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The art of digital transformation

There is a commonality between the rest of the world and the Asia-Pacific (APAC), and it is quite simple. We are seeing the first stages of an exciting era of transformation and growth as operators adopt agile new technologies and launch new services that excite their consumer and enterprise customers. APAC is divided into advanced post-paid markets like Singapore, Australia, Japan and emerging ones like Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and India. To take a closer look at the untapped opportunities and challenges of implementing a digital transformation, we first need to look at the vast differences across the region and how enterprises can best be prepared for the reality we live in today.

APAC: A mosaic of a market

APAC’s digital transformation is not like a two-speed but more like a ten-speed, where within certain regions, you have countries and companies all at various stages (speeds) of their digital.

As we enter an era of accelerated growth, innovation, and collaboration with public cloud/software-as-a-service (SaaS), and 5G infrastructures, traditionally and predominantly, digital maturity continues to grow faster in the more advanced parts of the region like Japan, South Korea, and Australia. Many ‘emerging’ markets are surpassing their developed competitors in the race to digitalization. Singapore is a fitting example as a country that has embraced and prioritized digital transformation as a culture. This allows companies in the country to quickly adapt to emerging technologies like 5G. In some instances, CSG has helped customers transform into digital telcos, like M1 in Singapore.

On the flip side, governments across APAC have been historically slow to digitise due to a lack of financial resources and haven’t kept pace with the digital economy. Many in emerging markets remain dependent on processes like paper printouts that slow workflows, decrease flexibility and weaken security.

If you want to look at a company that sets the stage and gets digital transformation right, look at Telstra. The Australian telco is ahead of the pack in its digital transformation and recently announced its T25 strategy. The goal of this plan is to leverage 5G (artificial intelligence/predictive analysis) technology to enhance their customer experience and drive revenue.

As you can see, a variety of markets and enterprises at completely different stages (speeds) of their digital transformation. The differences between these markets lead me to my next point of what enterprises should expect when completing a digital transformation and the tools, or should I say, patience, that it requires.

Prepare your digital transformation palette

To meet the moment and keep up with a new era of customer expectations and digital tools, enterprises and communication service providers (CSP) alike are keen to pursue new business models. However, they often lack the necessary tools to drive success.

We first need to be honest with each other. A digital transformation does not take place overnight, and it requires a cultural willingness to experiment, adapt, and move forward quickly with new processes. So, let’s not let impatient stakeholders rain on your digital transformation parade and create unattainable deadlines or goals. A digital transformation is a long-term play, meaning enterprises that choose to digitize won’t see a return on their investment immediately. They will have to dig into their pockets and invest. In fact, they may even see a loss in revenue and a churn in customers at first.

With that said, in the medium-term (3-5 years), those who have bought into completing a digital transformation will begin to reap the benefits: attract new customers, increase revenue, and, let’s not forget, deliver better customer experiences. A better customer experience will, in turn, drive brand loyalty and trust.

By digitising, companies will improve their customer experience, which means their customers will choose them over a legacy operator where processes are slow, non-digital and little to no proactive communications take place. The impact can vary based on market maturity and how digitally advanced customers are.

At CSG, we see rising demand for solutions that are open, modular and enable dynamic, scalable collaboration across a multitude of partners and reduce the complexity of multi-sided, B2B2X ecosystems. Solutions like CSG Encompass, enables CSPs to embrace innovation in digital commerce and enables them to differentiate themselves through a future-ready solution that unlocks the limitless possibility of 5G. With these tools, CSPs can create offerings that excite customers and keep them coming back for more.

With digital transformation showing no signs of slowing down, enterprise customers have increasingly adopted consumer-like characteristics when they shop for new products and services. Cloud infrastructure will continue to create a virtualized world, laying the foundation for ecosystems, harmonious orchestration, and collaboration. Like consumers, enterprises want a seamless journey from purchase to deployment at a pace previously impossible. Companies that have the vision and time to invest in their digital transformation will be the market leaders and will be able to create customer experiences as memorable as the Mona Lisa.

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