Climbing the transformation mountain
Posted on March 14, 2019
2 min read
Two years have passed since someone suggested to me to work with them on transforming Telstra’s B2B business. In those two years, we have been on an amazing journey of understanding what it means to perform a heart and lung transplant on a patient running a marathon while also leading the pack.
In two years, we have not only established a set of end-to-end integrated systems, from product definition to customer billing, we have also launched what is one of Telstra’s most holistic offers to market as a true paperless proposition –it has been awesome to see the positive impacts to our customers and partners.
To many of the team, delivering all of these aspects in our transformation program has felt like we have climbed a mountain. That said, we have a long way still to go to realise the scale of change that will ensure a sustainable change for the business.
There have been many examples of change that our transformation program is bringing, including the automatic flow of information between systems without any human intervention. This might seem obvious, but any business or IT person involved in managing system handoffs will appreciate that it’s these integrations that are the hardest. Hearing from one of the team how data is now populating automatically between systems without any need to request it is music to my ears.
One of our key realisations is that while a digital transformation is enabled by software, it is very much a business transformation and not just a technology transformation. Digital transformation needs to guide a business to actually change the way it works – the support of all of these new capabilities will be the real validation of a sustainable change.
This was reiterated by Telstra’s recent Disruptive Decision-Making report, which found across the globe businesses are too focused on the role of technology in digital transformation programs.
Transformation does not mean only internal business change, but also change in the way a business engages with its customers. It is interesting to see the way we embrace digital interactions for our personal needs, but when it comes to businesses, we are more comfortable in using traditional channels of calling or emailing someone from a service desk. It has been inspiring to see what teams have achieved in the past two years in building our first native business app, co-developed with customers to realise a new digital-first strategy to serve their customers.
Why on earth am I talking about these achievements, though?
Simply put, for us, these achievements were more of a realisation that we tend to be so focused on what is next that we don’t pause to learn from what we have achieved, struggled with, or missed delivering.
It is very easy to forget about accomplishments to date as we reflect on how far we still have to go. Recognising these outcomes both within our program and in the broader organisation are important – it highlights that progress is being made toward the top of the mountain, and acknowledging and reviewing progress, ensures continual learning and improvement as we move closer to the summit.