April 27, 2016

Getting Beyond the Digital Roadblock: How to Move Forward

Becoming a digital service provider is not as simple as rebranding yourself as one. You’ll need a guide.

Businesses everywhere are being pressured to “go digital,” which apparently can mean different things to different people. To uncover the reasons behind the overwhelming drive to become a digital service provider (DSP) and what factors are holding network operators back from taking that journey, we teamed up with ICT Intuition and Coleman Parkes Research and reached out to 115 service providers to gauge their feelings on this monumental market shift.

What we found was surprising: Nearly two-thirds of respondents are already calling themselves DSPs, despite the fact that many organizations also admitted to encountering barriers that are preventing them from implementing a full-scale digital strategy. Part of the reason behind this preemptive classification is likely due to the need to be perceived as this new category of service provider. Our research found that 63 percent of service providers said customers want them to be DSPs. Likewise, 50 percent of respondents said their competitors are already embarking on digital initiatives, underscoring the natural order of the business world: evolve or face extinction.

Yet despite the overarching push to become a DSP, there seems to be some latency, primarily driven by a lack of understanding. What is a DSP? When can today’s service providers market themselves as DSPs? How will operators know when they reach, and pass, the tipping point? Will it be noticeable?

All of these questions are valid and strike up an important message that should not be overlooked: Becoming a DSP is not something service providers can do on their own.


Building an Ecosystem

Strong collaboration is one of the key building blocks for becoming a DSP. This has been proven by cable operators which are beginning to transition themselves in order to provide more than just basic connectivity. Customers today want easy access to as many digital services as possible. Competitive pressures and development costs prevent service providers from doing everything themselves—they must work with partners.

Service providers also clearly need assistance not only navigating, but also defining the new digital landscape. Our data highlights this; just because you call yourself a DSP, doesn’t automatically mean you are one.

The good news is that we saw this shift coming for some time and, as a result, have prepared to help our customers take the best path possible for their digital evolution. Service providers have a key ingredient that ecosystem partners want: a deep understanding of and access to customers. And, noted in the video above, there’s a big opportunity for service providers who can convert their IT departments into revenue-generating enablers for digital partners. These businesses will be able to do more than just label themselves DSPs. They’ll completely transform their businesses.


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