Alita Wong, Head of Marketing, APAC, Amdocs
Intensifying consumer and business behavioral changes, fast emerging new technologies, and competition from other players are challenging service providers’ core business. The threat from new age digital over the top players such as Google, Netflix, Viber is already here. Customer expectations and experiences are being redefined by players like Amazon, eBay, and Uber. In the digital age, people expect everything instantly, on one tap on their smart devices. Today’s consumers are adopting everything digital, and the communications industry is a laggard in embracing the digital revolution. A recent IDC survey, commissioned by Amdocs, shows that 76% of senior telecom management in APAC believes that the communications industry will be outpaced by non-telecom competitors in the future. 33% of service providers in APAC still do not have a clear digital strategy in place. Moreover, even if they do have a digital strategy, 85% of them are still executing digital transformation projects as stand-alone initiatives without any alignment to a broader technology roadmap or business strategy. And almost half of the C suite decision makers, who were surveyed, think that digital transformation will take more than 5 years.
Apart from a lack of a clear digital strategy, there are other critical challenges that can slow down or derail their digital transformation journey. These include low adoption rates of digital channels—readiness for online or social channels; multi-vendor systems environment leading to silo based approach making change difficult, too many manual process, and legacy systems and process, which holds back progress.
Steps For Telecom Companies to Foster Growth
They need to quickly go digital to capture the opportunities offered by digital disruption—enabling them to offer new services, diversify their businesses, improve customer experience, and quickly innovate to meet evolving customer expectations. In order to achieve digital success service providers must–
- Operate across digital dimensions to provide personalized and omni-channel customer experiences. Digital transformation would allow service providers the ability to ensure a consistent, personalized experience across channels and allow consumer to hop from one channel to other without re-navigating their order or queries from the beginning.Today’s consumers, such as millennials, prefer online interactions rather than annoying customer care calls. Engaging with customers in multiple digital dimensions opens a whole new world of contexts in which the service provider can interact with their customers.
- Create a more diversified business to capture new revenue streams. Digital transformation provides the opportunity to diversify and tap additional revenue streams, ranging from new offerings such as entertainment services, to multi-play bundles, mobile financial services, as well as explore new customer segments.
- Become a data-empowered organization to make business and operational decisions based on insights and predictive analytics. Analyzing the network experience in real time, and exposing it to the business and customer care people inside the service provider is a step change in how service providers can leverage real-time data to proactively interact with customers.
- Achieve service agility to accelerate the rollout of new technologies and hybrid network service. Software automation and orchestration are needed to help service providers become more agile so they can innovate and get to market faster. With improved service agility, service providers can launch new services in weeks, rather than months, putting them on the same level as over the-top (OTT) competitors such as Google, Facebook and Amazon, introducing offerings in just a few weeks versus the lengthy launch cycles faced by service provider.
Transforming Role of the CXO’s
Over the years, we have witnessed a massive change pertaining to the role of CXOs depending on the organization, the industry, the business strategies, the prevailing market conditions and the financial climate in terms of business value.
The CXOs’ role in the communications industry is evolving to meet the new threats and challenges faced by the industry. The digital disruption is forcing CXOs to change their management style to remain relevant and successful.They need to radically renew their approach, aligning themselves to the needs of the macro changes that are happening today. The CXOs must be an innovator who can quickly respond to market changes, take risks to embrace the digital wave, and drive innovation within her/his organizations.
With digital disruption impacting the industry and customer experience becoming the key differentiator—the need for a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) is becoming critical for driving digital strategy. According to the IDC survey, 90% of the C-suite respondents in APAC, think that they need a CDO to lead and drive digital transformation, whereas only 29% of the organizations have a CDO in place. Service providers globally are concerned about customer experience; however, they lack the expertise, skills, and leadership to successfully drive digital strategy to improve customer experience, and meet the customer experience benchmarks being set by the Ubers, Amazons and Netflixes of the world. A CDO fills that gap.