Mar 29, 2017

Making an Impact with IoT and Digital Transformation

A few weeks ago [1], I wrote about the potential for telcos to take advantage of digital transformation opportunities to boost industry growth. At present, much of what passes as digital transformation in the telco sector focuses on new technology (NFV, SDN, 5G etc.). This is understandable given the desire for innovators and vendors to sell new technologies that help service providers adopt more agile and flexible operational models.

However, these ideas do not correspond to transformation in the sense of entering new markets or, of driving revenue growth in new service categories. NFV, SDN and 5G are more likely to lead to juggling between CapEx and OpEx budgets which will have an impact on profitability and depreciation financial metrics rather than driving top-line revenue growth. The Internet of Things (IoT) does have the potential to open up new growth markets and is starting to be recognized as an enabler for digital transformation.

So, is there much evidence that will encourage telcos to enter completely new markets and drive meaningful revenue growth? What characterizes such opportunities and how should telcos approach them?