Step 2: Engage and empower the workforce as agents of change
To transform successfully, telcos need to leverage the most powerful change lever at their disposal — their own workforce. This means ensuring they take their people with them on the journey and begin taking actions to create a more cohesive workforce that collaborates across age-old organizational barriers — including those between IT and the business.
To achieve all this, and drive transformation at the necessary scale, engaging process owners is critical. Instilling a greater sense of ownership of change among them by more clearly articulating roles and responsibilities around digitization is important.
A renewed sense of purpose among process owners will also support relatively new leadership roles, such as that of a chief digital officer, that are designed to broaden organizational commitment to transformation.
At the same time, telcos need to do more to break down silos. Trust between business units is often lacking, and sustaining collaboration between product development, marketing and IT remains challenging.
Also, centralization strategies remain in flux, making it more complicated to create and apply a consistent transformation agenda across geographies. All of these internal barriers need to be tackled through a new mindset, roles and ways of working.
Step 3: Extend AI and automation efforts well beyond the customer
Telcos’ current use of AI or analytics and automation is weighted heavily toward optimizing the customer experience. However, use cases for AI in areas, such as networks and security, where they’re currently less advanced, would benefit from greater focus going forward.
This will require a shift in investment priorities and telcos should also take into account that AI and machine learning have an important role to play in supporting new business models, through capabilities such as such as network slicing for enterprise customers.
Step 4: Revisit and refresh your digital transformation fundamentals
If telcos are to maximize long-term value creation in the evolving landscape that we’ve described, it will be essential for them to have an agile transformation road map — one based on fundamentals that they would need to revisit and refresh continually to stay abreast of developments and ahead of competitors. Nearly all operators in our study agree that they require a step-change in agility levels in order to maximize their digital transformation journey.