TM Forum launches DMM tool to help telcos assess digital transformation readiness

digital transformation
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The TM Forum has announced the official launch of its Digital Maturity Model (DMM) – a new tool that allows communications service providers to assess their level of digital maturity and plan their digital transformation across their entire organization.

The DMM – which TM Forum previewed at its TM Forum Live! Asia event last December and launched on Tuesday at its global event in Nice – has already been endorsed by operators such as BT, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Orange, PCCW Global and Vodafone as well as management consultancies and suppliers including Amdocs, BearingPoint, Deloitte, Detecon, Huawei, Tata Consultancy Services and The GC Index.

The pitch for the DMM is that telcos – faced with the commodization of their core business – need new digital services and revenues in order to grow. But to successfully do that, they must completely transform their traditional business and operating models, cultures and infrastructures. Without a coherent view of their destination, starting point and pathway, building and executing a successful digital transformation strategy is challenging, time consuming and prone to failure.

The TM Forum points to a recent survey in which 54% of CSPs revealed that their previous attempts at transformation had been unsuccessful, highlighting the urgent need for a robust methodology to help leaders guide and manage change on an enterprise-wide basis.

The TM Forum’s DMM, metrics and methodology – developed in collaboration with CSPs, management consultancies and suppliers worldwide – was developed to meet that challenge. By bringing together and crowdsourcing expertise and models from across the global communications industry, the TM Forum has created a “living” maturity model and set of metrics that will evolve with the industry and help companies measure their true digital maturity, said TM Forum CEO Nik Willetts.

“In order to survive and thrive in the digital market, service providers are embarking on complex and demanding digital transformation journeys,” said Willetts. “To be successful, these transformation programs require much more than embracing new technologies or ways to interact with our customers – they demand strong leadership and holistic transformation of the entire business, fundamentally redefining how the business operates. The launch of the Digital Maturity Model is an example of our transformation mantra and showcases how TM Forum is taking our members on the journey, providing the tools, guidance and expertise to drive successful digital transformation.”

The forum’s DMM rates maturity across five key dimensions, each containing an extensive set of sub-dimensions, questions and metrics to assess digital maturity across the business. Accessed via an easy-to-use app, TM Forum members can assess their digital maturity across every department and rapidly identify areas for action unique to their businesses. The dimensions and definitions for the model are as follows:

  • Customer: Providing an experience where customers view the organization as their digital partner using their preferred channels of interaction to control their connected future online and offline
  • Strategy: Focuses on how the business operates or transforms to increase its competitive advantage through digital initiatives which are embedded within the overall business strategy
  • Technology: Underpins the success of digital strategy by helping to create, process, store, secure and exchange data to meet the needs of customers at low cost and low overheads
  • Operations: Executing and evolving processes and tasks by utilizing digital technologies to drive strategic management and enhance business efficiency and effectiveness
  • Culture, people and organization: Defining and developing an organizational culture with governance and talent processes to support progress along the digital maturity curve and the flexibility to achieve growth and innovation objectives.

While CEO-level buy-in is crucial to digital transformation, having stakeholders across an entire organization help assess the company’s maturity in each of these areas can help operators identify where improvement is needed and where investment priorities lie. The model has the flexibility to account for differences in operators’ visions, strategies and business imperatives, and can be applied to help develop a roadmap to guide their digital transformation journey.

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