By the numbers: Where telecoms lead with platform adoption

Survey shows many carriers have embraced digital platforms

Telecom companies have invested billions of dollars over decades into global networks serving millions of customers. So it’s no surprise that when it comes to modern digital platforms that manage myriad new services on those networks, telecoms have been early and influential adopters.

In a global survey of digital platform adoption in five major sectors—telecom, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, and government—telecom emerged as the most advanced of the group. The survey, by ESI ThoughtLab and ServiceNow, showed more than a third of telecom companies are now leaders in digital platform adoption. More than 70% consider platforms critical to business performance.

Below are highlights from the survey.

Executive support + commitment to execution

One advantage telecoms enjoy relative to other sectors is strong executive support for investing in digital platforms. Six in 10 telecom CEOs consider digital platforms vital, compared to only 4 in 10 CEOs across all sectors in the survey.

Telecoms also display deep commitment to following best practices for digital platforms. In our survey, telecom led all other sectors in DevOps, AI, and robotic process automation. Telecoms are seeing performance benefits as a result.

Of the areas that you have implemented partly, largely, or fully, what is the estimated impact on performance?

Focus on fundamentals—digitizing workflows

Telecoms emerged as platform leaders by focusing on key fundamentals of digitizing manual workflows in the most strategic areas of the business. Of the three areas identified as most critical for digitization, telecoms led all industries:

Which business areas has your organization digitized and automated?

Telecoms also outperformed other industries in digitizing workflows for employee engagement (59% vs. 51% on average), sales and marketing (56% vs. 42%), and operations (52% vs. 40%).

Biggest bang for the biggest bucks

Telecoms and financial services companies are spending the most on digital platforms—almost 50% more than organizations in government or healthcare, according to the ESI ThoughtLab and ServiceNow survey. They also invest the most as a percentage of revenue.

Where are telecoms seeing the biggest returns on specific platform investments? Like financial services firms, telecoms are often targets of cybercrime and prioritize cybersecurity investments as a result. Their huge customer bases also demand platform investments in data management.

What level of investment are you making in the following technology areas to support your digital enterprise platform? What has been the return on those investments?