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HGC CDO, Jacqueline Teo, explains how digital is already part of our lives

Jacqueline Teo, Chief Digital Officer, HGC Global Communications, discusses how her organization’s transformation strategy starts from “being digital”, not becoming digital, as well as some technology implications she sees as a result of the convergence of the media and telecom industries.


"Our transformation strategy starts from ‘being digital’, not becoming digital. We are already in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the fusion of technologies is blurring the lines between physical, digital and biological spheres."

Jacqueline Teo
Chief Digital Officer of HGC

HGC’s Jacqueline Teo explains how digital is already part of our lives

How would you describe your organization’s enterprise-wide digital transformation strategy?

HGC Global Communications (HGC) believes digital is already part of our lives. It’s right here, waiting for us to jump in. Therefore, our transformation strategy starts from ‘being digital’, not becoming digital. We are already in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the fusion of technologies is blurring the lines between physical, digital and biological spheres.

HGC’s digital strategy centers around open platforms with flexible services that can be reused and deployed quickly, enhanced self-generated experiences, equipping HGC with the mindset, aptitude and skills to evolve as quickly as our customers.

What are the biggest challenges you face in achieving your goals for digital transformation?

HGC is investing significant effort to uplift our leadership and skills to meet the challenges of being digital. In addition, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is evolving at an exponential rather than linear pace, and the speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent. HGC needs to keep up with our customers’ own evolution journeys and the proliferation of choice brought about by these breakthroughs, both as a purchaser as well as a supplier in our markets.

Leadership is clearly paramount, but what makes a good digital leader?

On a personal note, as the Chief Digital Officer for HGC, I believe that resilience, humility, genuine open collaboration and empathy for your customers, team, stakeholders, community, etc., are all important qualities to be a good digital leader and advocate. And a whole heap of energy!

Digital transformation is not just about changing processes and technology; it also involves a shift in organizational culture. How is your teamwork changing and what’s your role as a team leader?

Our structures are much flatter to facilitate more direct discussion and collaboration without the constraints of hierarchy and role. We have a culture where we are part of a venture together, and certainly do not look at what we do as mere jobs. This means everyone can display their strengths in areas that are not bound by their title, their position in the organization or their tenure.

As a leader, one of my main roles is to foster this environment and to make it safe for the people around me to contribute proactively outside of their roles, to fuel their passions in this venture and to support them in achieving their goals.

What technology implications do you see as a result of media and telecoms converging?

HGC has several hundred OTT [over-the-top] providers and these are largely media players that pipe large quantities of content on our network. What we’re seeing is their need not just for reliable connectivity but for us to understand the value-added services and their evolution into far more digital technologies than we are ready for as an industry.

So as media and telco converge, we are seeing the need to understand not just the latency and the performance, but we’re talking about: What is happening on the video front? What are the users doing? How do we enable their users to be more loyal to them? And how do we enable them to get reach to those users?

We’re quickly converging and partnering more.

I think the telco industry thinks of the OTTs as competitors, or thinks of media as ‘eating our lunch’, if you like, but I personally don’t think so. I think there are great opportunities to be good partners; there are a lot of synergies in our industries and lots of ways we can actually collaborate for our end customers.

In terms of the wider societal impact of digitization, what are you looking forward to over the next decade?

I am looking forward to greater digital innovation in areas that pay it forward to our next generation.

This article was firstly published by TMFORUM.


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