The current telecom organizational model is unlikely to survive, as disruption forces telcos to become platform companies offering a range of services from content to software – and everything in between. As they evolve from dumb pipes to digital powerhouses, telecom companies must become internet and/or content-related organizations, but also remain custodians of safe, reliable and powerful networks.
This means they should:
Disruptive technology should be at the top of every telco executive’s ‘to do’ list. They should understand how technologies like D&A, IoT, cognitive and robotics can enhance operations and customer models. If a telco doesn’t have an automated customer interface, it is likely to lose out to others that do. If it hasn’t harnessed IoT and predictive analytics to reduce its level of network outages, it will quickly lose customers in a world where switching is instant. Telecom leaders have to understand the potential of disruption to make big decisions. This means aligning investments with their chosen corporate direction, and making fast, informed decisions on which technologies to adopt – or discard.
Data drives everything, from network operations to procurement, from Finance and Revenue Recognition to marketing and customer service, from content provision to training and development. Sophisticated D&A can transform network operations, by predicting demand and maintenance needs, and detecting faults. Cyber security is becoming ever more important, and D&A can be used to shore up systems and spot attempted breaches.
As an integral part of the infrastructure of private and public institutions and citizens, telecom networks are as important as oxygen, food and water. The core network should be flawless, with immaculate, highly automated processes. IoT, enhanced by advanced analytics and virtual reality, can vastly improve the reliability of networks and help prevent outages, through remote monitoring and analytics. From inventory tracking to heat sensors in sensitive locations, remote site monitoring to intelligent power automation, IoT brings a host of ways to improve the efficiency of operations.
The future is highly uncertain. Even the most successful telecom companies may see their positions undermined by new, disruptive technologies. They therefore need to become less resistant to change, and more open to new business models, in order to develop the agility to quickly take on new opportunities or deal with existential threats. This means creating a disruptive-friendly culture, with staff skilled in all aspects of technology.