TM Forum launches Digital Maturity Model to accelerate industry digital transformation

TM Forum today announced the launch of its Digital Maturity Model (DMM) – a new tool that allows communications service providers (CSPs) to assess their digital maturity and plan their digital transformation across their entire organization. The model has already been endorsed by leading CSPs including BT, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Orange, PCCW Global and Vodafone as well as management consultancies and suppliers including Amdocs, BearingPoint, Deloitte, Detecon, Huawei, Tata Consultancy Services and The GC Index.

As core services become commoditized, CSPs are desperately searching for new digital services and revenues in order to grow. To realize the opportunity, CSPs must completely transform traditional business and operating models, cultures and infrastructures. Without a coherent view of their destination, starting point and pathway, building and executing a successful digital transformation strategy is challenging, time consuming and prone to failure. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by TM Forum, 54 percent of CSPs revealed that their previous attempts at transformation had been unsuccessful, highlighting the urgent need for a robust methodology to help leaders guide and manage change on an enterprise-wide basis.

In collaboration with the world’s leading CSPs, management consultancies and suppliers, TM Forum identified the need for an industry-agreed Digital Maturity Model, metrics and methodology to meet this challenge. By bringing together and crowdsourcing expertise and models from across the global communications industry, TM Forum has created a ‘living’ maturity model and set of metrics that will evolve with the industry and help companies measure their true digital maturity.

Holistic transformation

“In order to survive and thrive in the digital market, service providers are embarking on complex and demanding digital transformation journeys,” said Nik Willetts, CEO, TM Forum. “To be successful, these transformation programs require much more than embracing new technologies or ways to interact with our customers – they demand strong leadership and holistic transformation of the entire business, fundamentally redefining how the business operates. The launch of the Digital Maturity Model is an example of our transformation mantra and showcases how TM Forum is taking our members on the journey, providing the tools, guidance and expertise to drive successful digital transformation. TM Forum would like to recognize all of the members that have contributed, especially Deloitte for leading the collaboration and project management and Huawei for initiating the concept and resourcing the project.”

TM Forum’s DMM considers maturity across five key dimensions, each containing an extensive set of sub-dimensions, questions and metrics to assess digital maturity across the business. Accessed through an easy-to-use App, TM Forum members can assess their digital maturity across every department and rapidly identify areas for action unique to their businesses. The dimensions and definitions for the model are:

  • Customer – Providing an experience where customers view the organization as their digital partner using their preferred channels of interaction to control their connected future online and offline
  • Strategy – Focuses on how the business operates or transforms to increase its competitive advantage through digital initiatives which are embedded within the overall business strategy
  • Technology – Underpins the success of digital strategy by helping to create, process, store, secure and exchange data to meet the needs of customers at low cost and low overheads
  • Operations – Executing and evolving processes and tasks by utilizing digital technologies to drive strategic management and enhance business efficiency and effectiveness
  • Culture, People and Organization – Defining and developing an organizational culture with governance and talent processes to support progress along the digital maturity curve and the flexibility to achieve growth and innovation objectives

By asking stakeholders across an entire organization to assess the company’s maturity in each of these areas, CSPs can identify where improvement is needed and where investment priorities lie. The model has the flexibility to account for differences in CSPs’ visions, strategies and business imperatives, and can be applied to help develop a roadmap to guide their digital transformation journey.

“Successful digital transformation requires the direct involvement and support of the CEO for a process that’s going to impact the whole organization,” said David Pleasance, Chairman, TM Forum. “Through the exceptional collaborative work of many TM Forum members, the Digital Maturity Model allows service providers to assess all dimensions and departments of their organization through a structured approach that is unique to them. Without industry-agreed best practices and guidelines, real transformation becomes all the more challenging.”

Additional details about TM Forum’s Digital Maturity model can be found at

What CSPs say

  • “Using the collaborative power of TM Forum, and working with a number of our fellow members, BT has helped develop an industry standard Digital Maturity Model. This model enables organizations to assess their current digital capability and identify areas where they have deficiencies that will enable them to prepare for their own digital transformation journey.” (George Glass, Chief Systems Architect, BT)
  • “The digital transformation of the industry is already coming. TM Forum’s Digital Maturity Model will be very helpful to tell CSPs where we are and how we are on this way. Then we can make the right decisions and right measures on our way forward.” (Wang Ye, Vice Director of OSS Department, China Mobile Group)
  • “The industry is ever transforming. We are happy to endorse TM Forum’s Digital Maturity Model as this model will bring tremendous benefits to the industry in helping operators to set up proper benchmarking to assess their digital maturity level through different dimensions in terms of strategy, customer, operations, technology and culture.” (Wang Guirong, Director of Planning and Standardization Division, Corporate IT Department, China Telecom Group)
  • “China Unicom has been on the way of digital translation in the areas of network, business, services, IT Architecture, Culture and HR in recent years. Along with the era of 5G and IoT, China Unicom will accelerate its transformation journey to support Digital Operations Transformation. We are happy to see TM Forum, as a leading industry association, proposing the Digital Maturity Model [DMM] based on long-term collaboration with industry players and believe that the DMM will provide the benchmarking guidance for the industry and help the industry transform. We will continue to work with TM Forum closely on the DMM and contribute to the industry together.” (Liu Haizhou, Director of IT Planning Division, IT Department, China Unicom Group)
  • “In Orange, we are proud and happy to contribute to the definition of the TM Forum Digital Maturity Model within our business and IT excellence initiatives. We expect to use this tool to assess and benchmark our digital maturity in our various operations. The whole industry will benefit from it.” (Laurent LeBoucher, VP APIs & Digital Ecosystems, Orange)
  • “Vodafone sees great value in the work being done through TM Forum on Digital Transformation. The Digital Maturity Model builds on the common vocabulary already provided through Frameworx and we see it as a valuable resource to guide member companies through their Digital Transformation.” (Lester Thomas, Chief IT Systems Architect, Vodafone)


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