The emergence of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) casts doubts on existing data governance strategies and cyber-resilience in the telco industry. An underestimation of the changing imperatives in privacy, security and trust in the telecommunications industry emerges as the top risk of telcos in 2023, according to the annual EY report, Top 10 risks in telecommunications.
The top 10 risks in the telco sector included in the report are insufficient response to customers during the cost-of-living crisis, inadequate talent and skills management, poor management of the sustainability agenda, and failure to take advantage of new business models. There are also risks of having inadequate network quality and value proposition, failure to improve workforce culture and ways of working. ineffective engagement with external ecosystems, inability to adapt to the changing regulatory landscape and failure to maximize value of infrastructure assets.
The CEO Outlook January 2024 on transformation strategy revealed that 68% of telco respondents say they are not doing enough to manage the consequences of AI. Around 74% believe they need to do more to mitigate against cyber criminals using AI to launch their attacks.
“As telcos in ASEAN escalate their investments in AI, laying a robust foundation for data governance from the outset becomes imperative to strategically navigate risks and ensure a secure and forward-looking digital future," Joongshik Wang, EY ASEAN Technology, Media & Entertainment and Telecommunications Sector Market Segment leader, says:
Attracting and retaining talent
With the emergence of new technologies, the talent and skills gap continue to widen, debuting in third position in the list of the top risks in telecommunications.
"As telcos increasingly embrace emerging technologies for the future, the significance of acquiring digital talent and making investments in upskilling and reskilling becomes even more pronounced. In comparison with developed nations, telco operators in ASEAN encounter greater challenges when it comes to recruiting skilled personnel due to a scarcity of highly talented resources,” says Wang.