Panel Perspectives on Tower Digitization from TowerXchange Americas

Staying Ahead in the Game: Panel Perspectives on Tower Digitization from TowerXchange Americas

26 Jul 2023 Written by vhive_hadar

The vHive team was at TowerXchange Americas in mid-July meeting tower companies and stakeholders from all over the region and learning from them about their current priorities and the challenges TowerCos in the Americas are currently facing.

Panel Perspectives on Tower Digitization from TowerXchange Americas

vHive’s CEO, Yariv Geller, moderated the invitation-only focus group session dedicated to “Overcoming hurdles of the Digital Transformation Journey”. In this thought-provoking session, the speakers and participants were asked to address some challenging questions and here are some of their insights:

Why should companies digitize their assets? What can they achieve?

Companies should digitize their assets for several compelling reasons. Firstly, digitization enables them to harness the power of better data for improved operations and deeper insights. By converting physical assets into digital formats, businesses can efficiently analyze and process information, gaining a competitive edge in the market.

It is not uncommon for many companies to rely on inexpensive methods to gather data from various sites, but this often results in poor data quality. Digitization addresses this issue by providing a structured and standardized approach to data capture.

However, it is crucial to remember that the effectiveness of digitization hinges on the quality of the data captured. Therefore, companies must prioritize data accuracy and completeness to fully leverage the benefits of digitizing their assets.

Ultimately, the objective of this transformation is to empower businesses with accurate, timely, and actionable data, facilitating better decision-making and fostering continuous improvement across all aspects of their operations.

Does digitization provide a competitive advantage?

Undoubtedly, digitization offers a significant competitive advantage to companies that embrace it. By adopting digital technologies, businesses become more efficient in their processes, allowing them to streamline operations, reduce costs, and optimize resource allocation. The faster time to market (TTM) achieved through digitization is a crucial factor in gaining an edge over competitors. With quicker access to digital data, companies can seize opportunities and capture customers before their rivals, establishing themselves as industry leaders.

Moreover, digitization enhances customer interactions and builds trust by providing access to better data, which enables personalized and targeted strategies. The reduced friction in customer interactions also contributes to a positive brand image and fosters long-term customer loyalty. In today’s fiercely competitive market, the ability to leverage digital technologies effectively becomes a defining factor for success, propelling companies to the forefront of innovation and growth.

Where does digitization help the most today? What are the low hanging fruits?

In the present landscape, digitization has proven to be most impactful in several areas, offering substantial benefits and yielding low-hanging fruit for businesses.

One of the most significant advantages lies in the reduction of physical site visits, resulting in substantial time and cost savings. By leveraging digital tools and remote virtual visits, companies can often eliminate the need for multiple site visits, sometimes saving up to three visits per site annually.

Another area where digitization shines is in facilitating a faster reaction time to colocation opportunities. Digital platforms and data-driven insights enable companies to swiftly identify and capitalize on favourable colocation prospects, giving them a competitive advantage in securing valuable partnerships and expanding their reach.

Additionally, digitization empowers businesses with better site marketing and sales tools. By presenting assets in immersive and interactive digital formats, companies can showcase their offerings more effectively, appealing to potential customers with enhanced visualizations and detailed data.

These benefits make digitization a game-changer for businesses today, offering readily accessible opportunities for increased efficiency, cost savings, and improved market presence.

What tips can you offer to those still contemplating digitization? 

For those who are still contemplating digitization, several valuable tips can help navigate the process effectively.

  • First and foremost, it’s essential to start small rather than attempting to digitize everything at once. Taking incremental steps allows for a better understanding of the digital transformation journey and uncovers insights that can impact future decisions.
  • Secondly, measuring the value and return on investment (ROI) at each stage is crucial. This approach ensures that efforts align with business objectives and helps justify further investments in the digitization process.
  • Additionally, involving various groups within the company that stand to benefit from digitization is key. Collaboration across departments encourages a more holistic approach and enhances the overall impact of the transformation.
  • Finally, building a culture centered around quality data is fundamental. Emphasizing data accuracy, business insights, and governance fosters trust in digital systems and establishes a strong foundation for data-driven decision-making.

As for the challenges, they can vary both in general and within different regions. Common obstacles include resistance to change, integration complexities, and the need for upskilling the workforce to leverage digital tools effectively. Region-specific challenges may include regulatory compliance, infrastructure limitations, and cultural factors. Overcoming these challenges requires a strategic and adaptable approach, backed by a clear vision and commitment from top management to ensure a successful digitization journey.

Management may also need to provide resources and support to teams involved in the transformation, may need to work closely with other stakeholders, such as customers and partners, to ensure that the transformation aligns with their needs and expectations. This can involve gathering feedback and incorporating it into the transformation plan, as well as communicating regularly with stakeholders to keep them informed of progress and address any concerns they may have. Overall, the role of management in a digital transformation is to provide direction and support to ensure that the initiative is successful and delivers value to the organization and its stakeholders.

How should digital assets fit into your IT ecosystem?

Digital assets should seamlessly integrate into the IT ecosystem to ensure their effective management and utilization. This integration involves aligning digital assets with existing systems, such as Asset Management Systems, to facilitate streamlined tracking, monitoring, and maintenance. By incorporating digital data into these platforms, companies can efficiently manage their entire asset portfolio, both physical and digital, from a centralized location. Furthermore, digital assets should have a direct impact on billing processes, where their usage and value contribute to accurate invoicing and financial tracking. Integrating digital asset data into billing systems ensures transparency and efficiency in financial operations. Additionally, these assets should be seamlessly linked to maintenance platforms, enabling proactive monitoring and timely servicing. This integration allows for optimized asset performance, reducing downtime, and enhancing overall productivity. Overall, the successful integration of digital assets into the IT ecosystem empowers businesses to harness the full potential of their digital resources while enhancing overall operational efficiency and maximizing ROI.

What is the long-term view – what will be the holy grail for you in this domain?

The long-term view in this domain envisions achieving the ultimate “holy grail” of self-serve colocation with a high level of automation. Businesses will have access to cutting-edge technology and seamless digital infrastructure, allowing them to autonomously manage and optimize their colocation services. Imagine a world where companies can effortlessly provision and scale their colocation needs through intuitive self-service portals. This level of automation will enable rapid deployment, resource allocation, and real-time adjustments, empowering businesses to respond swiftly to changing demands and market conditions. Furthermore, self-serve colocation with advanced automation leads to improved operational efficiency, reduced human errors, and minimized downtime, ensuring maximum uptime for critical services. With the holy grail of self-serve colocation, businesses will unleash their true potential, unlocking unprecedented levels of agility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness in managing their digital assets and infrastructure.

Summary

Companies are beginning to realize that digital transformation is a process, not a product. And while we stand at the brink of this transformative technology, its tangible benefits are already apparent, leaving a significant impact on the bottom line of those who have begun to embrace it. Starting small and growing your investment in asset digitization will result in immediate and long-term benefits, presenting a significant competitive advantage vs. waiting and facing a disruptive new system implementation later on, only to find out your competition is way ahead.

We’ll be at TowerXchange Africa in October – we hope to see you there!

Until then, if you’re interested in learning more about digital transformation, contact vHive today.

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