5G and the VUCA world

Digital disruption is about transformation, as conventional ways of doing business and working have changed irrevocably. The digital ecosystem is growing fast, with new and inspiring technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning becoming commonplace.

Blockchain, virtual reality and the internet of things are also developing and being implemented across various industries. As these technologies converge, the demands on technical infrastructures continue to grow. Here, 5G technology is set to enable a digital explosion, facilitating these technologies to deliver services at exponentially higher speeds than before.

5G can benefit companies and consumers

For companies, 5G technology opens up almost limitless possibilities when it comes to collecting and utilising data. There is a very human challenge with 5G, specifically understanding how to lead a company through such a transformation. Understanding what data to collect and how to use this information in a way that increases both revenue and customer retention will require new capabilities and impact the current ways of working.

Digitalisation brings change, which can raise anxiety and even fear among employees and leaders alike. Often referred to as the VUCA-future, a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous tomorrow can seem daunting. Customer needs and behaviours are changing and often clients expect a quick and personalised customer experience. Meanwhile, it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate products and services from competitors, which makes it vital to protect market share and actively seek competitive advantages.

New players are entering traditional markets, the speed of product development is in overdrive, it is increasingly difficult to secure capable employees that can help your company succeed in a new digital era. All the while, cyber-threats are on the rise and increasingly organised in their malicious operations.

When we bring all this together, it is clear that robust IT security is increasingly at the core of most businesses. Harnessing the power of data and new technologies will help companies create reliable products and services that are safe and secure to use. This is where 5G can offer a solution that benefits companies and consumers alike.

5G offers the foundation for machine learning, artificial intelligence and IoT technologies to be truly implemented and developed.

Matti Keskinen, Nokia

Why 5G matters?

In February 2020, at If’s Risk Management Day event in Finland, Matti Keskinen, an Internal Consultant at Nokia, provided insights into what 5G means for companies and highlighted some of the opportunities that lie ahead.

For private industries, and the public sector, some of the key drivers around 5G technology relate to realising operational efficiencies. With the objectives of utilising digital solutions to help reduce costs and waste, companies and municipalities are looking to improve their performance. For businesses, this means that – when implemented effectively – a key benefit lies in building and maintaining market leadership and their brands.

Alongside multiple operational benefits associated with 5G technology, just as exciting are the new revenue streams that can be materialised when connectivity is added to existing products and services. At Nokia, the full promise of 5G has been under development for years. Matti Keskinen explains that the deployment of the first standard based 5G developments is well under way.

Matti Keskinen, Internal Consultant, Nokia
Matti Keskinen, Internal Consultant, Nokia

“These have been available for some time - thanks to enhanced mobile broadband and critical machine communication. As the device market is also growing, machine communication opportunities are truly opening up for industries.

5G offers increased speed, ultra-low reliable latency with ultra high reliability and other features that will allow for exponential capacity growth for data communications. This means that the internet of things will begin fulfill its promise over the coming years.”

The roadmap to a 5G enabled world is becoming a reality. “We are seeing a real confluence of digitization, analytics, a rise of machines and automation,” Matti states.

“With sensors enabled across an entire supply and production chain, the internet of things will significantly shorten the lead time in manufacturing. In a factory setting, automation has already been a game changer. By adding network connectivity to the different phases in a supply chain, companies utilise data to help processes run smoothly, highlight any errors or inefficiencies and swiftly identify any issues in the supply chain.”

5G technology is the basis of the digital transformation

Looking ahead, Matti explains that the next wave of enterprise opportunity, will usher in a radical transformation across multiple industries. This is triggered by the convergence of IT and operational technologies in industry control.

As an example, we can look at business critical communications, which work to ensure efficient performance and secure operations. These technologies also inspire innovation and are applied across various control systems in various industries, such as mining, where sensors and automation can not only improve efficiency but increase safety.

Meanwhile for governments and authorities, critical infrastructure communications, for example relating to power plants and grid operations, or public safety services, even controlling railways, 5G will prove to be a valuable asset in keeping civilians safe and reducing the risks of accidents and environmental disasters.

Matti summarizes, “5G technology is the basis that will help realise the promise of the digital transformation, as it combines the highest demands on wireless connectivity with radically increased levels of guaranteed reliability, availability, security and performance.”

Working successfully in a vuca world

As human beings, we are resilient and able to adapt to new environments. Working effectively in a fast-paced, VUCA world is no different. In a volatile environment, having clear milestones and targets will help establish a pragmatic approach when there are disruptions in the market place, for example. Similarly, it is important to be agile and flexible.

To help grasp an uncertain future, it is important to seize opportunities and understand the risks simultaneously. Even as the pace of technology continues to increase, it is important to be innovative and creative, work with reliable partners, follow the competition and support your customers.

Article by: Kristian Orispää
Contributor: Matti Keskinen, Nokia