What can CSPs do to stay competitive? This article is from our new research report, Digital Transformation Tracker 1: The race is on. The Forum surveyed 185 executives from 93 unique CSPs operating in 64 countries, and 175 executives from 75 unique supplier companies and conducted dozens of follow-up interviews.
Digital transformation is not easy, but it is necessary to remain competitive and deliver the kinds of service customers are demanding. CSPs that have not embarked on transformation programs should begin planning them as soon as possible. Those who are in the process should accelerate their programs. Following are some steps operators can take to ensure success:
Lead from the top
Without the support of top management, transformation cannot succeed. Ensure there is complete clarity across the whole organization about what digital transformation means. This should include a vision for the future business without necessarily articulating specific services and business models that may (or may not) shape future commercial strategies. Repeat the goals of transformation at every possible opportunity and ensure that it provides a context for decision-making at all levels.
Learn from failure
Bring in external, independent experts to investigate why previous attempts at transformation have failed, and ensure that measures to address such failures are included in current transformation initiatives.
Create and publicize short-term milestones and goals within your organization to ensure that digital transformation has relevance to near-term budgets and decision-making.
Integrate CIO and CTO functions
The true benefits of network transformation, namely agility, will be possible only with the right IT systems to support automation and real-time customer experiences.
Use a model
Produce an internal audit of digital maturity within the organization, ideally using a tool such as TM Forum’s Digital Maturity Model.
Develop the right culture
Make sure digital transformation initiatives are embraced, owned and managed by teams throughout the organization. Offer training, redeployment or a route out of the organization to enable transformation to a digital business.
CSPs should move away from a buyer-seller approach to technology. Review cost allocations across CapEx, OpEx and cost of sale with the aim of making purchasing decisions closer to customer functions.
Keep shareholders informed
Urge shareholders to keep up the pressure and remind you of what you have committed to in your transformation program. Do not be afraid to tell shareholders about the short-term costs – and potentially, short-term revenue implications – of placing customer experience at the heart of decision-making.
Adopt simplicity as a mantra
Operators must strive for simplicity throughout the entire organization, both in terms of product offerings and how you communicate their value to customers.
Build sophisticated internal metrics to measure the progress of digital transformation (agility, operational excellence, customer satisfaction, usage), and use them to track progress across all departments and product divisions.