intelligent Caching’ wherein content in multiple formats is cached at different CDNs while transcoding tasks are done at the central cloud. That way, a newly released popular series can be seamlessly streamed to multiple mobile devices in the same region in real-time.
2) Serverless Architecture
Serverless architecture is a cloud-native architectural pattern that enables organizations to build and run applications without worrying about the provisioning and management of server resources in the infrastructure. The cloud provider takes care of the allocation and management of server and machine resources on-demand. The serverless architecture delivers accelerated innovation as apps can be deployed faster and better. Apps can be decomposed with clear observability as independent services that are event-based. As such, organizations can reduce costs and focus more on delivering better UX.
Serverless computing is rapidly innovating. Function as a Service (FaaS) is a new trend based on the serverless architecture that eliminates the need for complex infrastructure to deploy and execute micro-services apps. Another growing trend is hybrid and multi-cloud deployments that deliver enhanced productivity and are cost-effective. Serverless on Kubernetes is another trend that helps organizations run apps everywhere where Kubernetes runs. Kubernetes simplifies the job of developers and operations teams by delivering matured solutions powered by the serverless model. Serverless IoT is another model that brings high scalability, faster time to market while reducing overhead and operational costs in data-driven environments. It is also changing the way how data is secured in serverless environments.
DevSecOps is a DevOps pattern that converts security into a shared responsibility across the application product lifecycle. Earlier, security was handled by an isolated team at the final stage of product development. However, in today’s DevOps era wherein apps are deployed in smaller cycles, security cannot wait for the end any longer. As such, DevSecOps integrates security and compliance into the CI/CD pipeline, making it everyone’s responsibility. The year 2022 is going to see more focus on shifting security towards the left of the CI/CD pipeline.
DevSecOps increases automation and policy-driven security protocols as QA teams perform automated testing to ensure that non-compliance and security vulnerabilities are efficiently combated across the product lifecycle. The design for failure philosophy is going to be reinvented as well.
4) AIOps and MLOps
Today, regardless of the size and nature, every organization is generating huge volumes of data every day. As such, traditional analytics solutions are inefficient in processing this data in real-time. For this reason, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms have become mainstream in recent times.
AI and ML data scientists normally work outside version control systems. Now, CI/CD and automatic infrastructure provisioning are applied to AIOps and MLOps as well. It means you can version your algorithms and identify how changes evolve and affect the environment. In case of an error, you can simply revert to an earlier version.
5) Infrastructure as Code (IaC)
Infrastructure as Code is another growing trend that will become mainstream in 2022. Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is a method of managing the complete IT infrastructure via configuration files. Since cloud-native architecture is becoming increasingly popular in recent times, IaC enables organizations to easily automate provisioning and management of IT resources on a cloud-native architecture by defining the runtime infrastructure in machine-readable files. IaC brings consistency in setup and configuration, enhances productivity, minimizes human errors, and increases operational efficiencies while optimizing costs.
GitOps is the new entrant in this space. Leveraging the IaC pattern and Git version control system, GitOps enables you to easily manage the underlying infrastructure as well as Kubernetes instances. When combined, organizations can build self-service and developer-centric infrastructure that offers speed, consistency and traceability.
The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) has disrupted the computer networking landscape. IoT provided a diverse network landscape that accommodated a wide range of devices such as wearables, sensors, computing devices, mechanical devices, objects, sensors etc. IoT enables organisations to monitor data, better use resources, efficiently manage operations, leverage automation, improve productivity and work safety while optimizing operational costs.
The State of the IoT Market
The IoT market is rapidly evolving. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global IoT market is valued at $308.97 billion in 2020. This value is expected to touch $1854.76 billion in 2028, growing at a CAGR of 25.4% between 2021 and 2028. Similarly, Mordor Intelligence reports that the global IoT market revenues will increase from $761.4 billion in 2020 to $1386.06 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 10.53% during 2021-2026. All these numbers speak volumes of the massive innovation IoT brings to the business network ecosystem. The Internet of Behaviour (IoB) is the new buzz in the IoT landscape.
What is Internet of Behaviour (IoB)?
The Internet of Behaviour (IoB) is a new technology that enables organisations to deliver services to users based on their preferences, interests and choices. The IoB technology leverages the IoT user data and runs advanced analytics on it to derive behavioural trends and offers recommendations based on user choices. It captures all types of human behaviours, analyses the data using advanced machine learning algorithms and other technological innovations. By combining IoT, analytics and behavioural science, IoB enables organisations to deliver better user experience (UX) and search experience optimization (SXO) to customers.
The good thing about IoB technology is that it is not just descriptive but also proactive and prescriptive which means it provides insights into how businesses can derive an expected response from users by influencing certain psychological variables. Applying the IoB technology, organisations can proactively deliver customized offers to the user at the right time using the right channel. While it increases conversion rates, it also improves customer experience and reduces churn.
How does IoB-based IoT Networks transform your Business in 2022?
The benefits of IoB are not just limited to marketing and sales but extend to every vertical. For instance, doctors can prescribe better healthcare solutions to patients based on the data generated from healthcare apps or wearables. It is especially beneficial for patients suffering from critical illnesses as IoB can monitor and identify anomalies to alert the concerned people in real-time.
Ecommerce companies can easily identify key influential factors of customer purchase and offer customized recommendations accordingly. IoB helps autonomous vehicles to reinvent their operations based on the passenger location, bicycle and scooter traffic, city regulations etc. Similarly, transport companies can deliver a better customer experience based on the IoT data of cab drivers, users and locations. OTT platforms don’t have to rely on past data but use your behavioural data to forecast your likes and dislikes.
Coffee chain Barista has been successful in leveraging this technology. Barista uses facial recognition technology to identify the age, gender and mood of the customer and offer customized and appropriate drinks to the customer, thereby delivering a personalized customer experience. Similarly, Booking.com offers personalized suggestions for travel and stay based on customers’ demographics and past interactions. Insurance company Aviva has leveraged IoB to analyze the driving behaviour of a customer and decide the premium amount for vehicle insurance. It means responsible citizens will pay low premiums.
IoB is already disrupting the customer experience space. However, data privacy and integrity is a cause of concern as it is a challenge to configure access levels to users across distributed IoT networks. If behaviour data falls into the hands of a hacker, it can expose sensitive data. As such, organizations should consider data integrity and security as their biggest priority while implementing IoB-based solutions.