Point of View

Use combinations to power technology adoption in TMT

May 26, 2021

In our recent TMT (Telecom, Media, and Technology) Service Providers Top 10 2021 report, we surveyed 45 TMT enterprise client leaders. Improving customer experience (CX) and top-line growth were their most prominent strategic objectives, with a desire for new business models underpinning both these ambitions. For TMT enterprises to reach these goals, connectivity technologies like 5G, the internet of things (IoT), and edge computing (cloud, too, of course) help create these new business models and customer experiences—and monetize them for growth.

These connectivity technologies are catching up with those we’ve been talking about since digital transformation started; the HFS Triple-A Trifecta of automation, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t growing to the extent you’d expect. Siloed projects and cultural resistance to change inhibit many initiatives—nothing new there. We also know technology achieves the most value when used in strategic combinations focused on business outcomes and value. Combinations are especially powerful in the TMT ecosystem; enterprises must combine all of these technologies, on top of platforms, to be the leaders in this converging and expanding industry.

TMT acts as a springboard for taking technologies and developing cross-industry solutions; if they do it well, enterprises and their service providers can combine technologies and serve them to a much wider ecosystem. These combined technologies and their underpinning platforms can inject new life into Triple-A technologies and pull them out of their stagnation.

TMT enterprises are looking to grow their top lines, underpinned by new business models and customer experiences

Exhibit 1 shows the surveyed 45 TMT enterprise leaders’ strategic objectives. Improving their customers’ experience and growing their top lines are leading the charge. Developing new business models is an important factor in achieving these objectives and monetizing the customer experience.

These industry growth drivers surfaced in our recent Top 10 report:

  • Content and network providers are all looking to monetize the customer experience.
  • TMT and other industries are monetizing 5G and IoT technologies.
  • Ecosystem-defining disruption is coming from digital natives—forcing the convergence of TMT.
  • Macro trends are affecting micro trends in TMT sub-segments.
  • Enterprise customers want more than managed services from providers. They want business model transformation built on consulting and customer experience design thinking, a deep understanding of the industry, and an ecosystem of expert partners.

Exhibit 1: Customer experience and top-line growth—underpinned by new business models—are TMT enterprise leaders’ key strategic objectives over the coming years

Source: HFS Research, 2021

Sample: 45 TMT enterprise leaders in our Telecom, Media, and Technology (TMT) Service Providers Top 10 2021

Connectivity technologies fuel new business models and experiences: Will they overtake the adoption of automation, analytics, and AI?

5G and other connectivity technologies like IoT and edge computing (throw cloud in, too) are critical drivers to monetizing the customer experience and creating new experiences. Augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) is also coming into play, and we’re seeing digital twins applied in various forms, including virtually mapping ecosystems and analyzing different dynamics.

Automation, analytics, and AI have vital roles in high-tech innovations and enterprises’ strategic objectives. Still, they appear to be stalling compared to up-and-coming technologies (see Exhibit 2), considering how much longer the HFS Triple-A Trifecta has been in enterprise and provider narratives and solutions.

Automation, analytics, and AI will be critical to growth and improving and creating customer experiences in TMT and beyond. AI and analytics give companies customer insight, forming the basis for an informed customer experience design. Automation in differing forms can make customer interactions with an enterprise more efficient through various mediums, and attended automation can help contact center employees give the best possible service aided by on-demand data and insight.

Exhibit 2: Connectivity technologies like 5G, IoT, and edge computing are catching up to the established—but not yet flourishing—HFS Triple-A Trifecta of automation, analytics, and AI

 Source: HFS Research, 2021

Sample: 45 TMT enterprise leaders in our Telecom, Media, and Technology (TMT) Service Providers Top 10 2021

The Bottom Line: Siloed projects and culture have inhibited digital transformation for too long—it’s time to embrace “AND” to realize their full potential in combination

Siloed projects and cultural change have inhibited digital transformation efforts—and businesses’ visions for automation, analytics, and AI—since we started talking about digital. The same remains true in 2021 for TMT (see Exhibit 3). An integrated approach to connectivity technologies like 5G, IoT, and edge might just eliminate those silos and drag forward the other stalled technologies underpinned by any number of platforms. Technologies deliver the most value in combination. We’re seeing enterprise platforms embedded with emerging technologies, often through partnerships and acquisitions, to deliver more holistic solutions.

The up-and-coming technologies originating in the TMT industry can be a springboard for their adoption throughout other industries. They also complement each other in the same way their predecessors do when combined: they can propel other technologies that have become stuck.

Exhibit 3: Siloed technology projects and cultural change are still inhibiting enterprise digital transformation efforts in 2021

Source: HFS Research, 2021

Sample: 45 TMT enterprise leaders in our Telecom, Media, and Technology (TMT) Service Providers Top 10 2021



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