It’s a magic ball question – isn’t it? If we could map the future trends well in advance our profit making efforts would be much easier…
But without a magic answer we hope to give you some points to think about…
Point 1: Return on Capital
First you should agree on what is the priority for your business ie. market share growth, maximum profitability or whatever else. What defines wining for you? This is very important to consider as different answers have different implications. For example if you are are after market share you may consider developing new products even in cases where you expected ROI/ROCE is lower. On the other hand if you are aiming to meet certain profit targets for your shareholders, your ROE target may be higher which would reduce the number of bets/project you would consider undertaking and focus only on the ones which promise the best return.
Point 2: Your Position in the Market
Next consideration we would think off, would be to understand your position in market relative to several factors. First and the most obvious one is in relation to your competitors but there are several more you should also consider: relationship to market growth and size, relationship to market segments (e.g you may be great in large business but not in small). From this position review you can further fine tune your strategy so you focus only on the best market, best customer segment etc…
Point 3: Customer Focus and Differentiation
At this point you have to re-circle back to customers and review how your ideas will create differentiation. With massive amount of telecom commoditization going on at the moment you need to find your ‘mojo’ – meaning why you. This goes back to Michael Porter and differentiation strategies, from cost to product differentiation to service differentiation. This will need to be linked back to your strategy at point 1.
Point 3: Execution Excellence
Finally if you apply the above discipline you would take your list of ideas including anything from 5G to Software Defined Networks (SDN) and consider them…. I am sure you have a smart team of product managers who are not short of new development ideas.
After all from what we have seen, most projects fail not because there were a bad idea, but due to bad execution… you could have the best idea with all the above.
Some additional execution consideration here also needs to be given to the issue of capabilities you must have in your business in order to win – staff, skills, partners etc.. and also how will this be integrated into your systems such as business processes, SLAs, IT systems, staff KPIs, operational rhythm etc..
I hope this helps a little.