5 minute read 1 Mar 2019
Man surfing sea against clear sky

How TMT companies can catch the next wave when future markets don’t yet exist

By

Greg Cudahy

EY Global Technology, Media & Entertainment and Telecommunications (TMT) Sector Leader

Years of experience in global operations transformation, price and revenue optimization, sourcing, integrated planning, supply chain synchronization and collaborative applications.

5 minute read 1 Mar 2019

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To thrive in an increasingly connected world businesses need to transform into adaptive digital enterprises.

Against a backdrop of profound disruption and uncertainty, companies are wrestling with the challenge of knowing what the future will look like and the impact it will have. The dilemma is arguably greatest for companies in the technology, media & entertainment and telecommunications (TMT) sector, which is spearheading disruption on the one hand while being exposed to new entrant disruptors on the other. To add to this pressure, 5G cellular technology is set to unlock new business models and nearly endless possibilities for TMT companies – not least by enabling the internet to reach more places and people than ever before.

To thrive in an increasingly connected world, TMT companies need to capitalize on 5G technology and other advanced innovations, including artificial intelligence, blockchain, the cloud and robotic process automation. To succeed, they will need to use these technologies in bold new ways, integrating them into platforms that provide a basis for robust and swift decision-making. We don’t know which products and markets will exist in future, but that doesn’t matter. Success will not rest on knowing which products we are going to sell, and to which customers, in 10 years’ time. It will rest on the power of flexible platforms that allow businesses to transform into adaptive digital enterprises that can respond to unforeseen market opportunities.

Success will rest on the power of flexible platforms that allow businesses to transform into adaptive digital enterprises that can respond to unforeseen market opportunities.

In the unpredictable world of tomorrow, we believe that market leading TMT companies must:

  • Understand the market and operational sensitivities of their business models
  • Equip themselves to instantly and accurately read their markets and react when necessary in real time
  • Use interactive platforms and ecosystems that enable them to marshal their resources for continuous iteration in response to ever-changing customer demands

Adapting business models to market sensitivities

A pertinent example of market sensitivity is the impact of shifting customer demographics on content and channel strategies within the media and entertainment space. A recent EY study highlights the need for companies to accommodate the preferences of the increasingly tech-savvy baby boomer generation, which has a high disposable income and tends to be more loyal than younger generations. To achieve this, companies will need to adopt a data-driven approach that enables them to understand how older generations are using technology, so that they can create personalized experiences across the right channels and unlock huge opportunities for growth.

Real-time responsiveness

There are a host of new and emerging tools that can enable TMT companies to instantly and accurately read their markets. Harnessing data from social media platforms is an obvious example, and more innovative tools are set to follow in the future. It is critical that companies make use of the technologies we now have at our disposal. One emerging area of opportunity is conversational commerce whereby companies can use bots and other automated chat programs to engage with consumers via messaging platforms. Conversational commerce can be a great way to bring a brand to consumers, and to build a personalized, trusted, two-way relationship over the long-term. 

Transformation demands continuous iteration

There is no end point to transformation. It is an ongoing process that requires continuous iteration, in response to ever-changing customer demands. Those TMT companies that grasp this have already adjusted their business and technology strategies accordingly. For example, some are using intelligent automation (IA) to transform their back-office operations into future-ready global business support centers. These IA tools are set to evolve even further as they improve their ability to mirror human intelligence and undertake more complex analysis, budgeting, decision-making and planning. Companies will become more agile and quicker to market and be able to serve their customers better and faster.

There is no end point to transformation. It is an ongoing process that requires continuous iteration, in response to ever-changing in customer demands.

The next wave of industry

We do not know which companies will be the TMT giants of tomorrow, in fact, they may not even exist today. However, one thing we can be pretty sure of is that they will be adaptive digital enterprises that are predisposed to react to changing customer behaviors and ready to seize market opportunities. For them, planning will be a fluid process and they will cultivate ‘plug-and-play’ operating strategies that let them switch gears at a moment’s notice. They will also draw on expansive ecosystems and advanced technologies that allow them to make impactful business decisions in just the right place, at just the right time.

How do you get to next before next gets to you? Join EY to discuss how disruptive technologies will help businesses ride the next wave of future industry at MWC Barcelona 2019 – from 25 – 28 February. Join the debate using #NextWave, #BetterQuestions and #MWC19.

Summary

What will differentiate the most successful TMT companies of the future? The chances are, it won’t be products or markets. It will be agility and speed.

About this article

By

Greg Cudahy

EY Global Technology, Media & Entertainment and Telecommunications (TMT) Sector Leader

Years of experience in global operations transformation, price and revenue optimization, sourcing, integrated planning, supply chain synchronization and collaborative applications.