Sifting Through Hype and Technology Fads

The world of telecom is a whirlwind of innovation. We are constantly introduced to new technologies, which is exciting, but it can become tricky to differentiate between fleeting fads and transformative advancements in tech.

As a leader in the telecom field, especially as a CTO, honing your skills to spot impactful emerging technologies is crucial in guiding your decisions on whether or not to consider such technologies in your strategic projects and investments.

Spotting lasting trends in tech can be tricky, so we’re sharing a simple criterion that you can apply or build on to achieve that. We’ve also included additional tips at the end of the article to help you hone your trend-spotting skills.


The key to identifying lasting trends lies in understanding the problems they solve. Are they gimmicks/ shiny objects offering a temporary thrill/ fix OR do they address a fundamental need with significant improvements over existing solutions? Cloud computing applications and approaches, such as Cloud Native Telco, are perfect examples of the latter.


Technologies that exist in isolation (i.e., don’t integrate well with existing technologies) are more likely to be fads. The ability of a new advancement to seamlessly connect with current infrastructure and its potential for future development are strong indicators of its staying power. Artificial Intelligence (AI) exemplifies this concept as it is being woven into many aspects of how telecoms will operate, from customer interactions & experience to operations, maintenance, and beyond. Check out this catalyst project about harnessing GenAI’s business value for operations transformation.


If you are not sure, you can always wait and observe how the new technology performs. Fads come on strong, but their flame flickers out quickly. Lasting trends, on the other hand, exhibit staying power. They evolve and adapt over time, offering increasing value to their adopters. The smartphone is a prime example. From basic communication to a pocket computer, it has fundamentally transformed the communications industry.

Here are some ways to further hone your trend-spotting abilities:

  • Stay curious: Attend industry conferences such as DTW – Ignite (in Copenhagen)  and DTWA – Innovate (in Bangkok) to keep up with emerging technologies in the world of telecom and digital services. TM Forum’s Inform is also another great resource for you to stay up-to-date.
  • Seek diverse perspectives: Talk to experts (internally and externally) and early adopters to understand real-world applications of emerging technologies. Again, the resources listed in the point above will help you access and learn from the experiences of 800+ telecoms worldwide.
  • Experiment: Don’t be afraid to pilot small-scale projects internally to test the impact of emerging technologies or to simply understand how they work. One alternative way to do that is by following or joining TM Forum’s catalyst projects in the telecom domain to expedite your learning and innovation.
Share this article