Staying Abreast Of A Digitally-Enabled Telecom Industry

Kirill Goncharuk, Chief Information Officer, Ukrtelecom

Kirill Goncharuk, Chief Information Officer, Ukrtelecom

Kyrylo is a top manager with more than sixteen years of experience in managing IT-infrastructures of Ukrainian and international companies. Kyrylo has skills in running projects for developing hybrid cloud infrastructure, modernisation of core business-processes, investment and introducing a new product to the market. Before joining, Ukrtelecom Kyrylo Honcharuk held a positions in IT-departments of the large enterprise companies, including Ukraine's largest energy holding company DTEK, telecommunication company VimpelCom Ukraine and other. Kyrylo has presented keynote reports at international IT conferences in Ukraine and the EU. Mr Honcharuk was awarded the BEST CIO 2019 in Ukraine telco sector

In your opinion, how has the digital transformation landscape evolved over the years? What are some of the advantages of the current technological evolution?

In the history of mankind, events have taken place that has dramatically changed the lives of people. The emergence of the Internet, as an accessible tool for everyone’s usage, has affected communication and habitual interaction between people. This enabled the instant exchange of data, the flow of messages, information, and knowledge. Due to the positive impact of the event, businesses benefited from new possibilities to enrich their experience and awareness with real-time data about other companies that conduct business across the globe. Another significant milestone is the emergence of social networks and their drastic supremacy over offline media in terms of popularity and efficiency of the content.

The changes that are taking place today are primarily determined by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The main feature of which is the massive introduction of technology into day-to-day lives and its drastic impact on transformation of products and services production. Due to the pandemic, adaptation periods to new technologies decreased from the usual 10-15 years to 3-5 years.

There are many possible advantages flowing from the current technological evolution: with the introduction of new technologies, the approach to production reinvents itself, now products can be manufactured online, in real-time, individually tailored to clients’ requirements; there is no need to spend time and resources on the creation of centralized manufacturing; the approach to consumption has changed either - the service or product cost is now evaluated in time of its usage. Such changes affect every sphere of life completely, which accordingly enhances the quality of life for each individual.

What according to you, are some of the challenges plaguing the digital transformation landscape and how can they be effectively mitigated?

There are a lot of challenges today. The main problem is adaptation and willingness to alternate, all changes face a nonperception of business and consumers. This is why, it is crucial to change the perception of employees within companies and of end consumers, in terms of the production and rendering of services. It is way easier to change consumer experience; later or sooner he will adapt to new technologies and begin to benefit from them. However, from a business point of view, especially among middle management, resistance to implementation of innovation is vast.

"For veterans of industry, it is crucial to implement innovations as early as possible so that they can use their advantages in the market"

With regard to technical challenges, they may include constraints on the capacity of some manufacturers; however, technical issues are temporary, unlike constraints that emerge from the human factor.

Which are a few technological trends influencing digital transformation today? What are some of the best practices businesses should adopt today to steer ahead of competitors?

Good question. In order to effectively implement innovation, the company in the first place, must focus on changing the business approaches and the corporate culture, for the successful outcome. It is vital to maintain a culture of continuous innovation and motivate employees to change business processes with the help of new technologies. It is necessary to predict what trends will be emerging over the next 10-15 years, to understand how to adapt business in order to meet the demand. Key trends that affect digital transformation today: first and foremost, the transition to artificial intelligence; the introduction of hyper-optimization processes; the transition to a data-driven economy, that helps to quickly collect the necessary information about the consumer and the product, and allows to make swift decisions on the point of contact with the consumer; talking on IT - transition to low-code/no-code decisions, when the consumer can amend his order online, without assistance.

Do you have any advice for industry veterans or budding entrepreneurs from the digital transformation space?

For budding entrepreneurs, it is easier to advise, because they do not have a historical background to drive their decision-making process, the implementation of certain technologies. This may be an issue for veterans of the industry; it is far more complex to change a product and adapt it to new realities, than to create something brand new.

For example, compare Mercedes to Tesla. Tesla is using cutting-edge technologies in its manufacture and strives to maintain popularity and innovation. If you take Mercedes - the company has a vast background in design, operation, and production. For such a company it is harder to change its production at the moment, and it takes decades of adoption.

Budding entrepreneurs do everything from scratch, which means they can use the best available solutions.

For veterans of industry it is crucial to implement innovations as early as possible so that they can use their advantages in the market - understanding the market, its historical development, and so on. With the proper analysis of historical data and knowledge, the company can predict new trends and emerging demand in the market- and in due time develop a strategy. This will allow them to introduce changes earlier, so they lead the market in five to ten years.