As telcos position themselves to make the most of digital opportunities, CEOs are expecting more from their chief technology and information officers (CTIOs). Daniel Milleg, a partner with Bain's Telecommunications practice, discusses the skills CTIOs can sharpen to help catalyze change in their organizations.
Read the Bain Brief: An Agenda for the Telecommunications Chief Technology Officer
Read the transcript below.
DANIEL MILLEG: Over the next five years, chief technology officers of telecommunication companies are overseeing roughly half of the employees of this industry. They are planning to invest 2 trillion US dollars. As digitalization progresses and IT and network domains are converging, the role of the chief technology officers, or sometimes CTIOs, is even getting more vital. However, CEOs say that their chief technology executives barely operate at their full potential. What they expect from these chief technology officers is changing. They need to be smart capital investors.
According to our research, only 12% of capital spending decisions are taken effectively. They need to act as business strategists. They need to use their strong relations to the vendors and their deep understanding of technology trends and developments to input the strategy process and to help to set the strategic agenda.
In addition, they need to play the customers' advocate. They cannot rely on technical outstanding performance of the network organization. Customers' perception is really dominating the overall performance of the organization.
And finally, they really need to demonstrate technology team leadership. IT and network domains are converging. New ways of working, like Agile and DevOps methodologies, are offering vast benefits. So it's really time to rethink the overall technology operating model. For technology executives, this is a period of rapid shifts in their role, as well as towards their required capabilities. They really have the chance now to be a catalyst for change.
Being effective in the 21st century requires new skills, new experiences and a new mindset.