Through its information technology (IT) infrastructure and systems, Telkom delivers its services and products. Technology is increasingly important in the group’s transformation, and it is critical to business operations.
Telkom ’s IT governance is based on King IV principles, and we continue to apply the seven principles of good IT governance specified in King III. We developed scorecards populated with good IT governance principles for each business unit. The technology and information governance charter was incorporated into the risk committee’s responsibilities (page 92).
The board mandated the risk committee to focus on IT and information security risks and governance. The committee has incorporated King IV governance principles into its charter, with specific governance dashboards for technology. Each business unit conforms to an IT governance dashboard, which tracks and oversees key critical metrics for technology. These are based on strategy, project delivery, systems stability, systems security, technology funding and strategic alignment to business objectives and priorities.
An IT and information security governance committee was established in November 2017 and is chaired by the GCEO. CEOs, chief information officers (CIOs) and risk management executives of the business units attend the governance committee. Business units’ performance scorecards are reviewed and discussed in the committee. The group enterprise architecture and group IT security architecture governance are also reported and reviewed in the forum. Business priorities are validated and reviewed for alignment with IT and information priorities. The group CIO validates all technology governance scorecards, which are presented to the risk committee.
Acquiring BCX enabled us to migrate the group IT function to the business unit, consolidating the expertise and talent within one functional team. We have combined their skills to form a stronger, competent team.
BCX has consolidated its seven tier 3 and 4 data centres and operations with the seven data centres of Telkom. This will form the largest, most resilient data centre footprint in the country.
Business unit’s CIOs established an IT strategic project priority plan, and aligned it to their business unit’s strategy. Each project’s business case is subject to rigorous review by a specialist team. If the project’s costs are justified, it is submitted to the funding council for approval.
Simultaneously running traditional and new systems and platforms carries high costs and risk. Therefore, we have begun decommissioning traditional systems, and aligned to our IT strategy, we have a plan for each business unit. Traditional systems’ retirement depends on the speed and efficacy with which state-of-the-art systems and solutions are developed and deployed.
We carefully consider our customers’ perspective when setting targets to retire the traditional platforms and systems as we need to minimise the impact on customer experience. Over the next three years, we will retire most of the traditional systems and deploy new systems, which will reduce complexity and increase stability.
Our business model has been decentralised into business units, following which, the IT model was redesigned.
The priority for each business unit’s CIO is customer service and experience across delivery platforms, and automating back-office functions to improve efficiencies, reduce cycle time and costs, and eliminate manual activities wherever possible. Our IT investment will enhance customer experience, across all touch points.
The NGN platform has been implemented for Telkom Consumer, and serves the retail market segment.
We continue improving response times in our stores and call centres. The NGN stack accommodates the full integration of order fulfilment, assurance and billing for fixed and mobile, and most customers have been migrated. We have considered the impact of a software-defined network and network field virtualisation on the business, which could further enhance customer experience, network performance and management.
Major IT and information projects
The top projects for each business unit have been defined and approved by their respective exco teams.
|SAP HANA programme
|At the Corporate centre, the SAP HANA programme was launched to provide the CFOs of the business units and their respective financial teams with real-time status and metrics for the business units financial performance. The project will consolidate various existing financial systems.
|The implementation of workforce management in Openserve will provide enhanced capabilities
to schedule appointments, and track and solve problems, as well as assist in problem-solving
when with a customer. There will also be a point-of-presence capability, for example, ensuring the
technician takes the correct spare parts for the job the first time around.
Digitisation through an application will accelerate the technician’s response time. For example, an on-site technician can send a picture of the problem to a remote digital technician, and together they can immediately resolve the issue.
|We are implementing Office 365, and will roll it out to each business unit. This will add new functions to the workforce and substantially increase the overall desktop and server security. We will use a hybrid model for the project, hosting some parts of the application at the premises and others in the cloud.
|Customer service projects
|We have launched customer service projects with a focus on the IT systems across the business
units. We prioritise improving customer service response times and, to this end, we have optimised
the number of screens used by client-facing employees.
We launched projects to eliminate paper in our stores and to automate and digitise contracts, with an electronic signature for sign-off.
|Geographic information system
|We enhanced the geographic information system and rolled it out to our stores and call centres. Customers can use its global maps and geo-spatial data to see whether fibre and/or LTE services are available in their area, and to review asymmetrical digital subscriber line speeds.
|Back-office automation projects
|We are evaluating back-office automation projects for each business unit to improve efficiencies, reduce cycle time and costs, and eliminate manual activities wherever possible. Process re-engineering teams are working on the most critical processes in each of the business units with a key focus on costing, timing and improvement.
In today’s business environment and operating landscape, there are many threats to business objectives, with cybercrime being one of the most disruptive. Telkom recognises legislation and regulations such as the Protection of Personal Information Act and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and has taken steps in mitigating potential risks.
Cybercrime poses risks to our systems, information and customers. We treat it as a significant risk area, and have mitigation plans in place. The plan protects against malware, ransomware, viruses and data theft through scams and phishing attacks.
Telkom operates in a mature and compliant International Standards Organisation, ISO 27001, information security management system environment. This function is overseen by a dedicated information security governance team at the Corporate centre. The team identifies and manages threats and risks. Information security strategies, policies, standards and assurance processes required to maintain a secure business environment are communicated to all business units through the relevant governance structures.
Through our Information Security Management programme, Telkom is implementing several information security and cybersecurity systems for appropriate and effective detection, prevention and protection against various cyberattacks and cybercrime. Cybersecurity incident detection and response capability is crucial to our cyber strategy. We will also establish a cyber and information security assurance capability to monitor the effectiveness of the information security management initiatives.
Employees are vital to cybersecurity. Telkom has rolled out a continual Information Security Awareness programme to all its employees and third parties. This equips all levels of business with the necessary cyber awareness and ensures that employees and third parties understand their roles in cybersecurity.
Cyberthreats and active cyberattacks require continual action and awareness, internally and from our customers.
Through BCX, Telkom announced key partnerships with internationally accredited cybersecurity practitioners. These partnerships will extend our own effective technology, processes and protection to our customers to improve their business environments.
Telkom’s IT focus will be on comprehensive digital platforms. This three-year journey will allow us to engage with our customers and suppliers, as well as transact with them seamlessly through, for example, self-service or social media. On this journey, we will automate back-office processes and eliminate mundane and repetitive tasks, which will ensure timeous start-to-finish processes.
Digitisation will continue to be a top-of-mind priority for the business units. Telkom will deliver on IT priorities through the three components of technology, processes and people.
Intervention and the future state of business will depend on how well these three components work together, building new products and services with fast and robust delivery to our customers.
Cybersecurity focus areas include three key elements for successful future integration:
- completing the Information Security Management programme initiatives so that planned security processes, people and technologies are fully operational;
- deploying cybersecurity incident detection and response capability to better detect and deflect active cyberattacks; and
- delivering a cyber and information security assurance capability to effectively monitor Telkom’s cybersecurity operational environment.