TM Forum Unveils Digital Maturity Model to Accelerate Digital Transformation


TM Forum, the industry association driving digital transformation through collaboration, has launched its Digital Maturity Model (DMM) – a new tool that allows communications service providers (CSPs) to assess their digital maturity and plan their digital transformation across their entire organization.

The model has already been endorsed by leading CSPs including BT, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Orange, PCCW Global and Vodafone as well as management consultancies and suppliers including Amdocs, BearingPoint, Deloitte, Detecon, Huawei, Tata Consultancy Services and The GC Index.

As core services become commoditized, CSPs are desperately searching for new digital services and revenues in order to grow. To realize the opportunity, CSPs must completely transform traditional business and operating models, cultures and infrastructures.

Without a coherent view of their destination, starting point and pathway, building and executing a successful digital transformation strategy is challenging, time consuming and prone to failure. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by TM Forum, 54 percent of CSPs revealed that their previous attempts at transformation had been unsuccessful, highlighting the urgent need for a robust methodology to help leaders guide and manage change on an enterprise-wide basis.

In collaboration with the world’s leading CSPs, management consultancies and suppliers, TM Forum identified the need for an industry-agreed Digital Maturity Model, metrics and methodology to meet this challenge. By bringing together and crowdsourcing expertise and models from across the global communications industry, TM Forum has created a ‘living’ maturity model and set of metrics that will evolve with the industry and help companies measure their true digital maturity.

“In order to survive and thrive in the digital market, service providers are embarking on complex and demanding digital transformation journeys,” said Nik Willetts, CEO, TM Forum. “To be successful, these transformation programs require much more than embracing new technologies or ways to interact with our customers – they demand strong leadership and holistic transformation of the entire business, fundamentally redefining how the business operates. The launch of the Digital Maturity Model is an example of our transformation mantra and showcases how TM Forum is taking our members on the journey, providing the tools, guidance and expertise to drive successful digital transformation. TM Forum would like to recognize all of the members that have contributed, especially Deloitte for leading the collaboration and project management and Huawei for initiating the concept and resourcing the project.”

TM Forum’s DMM considers maturity across five key dimensions, each containing an extensive set of sub-dimensions, questions and metrics to assess digital maturity across the business. Accessed through an easy-to-use App, TM Forum members can assess their digital maturity across every department and rapidly identify areas for action unique to their businesses. The dimensions and definitions for the model are:

· Customer – Providing an experience where customers view the organization as their digital partner using their preferred channels of interaction to control their connected future online and offline

· Strategy – Focuses on how the business operates or transforms to increase its competitive advantage through digital initiatives which are embedded within the overall business strategy

· Technology – Underpins the success of digital strategy by helping to create, process, store, secure and exchange data to meet the needs of customers at low cost and low overheads

· Operations – Executing and evolving processes and tasks by utilizing digital technologies to drive strategic management and enhance business efficiency and effectiveness

· Culture, People and Organization – Defining and developing an organizational culture with governance and talent processes to support progress along the digital maturity curve and the flexibility to achieve growth and innovation objectives

By asking stakeholders across an entire organization to assess the company’s maturity in each of these areas, CSPs can identify where improvement is needed and where investment priorities lie. The model has the flexibility to account for differences in CSPs’ visions, strategies and business imperatives, and can be applied to help develop a roadmap to guide their digital transformation journey.

“Successful digital transformation requires the direct involvement and support of the CEO for a process that’s going to impact the whole organization,” said David Pleasance, Chairman, TM Forum. “Through the exceptional collaborative work of many TM Forum members, the Digital Maturity Model allows service providers to assess all dimensions and departments of their organization through a structured approach that is unique to them. Without industry-agreed best practices and guidelines, real transformation becomes all the more challenging.”