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Digital transformation for telcos: Challenges arise, opportunities abound

Accenture's Gerardo Canta explains that Telcos need to drive digital transformation into their programs to stay competitive.

There is a new role for telcos in this quickly growing highly connected digital world.1 The digital consumer is now looking to consumer tech companies for broadband, voice and messaging systems as alternatives to communication service providers (CSPs). Yet CSPs have the unique opportunity to transform themselves into integrated digital service providers (IDSPs) to remain active in the digital world. Though the landscape is competitive, CSPs do have assets to leverage.

CSPs must leverage assets they already have.
CSPs have established billing relationships, large network infrastructures and a significant amount of customer and usage data. They also have existing trust. In fact, our study “Everyone’s a Screenager: Now what?”, discovered that telecom operators are in the leading position as trusted providers among businesses that consumers would consider using for the provision of connected devices and services.

However, digital network transformation isn’t without challenges.

A joint vision can overcome technology and marketing IT challenges during execution.
Currently, organizations struggle to implement cross-channel experiences that are both relevant and engaging for their customers because CMOs and CIOs feel that technology in their organizations is siloed. Establishing a joint vision with a focus around service design and customer experience can overcome these challenges. And in turn, CSPs must find the right operating model to govern and implement the transformation while maintaining their current business functions.

Digital network transformation can boost competitiveness and increase economic growth.
Consumers seek services that are customized and available on demand. The adoption of new digitally—enabled services and products will help turn this into a reality. In response, companies have the opportunity to streamline their processes and improve their propositions, while governments can be in direct contact with and supportive of every single citizen.

Digital transformation is having a global impact, such as in the UAE.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of a handful of countries that is ahead of the curve in smart city activities and is well positioned to succeed introducing them. Our research for the annual technology vision depicts that the UAE business community is already on a digital journey. Businesses here have already made, or are planning to make, considerable investment in digital. For example, 62 percent of respondents in the UAE indicated that the pace of technology adoption in the Middle East region is increasing.

Accenture supports digital transformation worldwide with global team of experts.
Accenture continues to make investments in research and new technology with our team of digital experts and we’re dedicated to enabling digital transformation for businesses and governments alike. Accenture has more than 1,500 professionals based in and serving clients in the Middle East alone and has a team of more than 358,000 people worldwide.

1 "Driving the digital transformation", Telecom Review, November 2015,