Points of View

Why the Telecom Industry Has Prioritized AI Over RPA

In this report, we spotlight the results of interviews with 80 telecommunications industry leaders and drill down into the specific needs and requirements of the telecommunications sector to gain critical insights into how this industry is embracing and leveraging intelligent automation.


The global telecommunications industry has been suffering at the hands of various disruptive forces for multiple years now. Over the Top (OTT) providers, messaging apps, and even the automotive industry are all eroding the average revenue per user (ARPU) for telcos and leveraging telco networks to do it. Telcos are well aware of the disruption and are working as fast as eroding revenue and profit will allow to pivot their businesses. The prevailing view is that their networks are their biggest asset, with more data than ever moving through them. They key is how to monetize it.


It is through this lens of telecommunications firms on the verge of becoming value-added data firms or even media firms that we have context to one of the core findings of our study on intelligent automation. Intelligent automation is critical to the business transformation of telecom firms, but given the importance of data, analytics may be a higher priority. The reality, though, is that as outlined in the HfS triple A trifecta, analytics and intelligent automation are complementary bedfellows, which when ultimately used together will help propel telcos to greater business benefits through service orchestration. Specifically, the synergy between analytics and AI may make for the stickiest and most logical intersection of resources.


Telecommunications firms have often been the leaders for technology adoption, particularly for business to consumer (B2C) use cases. But they also have mixed track records with leveraging technology to truly drive business change. Other industries, such as media and retail, have done a much better job of leveraging technology to pivot their businesses and drive new revenue streams. This study spotlights the emerging reality of intelligent automation for telecom firms and how they are embracing these resources to help pivot to the future.

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