The TM Forum’s new Digital Transformation Tracker and Vision 2020 report, published at the TM Forum’s Digital Transformation World event, finds the biggest barriers to digital transformation to be cultural and organisational.


The new report warns that clear, aligned organisational vision and goals must be communicated throughout those operators undertaking digital transformation projects to improve their chances of success.


The global survey of more than 100 communications service providers (CSPs) and their technology suppliers reveal the following barriers to digital transformation:

  • Over 60% of respondents have already embarked on or are about to embark on their transformation journey.
  • 42% of respondents say a lack of clear aligned vision and goals (42%) is often a serious barrier to transformation.
  • 40% of respondents say cultural and organisational issues is often serious barrier to transformation.
  • 37% say a lack of top management support is often a serious barrier to transformation.


The number of respondents, who said they were “very optimistic” about conducting successful transformation programs fell from 22% in the first DTT survey conducted in October 2017 to 11%.


Mark Newman, Chief Analyst, TM Forum said, “Our second Digital Transformation Tracker shows that digital transformation extends well beyond technology itself, and increasingly we’re seeing concerns about organisational and cultural readiness. In order to ready themselves for successful digital transformation, operators must not only be able to articulate a clearly defined vision for their transformation projects, but critically they must communicate their vision throughout every level of their organisation.”


To compile its Digital Transformation Tracker, TM Forum surveyed 176 respondents from 105 CSPs, operating in 59 countries, and 91 respondents from 45 supplier companies. A full copy of the report can be viewed and downloaded here.


Vision 2020: Future CSP business models

Industry uncertainty confusion and CSP reticence to commit to a digital transformation vision is addressed in the TM Forum’s Vision 2020 report, also released at Digital Transformation World. While plenty of CSPs understand the operational efficiencies that a successful digital transformation program can deliver, they are less sure about the new business models and products and services that a CSP can offer once it has acquired new, digital capabilities. This report seeks to trace and define the evolution from a CSP to a digital CSP, and beyond to a Digital Enabler or Digital Partner in terms of both business models and the technology and systems required to enable that change.


Nik Willetts, President & CEO at TM Forum says, “Our Vision 2020 report lays out the transition from a CSP to digital CSP and beyond. From the new commercial and architectural models involved in becoming an enabler and partner, to the best route to take for strategic investments and access to vertical markets, the report offers a clear pathway to allow companies to be clearer on their digital transformation aspirations. This all starts with the CSP setting a clear vision for its business.”


A full copy of the report can be viewed and downloaded here.


Digital Maturity Model

TM Forum launched its Digital Maturity Model (DMM) last year, a tool that allows CSPs to assess their digital maturity and plan their digital transformation across their entire organisation. CSPs can then, based on their strategy, decide how, when and where to deploy or redeploy budget and resources. The Model covers five main “dimensions” for transformation – Customer, Strategy, Technology, Operations, and Culture, People and Organisation.


Nathan Ott, Chief Polisher, The GC Index says, “To achieve real impactful change, leaders driving digital transformation need to break down the established norms within their culture and transform them as well. We are working with the TM Forum to help leaders evaluate and understand their current culture in a way that defines the steps they need to take to realise their aspirations for a successful transformational culture.


“The GC Index is being used, within the DMM and Catalyst Programme, to help leaders create a framework and culture that values the very differences that can stimulate creative and transformational change to increase business outcomes.”


David Green, partner at Deloitte, comments: “The communications industry is facing an uphill battle to adapt to a rapidly-changing technology landscape and adopt new digital opportunities. The Digital Maturity Model has the power to support and inform every step of an organisation’s digital transformation journey. Successfully executing a largescale digital transformation will be a crucial differentiator in what is an increasingly competitive telecommunications market.”