No one could accuse the telecom sector of being boring -- well, not any more. A few decades ago it made accountancy look interesting but now it's one of the most vibrant and exciting sectors in the world, thanks to developments and trends such as 4G, smartphones, all-IP networks, cloud services, Web applications, the integration of IT and communications systems and software-defined networking (SDN).
The pace of change in the global communications sector is almost unprecedented -- that's what makes this a good time for Light Reading, the market-leading publication for the global telecom community and sister publication to InformationWeek, to change too. We have implemented a community-focused multimedia content strategy that gives a much greater voice to the community's members -- contributed blogs from service provider executives, video and audio features, and enhanced message board activities, for example -- and strengthened the ties between Light Reading's live events and the website, as well as adding a range of new content features (such as infographics) to complement our independent daily news coverage. Light Reading also has a fresh, contemporary new design that highlights our multimedia (video, slide shows) and community-focused features.
We've organized our industry coverage into easy-to-navigate categories that highlight the hottest trends in the communications market, with specific sections focused on hot topics such as 100G Ethernet, packet/optical transport, network functions virtualization (NFV), LTE, next generation fiber broadband and so on. And then there's what we call Service Provider IT (SPIT).
Light Reading was launched in 2000 with a focus on optical networking (hence the name) but quickly evolved to cover the entire spectrum of the global communications industry (fixed, mobile, cable, Web). For years the primary focus was on the physical networks (optical, data, voice, video) and the services that run over them.
But a decade later it was very clear that telecom and IT technologies were becoming increasingly integrated, and not just in the giant infrastructures of Web services giants such as Google and Amazon. Traditional telecom operators were deploying an increasing range of platforms and technologies that would, in the past, have been branded as pure IT, such as applications and policy management servers. At the same time, strategic attention among communications service provider executives had shifted much more towards the benefits to be gained from cutting edge operations and business support software, including real-time charging, analytics and subscriber data management systems.
All of a sudden the IT systems were as important as the physical network infrastructure and Light Reading recognized that with an increasing focus on that trend in our written and video reporting. In short, Light Reading gets IT.
That trend, in turn, heralded a shift in executive roles at the telcos, as we noted in May 2012. (See Meet The New CTO--It's The CIO.) And that trend continues -- IT systems and methodologies are playing an increasingly important role in the networks and strategies of the world's communications service providers. That's why Service Provider IT topics will continue to feature heavily on Light Reading, with specific sections of the site dedicated to cloud enablement technologies, analytics (Big Data) systems, applications acceleration platforms and a host of other topics. Check them out on Light Reading.
Of course, we hope you'll do more than that. As IT and telecom becoming increasingly integrated, so the IT and telecom communities become increasingly integrated also. We absolutely expect that Light Reading's current community members will increasingly look to InformationWeek to help them better understand the trends influencing their daily working lives and engage with the InformationWeek community. Likewise, we welcome you to Light Reading and hope you'll be encouraged to share your insights and views with your telecom sector peers on our message boards.
There's never a dull moment in the telecom sector, but your involvement would make it even more interesting and engaging -- we look forward to hearing from you.
Items from pills to power plants will soon generate billions of data points. How will this movement change your industry? Also in the new, all-digital Here Comes The Internet Of Things issue of InformationWeek: How IT can capitalize on the NSA's big data prowess. (Free registration required.)