Recently, it was discovered in one company that their co-location provider was prepared for the a-bomb, but could not handle as simple thing as a disk failure, and those started happening again and again. In the result, a number of options was investigated, and one new provider turned out to be very promising in the area of technical capabilities. It all looked great, except... financial analysis.
This is not a standard procedure, but if you happen to be a regulated business, and every provider change is a substantial legal, organizational and financial cost, you do not want to change your providers to often. So you care about good financial shape of your potential providers.
However, the provider report for the third quarter of 2014 said that their operating profit was 18% down compared to previous year. This is not a disaster, but a serious warning sign, and further investigation was required, as they are *the* network operator that every IT student wanted to be connected to in the past 20 years.
The report looks quite reasonable - it basically says "we have problems but we can cope with it". Without mapping you can trust it or not. You guess.
But once you map their situation you know they will not cope. They are focused on maintaining a business model that made them shine once, but right now it belongs to the past and is going to kill them. They did not adapt to changing environment.
Let's start with their second income source - data transmission. It is a service that lets you to rent a fast line between two places and transfer any amount of data between two points connected to their network. They say they connect new business locations in order to be available for more customers and that they have problems with getting new customers. Let's put the entire context on a map:
This battle is lost, and the data transmission service was a huge thing in the era of custom server rooms, it is going to be forgotten together with those rooms.
Let's look at their another income source, the Internet access for consumers:
Let's leave network related stuff and quickly move to the third revenue stream, which is claimed to be the biggest one - which are data center services, a.k.a. co-location services.
The lost chance
But it continues maintaining its business model that was successful in the past, and therefore is slowly going into oblivion.
They should do everything to get the revenue from their data centers - which still are a valuable asset. The cloud race is claimed to be over, however, there are many regulated companies which cannot adopt cloud, at least in EU (f.e. because of personal data protection, local inspection requirements, etc.). This might be their chance. They should invest in their own servers, join the PaaS train in order to fully utilize their data centers and then help their customers adopt cloud.
Are there other options? Quite possibly yes, but it would be necessary to make more detailed maps from within the company to find them.
Do you still wonder whether mapping is useful? Just a couple of sketches, and you suddenly are able to understand the entire market movement, so I have no doubts that you want to learn it if you do not know it already. Getting a mapping book is a very good first step!