Getting 5G ready: a guide for business leaders

5G is high on the Australian agenda, with the year so far categorised by huge investment and speculation about the technology. The rollout has been picking up speed with Telstra and Optus switching on fifth-generation network access across the country, and Vodafone to follow suit in 2020.

5G promises faster data speeds, more reliable connections, and a new era of connectedness relevant to every industry. It has the potential bolster business operations, enhance flexible working, and bring together innovation from across the country. However, the move to 5G also brings with it challenges in the form of rapid data creation and increased security risk in managing and protecting data.

As businesses gear up to take advantage of 5G, not every business leader will be prepared for the lower latency and higher bandwidth that comes with the network. So, how can Australian businesses ensure they are ready to harness the power of 5G?

Firstly, they must embrace IoT expansion. The Internet of Things (IoT), has become integral to modern business operations. From virtual assistants and energy controls to productivity and operations tools, businesses are embracing IoT to streamline processes and improve the bottom line.

Global spending in IoT across industries is predicted to reach USD$1.29 trillion by 2020. Deloitte anticipates these investments will contribute $139 billion to the Australian economy alone. 5G is the glue that holds investments in IoT together, helping organisations to unlock their capabilities and drive ROI in a way that has previously been impossible. Companies must be willing to look to their peers and customers to understand where investments in IoT make sense. Otherwise, they will risk losing out to their competitors.

But with advancing technology adoption comes rising complexity – a key challenge for businesses in the 5G era is modernising their IT infrastructures and processes while limiting business disruption. The introduction of 5G and new applications means that visibility and performance will be more important than ever. This is where organisations must turn to supporting technologies to reduce complexity. Network monitoring, for example, provides visibility over an IT infrastructure, before, during, and after network upgrades such as 5G.

With real-time insights across all business operations, the IT team is notified to any potential threats to, or changes in the network’s performance – decisions can then be made in real-time. This type of technology is critical to any business going through a period of immense technological change.

5G will provide the building blocks for innovative technologies to be integrated into business operations. A seamless transition, however, rests on IT teams having the tools to succeed. Those businesses recognising these challenges will not only survive but thrive into a 5G future.

George Wilson, Director of Operations – APAC, Paessler AG

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