The 2020 Prediction That Should Have Changed Already

Forecasting is a cornerstone of the business world, but I made only one prediction for 2019 that mattered: that IP networks will demand a complete overhaul of telecoms risk management. The same prediction applies to 2020, indicating that not enough was accomplished during the previous 12 months.

These are some of the issues that flow from IP networks, as described in an article written one year ago.

Lower costs make it easier and more attractive to engage in anti-social and criminal activities, and to evade prosecution by doing it across international borders. Weaknesses in SS7 have been readily exploited by bad actors, so it was inevitable that some would also seek to abuse the next generation of signaling technology. Phone calls have been supplanted by new and cheaper ways for people to communicate, sometimes with many other people at the same time, creating the potential for new types of social problems.

During 2019:

  • Wangiri fraud received unprecedented press coverage worldwide;
  • US telcos exhibited slow progress with reducing CLI spoofing, and with reducing robocalls more generally, despite the huge number of complaints they generate;
  • Some theorized that STIR/SHAKEN will be adopted all around the world, but there was little evidence to support that conjecture;
  • RAG’s survey of leakage coverage revealed that many forms of assurance were neglected, despite the widespread rebranding of revenue assurance as business assurance;
  • The people who like to survey fraud losses said that the losses were even worse than before, though their questions had hardly changed;
  • Voice revenues continued to decline; and
  • Leadership in the management of 5G risks was notable by its absence.

As each day passes we are left with less time to adapt. Those who are unwilling or unable to change are in danger of becoming irrelevant.

What was true a year ago is still true today. Risk management faces a bleak future if the discipline does not respond to changes in the environment. Whilst risk managers often make predictions in order to determine how to best mitigate the risks their businesses face, a forecast is worthless if we are too paralyzed to respond to challenges that already lie in plain view. If you did not begin reinventing your job during 2019, then start reinventing it today, or plan to apply for a new one.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.