A leading global telco’s journey from “doing digital” to “being digital”

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Achieving growth through the transition to “being digital” and customer obsessed

With rising customer expectations, pressures to improve efficiency of processes and increasing competition, many organisations are facing the need to disrupt themselves to not only keep up, but stay one step ahead. These factors can create an exciting opportunity to undertake an enterprise-wide transformation to be customer-focused and improve the approach to digital. However, as Ernst & Young LLP recently identified when working with a leading global telco, the ability to undertake this transformation and achieve new growth ambitions can be very easily restricted by not having the necessary mechanisms or capabilities in place to quickly deliver digital and customer-focused change.

Embarking on the journey, EY teams worked with the client to provide a broad, customer-focused and iterative design for the future. The transformation involved providing increased business outcomes to build sustainable digital capability, transforming the culture and establishing a digital portfolio office to “own digital”.

Aligning to these outcomes, EY supported the client across a 12-week engagement, to deliver three main objectives:

  1. Define and launch a digital portfolio office “hub” to be the single interface for managing digital transformation
  2. Establish a digital “accelerator” to deliver better business outcomes using cross-functional ”squads” while adopting agile ways of working
  3. Create an agile “centre of excellence support unit” to grow sustainable capability from within

Establishing a home for digital

Like many enterprises, the client faced competing directions, siloed delivery and a lack of standards and governance which created barriers to coordinating digital in a seamless, frictionless way. Identifying this challenge, EY helped the client design and launch a digital portfolio office “hub” to set the vision, define the KPIs, manage all digital change, and establish a home for digital in the enterprise organisation.

The hub acted as the “front door” for all aspects of digital change, including the design and execution of portfolio delivery in a consistent way across the organisation. Key activities included:

  • Setting a single, consistent vision to be delivered through prioritised digital initiatives
  • Designing and implementing a light-touch, robust governance model to manage the portfolio
  • Establishing criteria and outcome-driven KPIs to measure and optimise the organisation’s digital maturity
  • Creating empowered self-directed teams focused on co-creation and collaborative problem solving

Teaming to provide better and increased business outcomes

The scale of many enterprises means that it can be hard to orchestrate and deliver quality outcomes at speed with issues of unclear ownership of problems and a siloed operating model and culture. EY highlighted the challenge this creates with preventing customer focus and pivoting toward digital and agile. An overhaul needed to happen. Providing better and increased business outcomes would only be possible if consistent focus was paid towards establishing the right culture and high-performing teams.

To address this, EY helped the client activate three cross-functional teams who were trained, coached and operating in agile – “squads.” The EY approach was based on the principle of creating the right squads in the right environment to help deliver better and increased business outcomes, rather than focusing on volume of outputs or number of squads.

“A positive change in terms of… an environment of trust which promotes greater creative thinking and sharing of ideas, experience and skills.” Squad product owner

Alongside this, EY designed and supported implementation of an agile centre of excellence support unit – digital “accelerator” – that provided a consistent framework for identifying, activating, supporting and governing these squads with a focus on data-driven and customer-led decision-making. This included defining and establishing an operating blueprint that laid the foundation for scale.

Assets to operationalise the digital transformation

To help the client continue their journey toward digital transformation and the delivery of better and increased business outcomes, EY teams developed a series of assets. These include frameworks, approaches and tools to continue to operationalise the digital enterprise in a sustainable way. This meant that the client could continue along their transformation after the initial twelve-week project.

Raising the bar in the enterprise

Businesses, particularly enterprises, struggle to “do” and “be” digital to achieve broad transformation. EY’s approach meant that the client had a clear vision across the whole organisation for their digital future and identification of the barriers and challenges right from the start. The digital “accelerator” acted as a mechanism to test a new agile operating model and prioritise and incubate transformation initiatives to help sustainable, customer-focused change. And with the squads continuing to provide better business outcomes, this journey will continue.

“The approach we took allowed us to drive broad change and re-orient the discussion and action plan to be about outcomes enabled by digital, rather than ‘digital’ being the rationale for change. Through the “accelerator” we were also able to incubate the build of client capability and confidence to take this forward on their own in a sustainable way.”

Pippa Dussuyer | EY Seren Director and Service Design Practice Lead

“A delivery mindset, coupled with their professionalism, has transformed our perception of EY… They had a total understanding of how to approach the problem to deliver the outcomes we needed.”

Head of Digital