IBM tips to telecoms to drive business in digital world

Telecom jobStrategists from IBM iX, a global consulting agency, have revealed recommendations to telecoms and media companies to drive business in a digital world.

The strategy-based recommendations are based on key inputs from more than 25 executives from telecoms and media companies, who gathered at the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2017) to discuss the challenges, opportunities and solutions for reinventing their businesses in a digital world.

“The discussions validated a rapidly changing world where customer expectations are on the rise, traditional customer relationships are changing hands and the demand for data drives massive investments in their networks,” said Brian Love, associate partner, IBM iX.

Digital Orchestration

While the majority of companies have developed digital initiatives, few felt they were maximizing their investments. Most have disparate efforts working under the CIO, CMO and various business unit leaders, and find that these efforts often conflicted with one another.

Telecoms need to find ways to better orchestrate these efforts to remain aligned to one another, and to the overarching digital strategy. These efforts must be sponsored from top-down, starting with the CEO.

IT / Business Alignment

Businesses face a divide between the technology organization and the business. The success of new innovative, customer-centered business strategies require CIOs to provide the technology to execute – operating otherwise can cause innovations to stall. Business and IT planning must coordinate to ensure that investment in the platforms and employee tools support the customer experiences the businesses envisions.

Talent Reinvention

Participants indicated that only 30-50 percent of their workforce were prepared for their digital future. Telcos require significant retraining or refreshing of personnel capabilities, while tomorrow’s employees will need new digital-savvy that must fluidly be incorporated into team environments. In response, companies must be customer-focused, agile in approach and iterative in delivery. Difficult decisions may be required to position a team for future competition.

Innovation Through New Businesses

Many of the executives report that existing corporate structures impair innovation. The pressures of maintaining their business frequently impede their ability to invest in innovation. To handle current and future disruptions, companies must consider creating new entities and / or companies to drive their innovation agenda.

Smaller, more nimble up-start companies are more likely to have the freedom to experiment, evaluate new partnerships and offer differentiated measures of success and incentives. Incumbent companies must identify unique, proprietary resources and expertise, and innovate with institutional competitive advantages.