EY, the business advisory firm previously known as Ernst & Young, has revealed the findings of its Reimaging Industry Futures Study, which aims to showcase the perception of 5G technology within enterprises.
The study found that almost three quarters of enterprises (71%) believe that the pandemic has accelerated existing digital transformation plans, with 52% showing greater interest in 5G and the internet of things (IoT). However, most organizations are taking a cautious approach, with just 17% of enterprises currently investing in 5G, whilst 73% plan to invest in 5G over the next three years.
“Organizations understand the importance of 5G, IoT and other emerging technologies; however, the capability gap among suppliers is a key concern,” said Tom Loozen, EY Global Telecommunications Leader. “Telecommunications operators should take steps to improve their transformation expertise, recognizing that businesses want suppliers to act as partners that provide end-to-end solutions. For this to happen, operators should explore new ecosystem positions while focusing on the opportunities for business model overhaul that 5G can enable.”
Europe is falling behind
The study found that 27% of Asia-Pacific companies have shown greater interest in 5G and IoT since the Covid-19 pandemic, compared with 13% and 15% in the Americas and Europe. With 70% of European enterprises saying that 5G will sit at the heart of their business processes in the future, compared to 80% in Asia-Pacific, and 75% in the Americas.
“There is an obvious hunger and interest in 5G and IoT across all businesses,” said Adrian Baschnonga, EY Global Telecommunications Lead Analyst. “It is clear that service providers should reposition themselves as collaborators to their customers, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution to unlocking the benefits of 5G. Service providers should take care to educate and inspire enterprises in Europe that may be in an earlier phase of adoption or less aware of the pervasive opportunities represented by 5G and IoT. Meanwhile, organizations that are more focused on 5G’s role in pandemic recovery require a different approach and service providers must be ready to refine their 5G propositions at pace in order to cater for fast-changing use case needs.”
The EY Reimaging Industry Futures Study was conducted via a survey of 1,012 global enterprises between February and March 2021, with the aim of understanding perceptions around 5G. Respondents were cavanssed from 11 countries: US, UK, France, Germany, India, Australia, China, Japan, Switzerland, UAE and Austria, and covered sectors such as technology, consumer, energy and government.