The drive for transformation in the telco industry is coming from many directions, but it’s all pointing toward one goal: the need for telcos to become digital-first service providers. Telcos must adapt strategies for growth to effectively respond to economic pressures, highly competitive marketplaces, geopolitical forces, and supply-chain challenges.
Pressures are also mounting from discerning customers across consumer, enterprise, and wholesale segments based on increasing levels of sophistication in purchasing behaviors and preferences for digital services. Increasingly high customer acquisition and retention costs underscore the need for a nimble and data-driven business strategy to stay competitive. Additionally, addressing industry-specific security and compliance regulations in a complex digital ecosystem needs enhanced measures to avoid significant fines and reputational damage from security breaches and non-compliance.
To operate efficiently and be laser-focused on customer needs, telcos require more meaningful data by efficiently processing the massive amounts of raw data scattered and fragmented across disparate systems.
The answer lies in contextualizing data.
Data needs to be seen in context to help drive faster and more intelligent decision-making. With Decision Intelligence, telcos can bridge the gap between assuming customers’ wants and needs, and knowing specifically what their needs are and when they’re needed. This level of knowledge and confidence starts with trusted data, which empowers organizations to make effective decisions to meet business needs.
All digital transformation projects need the right data to effectively drive business growth. Telco leaders need to confidently empower employees to use high-quality data to uncover more growth opportunities, optimize processes, and gain greater awareness of issues that may impact regulatory compliance.
Change and challenges
Telecommunications has an indispensable role in society and business. However, this pivotal position also presents challenges for the industry, which fall under three broad themes:
Economic. The telco industry is in the midst of a shift from selling products to selling services wrapped with data-driven experiences that deliver value to their customers. To successfully make this transition, telcos must do more than sell commoditized technology-oriented products and focus on marketing solutions with clear outcomes. Such evolutions are highly beneficial economically: When organizations are data-driven, they can simultaneously ensure business growth and reduce customer acquisition costs.
Merger-and-acquisition activities also impact telco competitiveness. Though many mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures are considered the best way to accelerate transformation, they often result in complex challenges for telcos to navigate.
Compliance. Digital connectivity is essential to how today’s society and businesses function. Validating the authenticity of customers and suppliers, and ensuring that vulnerable customers are supported is a complex process to manage within stringent regulatory frameworks.
There is a delicate balancing act between treating all customers fairly and combating fraudulent activity. In countries where telcos operate a mobile payment/wallet platform, money-laundering issues require greater vigilance on a global scale, especially as financial regulation increasingly impacts telcos.
Infrastructure. Telcos will spend at least $200 million per year on their journey to the cloud over the next three to five years. Modernizing infrastructure is critical for telcos to innovate and maintain relevance in a digital age by opening up new opportunities enabled by data, analytics, and the use of AI. Telcos’ operating models must evolve into a more digital and automated way of working to create value at pace but they will need to overcome the existing challenges with fragmented data. There are signs that cloud data volumes and associated costs are soaring, but the benefits are not yet being realized.
How telcos can put Decision Intelligence to work
Fragmented and poor-quality data impedes many telcos from being able to make decisions that drive revenue, reduce risk, and attract and retain customers. With the ability to connect siloed data across their organizations, telcos can create a single, contextual view of data that can be used for these purposes:
Grow EBIT through new revenue
Enhance customer experience
Reduce the OPEX bill
Mitigate commercial risk
Eliminate legacy burden and data silos
It is vital that we ensure we’ve got the systems, tools, and the data that together join the dots and make sure that we can get the full contextual picture of our customers. The use of AI is a step change in understanding our customers and is key for our strategic focus on best-in-class customer experience.
UK Chief Data Officer, Vodafone
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