By Uri Gurevitz, director of market insight & strategy,Amdocs
“Is that possible?” Rey asks Han Solo in Episode VII. “I never ask that question until after we’ve done it,” replies Solo.
Service providers, like the protagonists in the Star Wars saga, are getting used to dealing with many unknowns, but they still continue their quest to overcome challenges on their way to capturing digital age opportunities. Now they are facing the next chapter in the story – Digital Transformation.
According to recent public statements, service providers are already benefiting from the digital shift. At the end of 2015, Telefónica Group`s Digital Services revenues stood at 3.7 billion euros – that’s 23.6% higher than a year ago. And Singtel Group`s Digital L!fe unit ended 2015 with 343 million US dollars in revenues, which is a whopping 138.8% increase from a year ago. So the answer is definitely “Yes” – it’s possible! However, service providers and Jedis beware – there are digital players looming on the horizon who are continuously challenging the universe with new disruptive models.
“You can’t stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting,” Shmi Skywalker tells a young Anakin Skywalker in Episode I.
And that’s as true for service providers as it is for the Skywalker family – the digital transformation age is definitely accelerating. However, the recent IDC global survey commissioned by Amdocs reveals that 50 percent of C-level and other service-provider decision-makers predict that it will take their companies more than five years to transform. And 64% of service providers believe telecoms will be outpaced by other industries if they don’t move fast enough.
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
In “The Empire Strikes Back”, the ever-wise Yoda encourages a young Luke Skywalker to overcome his doubts and believe in his powers. And that’s pretty good advice for service providers because, despite their strong technology capabilities, 79% of them are still executing digital transformation projects as smaller stand-alone initiatives. As digital transformation has a direct impact on many areas of their business, their transformation approach instead should be more comprehensive and aligned to a broader technology roadmap or a business strategy.
“Always remember,” Qui-Gon Jinn tells a young Anakin Skywalker in Episode I, “your focus determines your reality.”
Service providers not only need to have the right capabilities but also need to determine their business priorities. In the Amdocs-IDC study, service providers identified ‘business agility’, ‘increase revenue from existing and new sources of revenue’ and ‘improve customer experience’ as important factors in determining their business agenda over the next 12 months.
“Going digital” opens up great opportunities for service providers – just look at Telefónica – and as the CEO of GE Digital William Ruh pointed out at this year’s Mobile World Congress, if you don`t embrace digitalisation, you can`t compete. So service providers are looking for suitable partners with a wide range of expertise to support and speed up their transition from traditional to digital business models. (Because sometimes even the Force isn’t enough).