Do your fireworks deliver value?

The journey to digital transformation is all about harmony and orchestration, according to TM Forum’s Chairman, David Pleasance. He opened the conference at the Smart City InFocus event in Yinchuan, China, saying that the Smart City Awards presented the evening before demonstrated how fast things are progressing.

He said that digital transformation is a challenge for two reasons – it is highly complex and it needs to be fast: “It requires the public and private sectors to think differently about how to serve customers and citizens, and it touches everyone in those organizations”.

Pleasance continued, “Pace is critical – organizations need to keep pace with the market and collaboration is what enables organizations to deal with these dual challenges of complexity and pace”.

He explained that collaboration applies in multiple ways – including working with customers and citizens, in ecosystems and within organizations – but it is often much more difficult than people realize. Pleasance stated: “There has to be discipline between organizations about how they interact, this includes how they share infrastructure and their relationships.”

Fireworks and ecosystems

Referring to the spectacular firework display put on by the City of Yinchuan the previous evening as the finale to a splendid gala dinner amidst a wildflower meadow, he said, “What went into last night’s display was a lot of machines launching fireworks at the same time and in different directions, but all synchronized and to music – there was harmony.

“That is a very interesting analogy between the amazingly well coordinated firework display and digital ecosystems, because in ecosystems, companies need collaboration with multiple moving parts. Careful orchestration is essential for all parties to come together, in harmony, to achieve common goals and produce the best experience for the customer.”

He alluded to the Smart City Maturity Model and its potential as an accelerator, and concluded, “I’d like to leave you with two challenges as we think about collaboration to build ecosystems. The first is how are we creating value for our customers? Do we have a clear line of sight to that, whether commercial or social? Secondly, how do we scale that value through the connections of ecosystems? How do we innovate, leverage data, and derive insights from data to create value for citizens and customers?”

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing insights gained from TM Forum Smart City InFocus that attempt to answer those questions.


    About The Author

    Snr Director, Research & Media

    Annie Turner has been researching and writing about the communications industry since the 1980s, editing magazines dedicated to the subject including titles published by Thomson International and The Economist Group. She has contributed articles to many publications, including national and international newspapers such as the Financial Times and International Herald Tribune, and a multitude of business-to-business titles. She joined the TM Forum in 2010 and is responsible for overseeing the content of the Research and Publications portfolio.

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