Samsung: Empowering Enterprise Evolution with 5G
Samsung's Director of Innovation speaks exclusively to CEO Today about 5G
Samsung’s Director of Innovation, Kate Beaumont tells us why business leaders can’t afford to overlook the potential for 5G to kickstart a new level of connectivity and enterprise innovation.
5G has landed in the UK after years of hype and anticipation and we’re excited to give consumers the opportunity to experience it with our latest Galaxy S105G. We’re now on the cusp of a revolution in connectivity, and we’re not just talking about faster movie downloads or turbocharged gaming capabilities on your smartphone.
The revolution I’m referring to is one that will happen on factory floors, offices, in operating theatres and across our cities. 5G will not only pave the way for new business models and services, it will make our businesses faster, smarter and more connected than ever before. In fact, enterprise is where we’ll see the most tangible use cases for 5G in the short term and business leaders need to embrace this huge leap forward in connectivity to gain a competitive edge, boost productivity and nurture a more connected and engaged workforce.
But surely this is all hype? Useful applications of 5G are likely to be years away, right?
If past leaps in connectivity are anything to go by, it would be short-sighted to ignore the business growth potential of 5G. The fact is, every new generation of mobile network has propelled us forward – by quite some margin. Starting from the earliest days of 1G analogue phones, every subsequent generational leap has delivered massive benefits to industry stakeholders and customers and fast-tracked digitisation of more and more segments of the UK and global economy.
2G and 3G took us beyond just making calls, enabling us to send texts and even testing a little bit of the web on the move. Then 4G came along and altered the way we consume content on the go in seismic ways, as well as creating new businesses like Uber and Snapchat. All of which laid the foundation for the present leap into 5G. The GSMA predicts that the value of the mobile ecosystem, relative to global GDP, will rise from 2.5% in 2012 to 3% in 2020 when 5G adoption should be on the cusp of taking off.[i] That potential creates opportunity, especially as the UK faces unchartered waters causing us deep business uncertainty. We need to ensure UK PLC is ready to harness the full potential of 5G to remain competitive on the global stage and adopt a tech-first mindset.
But from global to local, where are the genuinely quick win opportunities for enterprise when it comes to 5G?
Industries vary enormously in their systems, structures and processes so application of new tech and connectivity standards will challenge business models in different ways. Let’s take manufacturing as an example. 4G only really allows manufacturing to follow a linear process where commands lead to basic responses; but this can cause problems due to the high propensity for system malfunction and costly waste. It also doesn’t allow for real-time monitoring of the supply chain or production processes (via sensors for example) independent of human intervention, slowing down decision-making.
Flip over to 5G and businesses suddenly have an environment which is more dynamic, self-regulating and has self-adjusting processes which allow for higher productivity gains delivered by increased speed and agility. When you have a series of sensors and devices connected over an ultra-low latency 5G network, industry can shift towards a more automated, IoT enabled, AI powered environment. This is so exciting and the possibilities really are endless; whether you’re an OEM manufacturing a car a minute or a food production line churning out biscuits. 5G heralds the dawn of a new era of enterprise connectivity which will see the proliferation of smart offices, factories and cities.
But all of this comes at a time of heightened anticipation about where an increasingly digitised economy takes us. Cue Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution which is the new age of digital transformation. We stand on the brink of monumental progression and 5G’s high capacity, wireless flexibility and low-latency performance will deliver this vision faster than any other innovation before it. When we have an economy powered by future-ready industry sectors which are plugged into their environment demonstrating depth of interoperability, we will see economic gains through better inventory management, optimised product planning and improved asset utilisation.
So that’s factories and manufacturing, what about the office?
There are more fundamental ways 5G will deliver gains to the workplace. That includes optimising the way we work; morphing from a 9 to 5 culture to a more flexible way of working. In the decade since the advent of the smartphone, every aspect of the workplace – from office infrastructure to human resource planning – has been disrupted by new technologies. New devices, whether its smartphones, tablets or even smartwatches, have allowed us to transform traditional office boundaries into more creative and free-thinking spaces. People are already so reliant on their smartphones for work – so with new devices like our Galaxy S10 5G with a bigger battery, faster processing and desktop (Dex) capabilities, the productivity of mobile devices will grow exponentially.
It signals the arrival of a more open and collaborative business future, one where greater worker autonomy and freelance, or multi-hyphenate careers will be the norm rather than the exception. And as the lines between work and personal become increasingly blurred, yesterday’s immobile office environments will have to evolve into distributed workplaces housing a highly dispersed workforce – one that operates from anywhere, at any time, on any device. 5G will supercharge this shift, enabling us to switch on (and off) whenever and wherever we are. No more struggling to connect to the dodgy Wi-Fi on the 07:45am train into London Waterloo!
Using 5G doesn’t just make sense for businesses. It makes money. Network providers estimate that the manufacturing industry will make $113bn of additional revenue by 2026 through the adoption of 5G, with the healthcare and automotive industries seeing a $74bn and $48bn of additional revenue respectively[ii]. That’s why businesses need to educate themselves about the capabilities and limitations of 5G, by adopting a more open and connected approach when it comes to technology that promotes new ways of working. 5G will allow us to do what we do faster and with more precision.
5G networks have what it takes to support mission-critical enterprise communications. But perhaps more important than that, is 5G’s ability to deliver unprecedented, differentiating, high-value services. Whether its industry 4.0 driving increased productivity or powering critical emergency services and infrastructure for utilities, public safety, healthcare and other government organisations. I have no doubt 5G has an important role to play in managing connectivity and security on behalf of the enterprise.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. The sooner enterprise rallies behind the power of 5G and builds tangible and powerful use cases, the sooner we’ll start to reap the rewards of a 5G powered enterprise revolution. Sit tight, it’s going to be one hell of a ride.