Thought leadership
    18 September 2019


    4 key questions for 5G businesses

    The move from 3G to 4G created whole new organisations – think taxi companies that don’t own cars – so what can companies start to do today to prepare for 5G?

    The move from 3G to 4G created whole new organisations – think taxi companies that don’t own cars – so what can companies start to do today to prepare for 5G?

    First of all, it’s important to remember that 5G is an evolution – changes won’t happen overnight but we will see a gradual increase in the number of organisations and consumers making use of the technology. That means there is still time to consider what it means for your business.

    It’s also worth remembering that yours won’t be the only organisation going through this change. In fact, it will impact your competitors, partners, customers and suppliers. As such, we expect to see a change in the way that organisations do business.

    Collaboration 'arenas'

    The power of 5G will enable a huge leap forward in what connectivity is able to deliver. It will underpin new modes of transport, make video more important than ever before and create a boom in the Internet of Things. This will bring with it an increase in complexity of operations.

    Sectors such as manufacturing, transport and healthcare will become digital “arenas” where multiple companies must work together to access expertise, collaborate on R&D and make the most of specialist skills to get the best from 5G.

    Consider a manufacturing company – how should a manufacturer adapt to get the best from 5G? It is likely to touch almost every aspect of the process, from the tracking of raw materials to the creation of a product itself, to delivery to customers. This will encompass private networks, IoT, data and analytics and connected vehicles. Each stage of this requires different expertise from people involved – so it makes sense to pool talent to deliver the best result.

    Working more closely together will provide businesses with the resources required to tackle the complexity that 5G will create. Business leaders have long been schooled in the importance of improving collaboration within their own organisations, but 5G will create more of a need for deeper co-operation between varied organisations than ever before.

    Finding what’s right for you

    All of this may seem like an overwhelming change for leaders to take in. But now is the right time to prepare for it, with network launches looming. The key questions that business leaders should be asking themselves are:

    1. How can 5G help my business? What can better connectivity offer me that I didn’t have before?
    2. How might I need to change my organisation to capitalise on 5G?
    3. What is hype, and what will really impact my bottom line as an organisation?
    4. When is 5G likely to be available in my location?

    These questions may seem simple when compared to the future visions associated with 5G – the autonomous cars and factories, for example – but they are the right places to start. At the moment, time is on your side to consider how 5G will change the way that you do business.

    - Erik Brenneis: CEO, Vodafone Global Enterprise 


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