Digital Transformation with 5G
Blog: NASSCOM Official Blog
By Vikram Puranik, Vice President, Engineering, GlobalLogic
Enterprises are embarking on their turnkey digital transformation programs that enhances customer experience, brings in massive operational efficiency and creates new revenue streams. These transformation programs are inspired from a tectonic shift in technology, that started with SMAC (Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud) to new age DARQ (distributed ledger technology (DLT), artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality (XR) and quantum computing).
Today, with the power of next generation wireless technology for digital cellular network or 5G, will bring 10x speed with 50x low latency, massive IoT for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) connectivity and network edge compute to facilitate hyper localization. Wireless networks have evolved over generations. From 2G, 3G to the current generation of 4G LTE, that has revolutionized how usage of mobile applications with internet data became omnipresent in our lives, enabling the access to social media, e-commerce, media and entertainment, health and fitness, education, etc., at our fingertips. Riding on the 3GPP standards, every generation has added significant capabilities, speed and reliability to the wireless network.
Now, as the technology continues to evolve, 5G is the first digital native standard that takes internet data speed and low network latencies to a completely new level. Built and enabled by digital technologies including cloud virtualization (SDN and NFV), network slicing, mobile edge computing and service-based architecture, it will enrich business use cases for digital transformation. Some of the key functional attributes of a 5G network are Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC), Ultra-reliable and low latency (URLLC) communications and Mobile Edge Computing (MEC).
5G technology has impacted digital transformation of enterprises across different verticals, especially Medical and Healthcare technology (Med-tech), and Communication Service Providers (CSPs).
If we talk about 5G for Digital Transformation in Medtech and Healthcare, some of the business use cases and key technology drivers like NextGen Med-tech devices, Telemedicine and Remote Surgeries will help the industry to emphasise on live data, remote diagnosis and treatment, provide emergency response and significant improvement in secure remote interventions.
While these business use cases and key technology drivers will empower the digital transformation in Med-tech and Healthcare, there will be key challenges that will surface during the change. Here are certain challenges and possible solutions that will streamline the process –
|Meeting Medical Grade Security Standards
Probability of Medical errors/ Medical diagnosis if improper processing or data loss
|End to End Data Encryption
Stringent Security Assurance Methodology
FDA, HIPAA, ISO13485
|Penetration vary wildly from urban to rural settings||Carriers plan to deploy “small cells”, which are cellular antennas of the size of a backpack|
|Cost factors could be challenging due to demographic location, technology penetration, and infrastructure required||Cost can be reduced by using network sharing|
Medical-technology industry has compelling use cases with significant impact on patient outcomes. They have started investing in these transformations programs and have setup dedicated R&D teams in a Med-tech start-up to expedite product feasibility analysis.
When it comes to 5G for Digital Transformation in Communication Service Providers (CSPs), some of the business use cases and key technology drivers like Industry Vertical Partnerships, Platform for IoT, B2B FWA/Private networks to business and Three Way/Four Way/Smart Home Services will help the native CSPs and other leading CSPs to partner with industry leaders to bring forth their disruptive business models, provide scalable SaaS IoT platform for business to register, manage and build data analytics on their IoT devices, and provide TV, Broadband Internet, Smart Home and cellular services with an all in one customer connection.
While these business use cases and key technology drivers will empower the digital transformation in CSPs, there will be key challenges that will surface during the change. Here are certain challenges and their solutions that will streamline the process –
|Service Management of these new services||Partnering with digital technology providers with a strong consultative approach and service capabilities to ensure a better chance for successful deployments|
|Enable billions odd IoT device with and without SIM||Build strong security authentication mechanism which cuts across various types of devices|
|Significant Cost involved in setting up new networks with no accurate clarity on revenues, return on investments||Cost can be reduced by using network sharing using network virtualization|
CSPs will undergo major changes in their business models and IT infrastructure to be able to ride the 5G wave. The key is to build strategic business partnerships for industry vertical offerings and for digital tech providers to build, customise and service these new offerings. This will also involve significant upfront investments; however, the early adopters and fast movers will have a first movers’ advantage to capture cash rich markets.
With 5G bringing a revolution across different industries, enterprises should invest in building early prototypes for 5G that will be network ready. Often, enterprises wait for competitors to succeed/fail before they invest and adapt new technology. However, to become the market leader, they should identify their digital tech partner to start building their early POCs/prototypes. Given the amount of digital tech disruption along with 5G adaption, the lines between industry verticals is getting blurred. Hence, while identifying business use cases, one should relook at how the entire ecosystem will evolve your business. Lastly, identifying a good digital tech partner to work with is important that can showcase the ability to provide design lead; be proficient in SMAC and DARQ tech skills and should have working know-how of telecom networks to make it successful.
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