Personalising the customer experience, improving operational efficiency and moving to new delivery models are some the top IT trends to expect from telcos in 2016, according to global analyst firm, Ovum. In its 2016 Trends to Watch: Telecoms Operations and IT report, the company found telco IT trends are being driven by the need to keep up with the growing market competition, the industry’s shift toward digital services, and the need to gain business agility. This report is part of Ovum’s Trends to Watch report series and includes survey results from Ovum’s 2016 ICT Enterprise Insights Survey of more than 500 telco CIOs. According to the report, 65 per cent of telcos plan to increase IT spend in 2016, with 32 per cent planning to increase spend by six per cent or more. In addition, over the next year, telcos will invest in analytics tools to improve the customer experience, undertake BSS transformation projects to improve operational efficiency, and optimise network performance, and they will search for more effective delivery models. Ovum analyst and author of the report, Chantel Cary, said the shift has created a need for agile operating models and is driving telco IT trends over the next year. “Particularly, transformation projects aimed at improving the BSS stack will enable restructuring of tariff systems, adding billing convergence and real-time charging capabilities, and integrating billing systems with customer management systems,” she said. Cary also said it is important to note that, although telcos are increasing their IT spend, they are still very budget-conscious and will strategically undertake IT projects that can provide quick returns on investment. “We also expect to see telcos shift away from the on-premise deployments of IT systems in favor of Cloud delivery models. In fact, 59 per cent of the telcos we spoke to said that they plan to adopt Cloud delivery for at least one of their IT systems in 2016,” Cary said.