Telco Execs Understand Their Problems; Solutions are the Issue

Decades ago, it would not have been unusual to hear skeptics argue that “telcos don’t get it,” when evaluating the magnitude of transformations that might be required for success in an Internet era.
One rarely hears such sentiments any longer. Rarely, if ever, can a telecom executive be found who does not recognize the need for transformation, and the need for partners to make that transition.
That should not be surprising. It has been nearly three decades since global telcos actually developed their core technology and core products "in house," for a variety of reasons. 
With the growth of the Internet, use of Internet Protocol for virtually all networks, the decoupling of apps from access and digital transformation of most retail and commercial processes, no telco actually has the ability to develop "in house." Nor is there time or money to do so 
Rarely, if ever, will any executive actually claim that core apps will be developed “in house.” And that applies as much to rearchitecting organizational processes and systems as to customer-facing app creation.
A recent survey conducted by IDC on behalf of Amdocs simply confirms those themes. Fully 64 percent of respondents believe that the communications industry will not be able to change fast enough, and will be outpaced by other industries, in making key shifts.
When asked broadly about “digital strategy,” 46 percent of service providers say they do not have a strategy in place.
One might question what “digital strategy” actually means, to each respondent, but it would be fair to say the concept refers more to “how” firms operate, as well as “what” products they create and sell.
But there seems near-universal agreement that partners are necessary. In general, IT services vendors are ranked as the most valuable partners for the execution of digital transformation projects, ahead of specialist digital consultants (second) and systems integrators (fourth).
Network equipment vendors and strategy consultants came in a distant eighth and ninth place, respectively.
The study surveyed decision makers at 81 service providers operating in Asia Pacific (26 percent), Europe (25 percent), Latin America (23 percent) and North America (26 percent). Nearly half of the respondents (46 percent) hold C-level roles.
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