Sherlock Holmes Reviews TeBIT 2018

Sherlock Holmes Reviews TeBIT 2018
Chilan Mevinda Perera, Tech Evangelist

Apart from a few robins piercing the silence of a lazy winter’s afternoon, all was calm amidst the slow powdering of snow in Marylebone. Mr. Holmes was staring out at the creatures that disturbed his train of thought. Not once before was he as stumped by a mystery as he was now. He half wished he was still assisting the king of Bohemia retrieve the photographs. Since saying Sherlock Holmes didn’t like a challenge was the same as pulling one's leg; you might wonder what manner of a brutal mystery he had lodged himself in now.

He took a long drag from his pipe and exhaled watching the smoke swirl into a thinning cloud, “Banks, bloody government banks are ahead, health sector in leaps and bounds and even education has sniffed out the right path.”

"Watson, my man," said Sherlock, jolting the doctor awake, "Watson, what is with telcos, why are they evading digital transformation thus far? What are we missing that no telco in the world has managed to fully digital transform?"

"Well Sherlock, you said yourself that people think digital transformation is simply evolving with IT, not a revolution ".

"No, I mean yes, that too, but that alone, no" taking another drag he continues, "I need to go for a walk, look at this dilemma from a new angle".

Irritated about Sherlock stepping out when he took time out of his practice, amidst his recent marriage, John joins him.

Watson sighed, "Look, the 2018 Telco IT benchmarking study (TeBIT) says telcos have the right vision, they have many digital initiatives, some are even reaping benefits off these initiatives and they've all increased budgets for digital transformation, I think they're headed the right way, Sherlock".

"Watson, how many stairs are there after you enter 221B, Baker Street to my apartment?" 

Flabbergasted with the weird line of questioning and never paying attention, "That's why my career is of medicine, Sherlock!"

"Precisely John boy, you see, observance is key here, do you forget a patient who's gone through a surgery? No! You keep him in the ward and do what?"

 Watson still wondering what he was on about, “Err, observe? Take down, at bare minimum vital stats?”

Sherlock yelled, excited, "Ah ha! You got there yourself, I didn't have to say anything! They don't do this, they allocate higher and higher budgets, initiate more and more digital services and products, and to top it all off, they even have a completely correct vision. Only to not measure the impact of what they've done. Just like a patient of yours John, if a dose given earlier isn't enough you know it through stats, you make changes, adjustments to reciprocate so that his condition keeps on improving, which I suspect was your vision? And since you brought it up, TeBIT noticed that many of their participants do invest heavily on AI, robotics, IT initiatives without focus or defining the end-to-end process so yes, they will reap benefits, but they're only getting a fraction of a fraction of what they can achieve with a full set of digital KPIs."

John Watson thought, “Well if telcos are implementing digital initiatives with increased budget, if they know their vision, it's just a matter of gathering the data needed to compile the KPIs, on which we can adjust our path to a successful transformation.”

"Ah but do you know how behind they are?, Let's go back to the TeBIT study, they created 25 KPIs, Watson, a small number I would say compared to the scale of digital transformation, but still of which they gathered enough data only to address 10 of the 25!, these weren't complex business KPIs either, they looked for number of IT problems preemptively solved, the number of next-best offered suggested and automated AI problem solving to problems solved by humans, ratio. Do see that these are simple numbers and percentages easily obtainable, don't you?"

Watson felt that he was headed into information overload, "So just to put everything in one place, telcos know what they want, they spend money on initiatives that will help them get there, they are currently benefiting off these initiatives (though as you said not to the full potential) and finally they don't currently have KPIs designed to measure whatever initiatives they've implemented, right?"

"Quite the memory Watson, yes that's where we stand now. Telcos are not digitally transparent at all, it's as if I blindfold you, turn you towards our apartment and tell you that your ultimate goal is to reach the apartment. You have a clear goal, you know you have to do, just that getting there could be way easier, and you could save time as well as money. Watson, I'm going to imagine that I'm talking to an imbecile now, bear with me. Your goal is to reach home, you know you must walk to get there, climb up when you come to a step, climb down on a decline. The telcos are aware up to this level of knowledge today. You also know that you would have done much better had you been able to see and assess what you're doing to adjust your walking pattern, but that my friend is because this is an extremely silly example with one smart and one exceptionally smart human is looking into it. This is where the telco's knowledge runs out. Now do you see why telcos are lagging behind regards to digital transformation?"

"Speaking of, Sherlock, the TeBIT analysis came up with, Product management Technology management Marketing and sales Order fulfilment Customer service Billing as the core KPIs that are to be measured while implementing a digital transformation initiative."

Sherlock, smirked, "Yes, well put my man, but these KPIs are able to measure a non-digital telco performance as well. For measuring successful digital transformation, while keeping these as the core KPIs, you'll need to specify more focused KPIs addressing digital implementations in the telco".

"Oh, and it's 17 steps. Observe John, you don't want to end up like a traditional telco, do you?"

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