Transformation in the Telecom Industry Transformation in the Telecom Industry

An analysis of 40 A.T. Kearney projects and our interviews with more than 50 C-level executives in the telecom sector highlight what distinguishes successful transformation programs from those that flounder. 

Getting Lean, Agile, and Strong: Transformations in the Telecom Industry Getting Lean, Agile, and Strong: Transformations in the Telecom Industry

As the pace of disruption in the communications, media, and technology sectors quickens, telecom operators are seeking to overhaul many aspects of their business. More than 60 percent of the operators interviewed by A.T. Kearney said that they had implemented at least two transformation programs within the past three years. These were programs aimed at effecting fundamental change in how the business responds to external or internal triggers.  

We found that the scope of operators’ transformation programs tends to develop over time, progressing across four main program models. It begins with straightforward budget assurance programs, moves to functional transformation, and then to end-to-end (E2E) company-wide transformation programs that sometimes lead to fundamental cultural or business model shifts.

In cases where there were financial targets, the majority of programs achieved these objectives. But most operators failed to hit all of their transformation goals, stymied by such barriers as weak strategic alignment of their transformation initiatives, inappropriately scoped programs, and often an inability to make the change last.

Based on our research and extensive project experience, A.T. Kearney believes that to be successful, transformation programs need to achieve the right balance between strength, agility, and leanness. In order to structurally shift performance, they need to address misalignment in the operating model. Finally, they must enable the organization to embed the necessary changes. A.T. Kearney has developed the Fit Transformation™ approach to help operators pursue these priorities and successfully address the barriers identified by our research.

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