The Digital Transformation Challenge: making progress demands a practical approach

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May 23, 2019
Sean Doherty

IoT data analytics Retail SD-WAN digital transformation

This article is also available in Italian / Questo articolo è disponibile in Italiano.

The past couple of years have been dominated by talk of digital transformation. From keynote speeches to boardroom meetings, it's been a recurring topic. But for all this talk, implementing digital transformation, particularly on an organisation-wide scale, has been a slow burner. In this Digital Transformation Challenge series of blog posts we'll take a closer look at how CKH Innovation Opportunities Development's joined-up approach is helping organisations overcome the digital transformation challenge.

There are several reasons why enterprise digital transformation projects have failed to take off, chief among them is the sheer magnitude of such an undertaking. An article in the Harvard Business Review sums up the complexity of enterprise digital transformation:

"It requires foundational investments in skills, projects, infrastructure, and, often, in cleaning up IT systems. It requires mixing people, machines, and business processes, with all of the messiness that entails."


Our focus at CKH Innovation Opportunities Development Enterprise Services is helping businesses to remove that 'messiness'. We're working with organisations to establish a cohesiveness to their digital transformation projects. Our local, on-the-ground, knowledge is supplemented by our global network; through a series of global partnerships and strategic alliances we've built an effective ecosystem that's become a real enabler for transformation.

From a flexible foundational network and robust communications solutions to intelligent mobility data and dedicated customer communication tools, our broad range of solutions means we have the capability to manage even the most complex transformation project.

Transformation built on a solid foundation

Where CKH Innovation Opportunities Development shines is in our ability to look at the problem and find the right solution. We recently worked with a leading UK port to radically transform their container loading and unloading process. The organisation needed a network to support its core application and increase its reliability. In a port environment fixed lines were not an option, while mobile and WiFi networks can also prove unreliable. We implemented a private LTE network on-site with inbuilt redundancy to guarantee the application's performance. The port organisation was able to reduce the time it takes to unload and load containers and critically, this meant it was able to hit its SLAs consistently. In one of our upcoming blog posts we'll look in more detail at how we're helping organisations build networks that help them streamline operations.

In Italy, we're working with a large retail organisation to dramatically increase their network control and visibility. An intelligent SD WAN network has been a real enabler for digital change within the organisation, which can now control and monitor network traffic via the internet, rather than, or in conjunction with, dedicated lines. App prioritisation can be increased and decreased seamlessly, allowing retailers, for example, to boost the bandwidth to their website during Black Friday sales in order to enhance the site's performance, and re-prioritise the website immediately after. Significantly, because an SD WAN network is accessed via the internet, it can be scaled up easily, and with no requirement for dedicated lines, it can be rolled out across territories, which can go a long way towards building that cohesiveness we've been talking about. We'll talk more about the work we're doing with SD WAN in retail and other industries in a later blog post.


The power of mobility data.

Big Data for informed decision making

Mobility data is considered the best source of data on the market: the sample size is significant (tens of millions of mobile customers), it crosses all segments and is completely unbiased.

With a robust, flexible network in place, organisations can then start adding meat to the bones of their digital transformation. While the network is arguably the powerhouse behind any transformation project, it's data that fuels critical decision making. Through our local telecoms operator companies we have access to incredibly powerful data - mobility data. This information is considered the best source of data on the market: the sample size is significant (tens of millions of mobile customers), it crosses all segments and is completely unbiased.

But gathering that data is just the beginning; we work with expert partners such as Teralytics to analyse the data, extrapolate insights, add profiling and ultimately build a detailed and precise picture that our customers can use in their decision making process. In Italy, for example, we're working with transport companies who want to harness mobility data to improve and expand the service they offer their customers. By understanding how people are moving around and using its services, a transport company can quickly identify areas where real changes can be made, such as adding new stations to areas where there is high demand, attracting specific demographic groups through targeted promotions and introducing supplementary services. We'll look into the fascinating world of mobility data in more detail in one of our upcoming blog posts.

The next step in digital retail

One sector that is reaping the benefits of data analytics is retail. Accurate, real-time data gives retailers the edge they need to truly understand their customers and achieve the holy grail of the retail world — creating an experience. We're helping retail customers to use the data and insights we've gathered to develop targeted content and deliver it directly to customers through intelligent digital signage, dedicated applications, website, and in-store. The goal is to equip our retail customers with the tools and content they need to overcome what is an extremely challenging environment: online shopping cannibalising high street sales and an increasingly competitive market place. In a later blog post we'll be exploring the world of digital retail and the importance of data.

Bringing best practice to life

Where CKH Innovation Opportunities Development is unique is our ability to acquire the knowledge and best practice from our local network operators and partners and implement it organisation wide. Projects such as the UK port private LTE have been so successful that we will roll that solution out across multiple territories. Likewise, our centres of excellence have delivered up fruitful learning opportunities that we have transformed into our standard approach in areas such as IoT.

This means that all our customers and potential customers benefit from our extensive experience and real-life implementations. In the move towards digital transformation this type of head start is incredibly important. Because time is of the essence; according to an IDC report, 85% of enterprise decision-makers say they have a time frame of two years to make significant inroads into digital transformation, or they will fall behind their competitors and suffer financially. In other words, the time for talking about digital transformation is over.