There’s no alternative. We must be part of the solution or be left behind.
The telecoms industry is embarking on a journey of transformation as the developments in SDN, cloud services and voice over IP start to point to real digital disruption in the marketplace. But while discussion will no doubt lean towards shiny new technology – technology alone will not win the day.
Winners will succeed only if they embrace three dimensions: focus on the customer; adopting a mindset open to innovation; and promoting a culture of openness and collaboration.
Who is the real customer?
If you are designing a digital strategy for your business, it’s the real end customers – the users of services – who should be the target – and it is their needs that should be reflected in products and services. Embedding creative IT skills within front line operations will be a massive challenge to those organisations who are too set in their ways – but it will avoid design messages being lost in translation and speed up your response to market changes and help you really understand the customer experience.
Bookshelves groan under the weight of tomes on Competition but with a better-informed, more fully-networked world, it is not about the supposed power of secret know-how but how the knowledge is shared that makes a difference.
Ownership of ideas is pointless unless they are used. Very gradually we are all learning that collaboration and sharing is a faster track to innovation and success – especially when opening up networks and exposing APIs will become the norm over time.
Within the cosy corners of the IT world, people must break down imaginary borders and let ideas flow both ways.
The driver in pole position
Technology-driven stories can be persuasive. But, especially in this software-defined world, all too often the cart arrive before the horse. There is no substitute for stepping back and discerning the bigger picture before jumping prematurely at the latest tech solution. For example, considering who you will partner with, and why, will be a crucial decision for the future of your business. In this new world of cloud and SDN, no-one can go it alone – better choose wisely.
So these three – Customer, Innovation and Collaboration– together make up the dream team. Everything else is merely part of the tool kit – the means to achieve the ends.