Value of Engineering Towards ‘Interoperability’

For a telco organisation, adapting to dynamic and agile business requirements is of high strategic importance especially when considering any type of telco software architecture design for solution delivery. In the current competitive environment, CSPs are faced with endless challenges when launching services. For example, shorter window times are now norm when launching new services based on market demand. Fast evolutions in technology and using non-Open standard software in such instances, in turn increases the risk of non-interoperability between systems.

This means that software engineers and developers need to to ensure software architectures are flexible enough and standardised to adapt and react fast when implementing new business solutions or technical requirements. The main aim of standardisation is to enable interoperability in a multi-vendor, multi-network, multi-service environment.

The presence of interoperability then will become a reason for realising solutions quickly in to market and also a reason to ensure organisations are developing solutions that are actually in demand in the market. Flexible software architectures that are build with higher interoperability will therefore will speed up time-to-market and reduce the need for increased development cost for a business.

Let us also look at how software architectures have evolved over the years below to understand the shift in architectures types that has evolved from the more rigid and monolithic types to micro services-based architectures.

Monolithic Architecture

This is a single indivisible unit that provides the enterprise, the scope of software features. This pattern become a legacy architecture, as it is more rigidand costly when considering adaptability the agility of software design.

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)

A service-oriented architecture (SOA) is another software architecture style that refers to an application composed of discrete and loosely coupled software agents that performs the required function.

Micro Services Architecture

Micro Service are a type of service-oriented software architecture that focuses on building a series of autonomous independent components that communicates using APIs.

Serverless Architecture

These are micro services which are further broken down in to “functions” as a service for developers to publish as APIs, and without having to worrying about the server infrastructures, in order to run the code for service execution.

The Demand for Interoperability

Telco operators are on a journey towards rapid digital transformation that involves reducing cost for enabling greater innovation. Open APIs help achieve digital architectures that can work across any sector or . However potential barriers to achieving interoperability are many due to unpredictable, sometimes fragmented, market development (e.g. open network versus walled garden approach, intelligent networks versus dumb networks)

The is however an exponential increase in the use of APIs used to counter these challenges in interoperability between systems, all theway across monolithic software architecture models to micro services.

For a Software vendors the API based architecture model provides a collaborative application development environment where any component can be integrated with any other third-party vendor components using APIs