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Organizational changes as the network and IT merge


As communications service providers (CSPs) make the transition to network functions virtualization (NFV), they face a major challenge. With NFV, the worlds of IT and the network must come together, which will force some organizational changes.


Already we're seeing the CIO and CTO come together in a few carrier organizations. Sometimes the CTO takes the lead if the network side has a bigger budget. Sometimes the CIO takes the lead on NFV because IT has already figured out virtualization and already knows what it's like to be cost-constrained. It doesn't really matter who takes the lead, as long as their organizations can work together and learn from each other.


Changes need to happen within the network and IT organizations as well. In IT, instead of having distinct groups managing storage, servers, and switches, or people who think of themselves as a "storage guy" or "server guy," eliminate those delineations and create a shared infrastructure team. On the network side, instead of having experts dedicated to specific network functions like HLR or PCRF, organize people into a network applications or service specialist team.


In addition, a new set of skills will need to emerge around resource management and orchestration. It will be important to find the skills to apply the concepts of automation and orchestration (areas that IT has figured out very well over the years) to the network.


As the service delivery model becomes more cloud-like the necessary people skills will need to become cloud-like as well.


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