Year to year, technology advances at such lightning speed that constant innovation becomes the new norm — and it’s vital to keep up with the latest developments to ensure success and growth.
Amongst the buzzwords thrown around frequently to elevate the products and services these words are used to describe, some of the most recognizable have been Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Virtual or Augmented Reality, Blockchain, and even the Internet of Things.
But there is a new innovation stepping up and claiming its rightful place in the constantly expanding list of innovations is 5G — and it promises to transform the normal day-to-day operations of many businesses globally.
So what is 5G, then, and how does it intend to transform the future of work and business organization?
In short, 5G is exactly what it sounds like — the 5th generation of mobile networks. Just like 4G came to replace 3G at the time, 5G is the new wireless standard for connectivity and has the capability to enable new types of connections that were unimaginable before: it will be able to connect machines, objects, and devices.
This new standard for networks brings a number of benefits and key improvements in a world that is increasingly becoming more digitized and constantly “plugged in”: new network capacities, maximum reliability for a smooth experience, higher data speeds for information transmission, and low latency rates are only a few in the long list of new opportunities that the new network will enable.
With 5G expanding the horizons of what companies and businesses can accomplish, the world has been open and eager to embrace this new innovation. According to Qualcomm, 5G is projected to add 22 million new jobs and a $12.3 Trillion economic benefit on a global scale by 2035.
And the lesson of the day is, businesses need to begin considering the technology as a new opportunity to remain ahead of their competition.
But what are the exact transformational qualities of 5G that businesses should focus on when looking into 5G network adoption?
For one, 5G completely eliminates the lag between an issued command and a response — a delay that is currently characteristic to 4G networks (even in small amounts). While the current 4G time lag is minimal, the elimination of any sort of lag can accrue and have a revolutionary impact on operational efficiency in the longterm.
The key benefit of eliminating this lag is important for a few reasons. In a world where automation becomes more and more predominant, quick and efficient response is vital to proper management of the automation. For instance, with self-driving vehicles on the rise and remote management of automobiles possible in the not-so-distant future, an instant response from the machine to a directional command may guarantee the safety or efficient rerouting. The same applies to the new, automated frontier of medicine: where medical experts can manipulate technology in a surgical procedure or treatment, the prompt and instant response of a machine is important for the safety of the process and the patient’s full recovery.
From a business organization perspective, the low latency also means almost instantaneous communication independent of the employees’ locations and time zones. As companies undergo a digital transformation and use new technologies to connect employees and engage the remote workforce, the instantaneity of communication and operations becomes key in building an efficient and effective (albeit dispersed) workforce.
While Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality have been taking longer to get adopted, 5G will accelerate the adoption of this technology. Thanks to the maximized capacity of 5G networks, applications and technologies using AR or VR will be more accessible, easier to load, and more widely consumed.
If 5G networks normalize interactions with AR and VR content, businesses will get new opportunities to make marketing pushes and interact with users or customers. When it comes to brand communication and marketing activations, businesses will have to think more creatively and rely on new technologies to engage loyal and new customers alike — through experiential marketing campaigns and other strategies that rely on AR and VR to build strong customer-brand relationships.
This also means that AR and VR technologies can be used for training and educational purposes. With 5G connectivity, companies can increase the quality of employee training and new hire onboarding. Schools will be able to create improved learning experiences for students. Military forces can create simulations for soldier training purposes. And this is only a brief overview of what AR and VR can enable in the near future.
So how do companies gradually kick off the adoption of 5G networks?
The plan can be laid out in a sequence of a number of steps that will help businesses transform while moving at their own pace. The first step is education — understanding what 5G means and what doors it opens. After identifying the opportunities that suit the business the best, the goal should be to scan the competitive landscape and understand how exactly the network will help gain advantage in the market. As new opportunities arise, businesses then will develop action plans to engage employees in the adoption process and create symbiotic relationships between the new tech and the core employees.
The ultimate goal is to find ways to streamline the workflow and improve the company’s competitive positioning, and this can be achieved through a step-by-step process of embracing transformation through technology.