Principal Consultant, STL Partners
Accelerating enterprise 5G:
The new B2B ecosystem
Research we’ve undertaken at STL Partners indicates that while there’s certainly a buzz around 5G, understanding of its real potential among enterprises is early in its evolution. Now is the time to capitalize on 5G availability and opportunities to gain a competitive and operational edge.
Until now, perhaps one of the biggest challenges for enterprises has been the availability of industry-specific use cases for 5G. For instance, while the use of autonomous drones in five years might be an exciting vision for a logistics company, the roadmap for getting to that point is less clear. Today, there are significant opportunities for telecoms operators and digital partners to help enterprises on that journey.
Application enablement platforms
Beyond connectivity, the arrival of 5G brings telecoms operators opportunities to offer their customers more value. As higher volumes of data are generated, enterprise customers will look to cloud-based application enablement platforms for managing, sharing, and exchanging all this data for business value.
More than just growing data repositories, these platforms can be key to helping 5G customers to generate and leverage insights from data at scale and in real time. Data privacy, trust, and compliance will be critical and must be built into application enablement platforms by design.
New coordination era
We’re likely to see a move away from the traditional linear value chain towards a more open, flexible ecosystem. As a result, we’re entering a new coordination era in which partners collaborate and co-innovate to leverage an understanding of their customers’ requirements and environment to deliver new 5G-enabled ambitions together.
In this way, telecoms operators can take on a more strategic, advisory, platform-enabled role. This is not just about the network: it’s about having access to the skills and capabilities to drive business advantage for the applications the 5G supports.
Proving and scaling value
In the meantime, many enterprises are still searching for the ‘killer app’ that justifies their investment. This can seem challenging given that the major returns on investment come with multiple use cases, scaling and business transformation. Yet the opportunities are there.
Closer collaboration between enterprises and their partners will enable a more holistic view to become 5G ready. Success is about working in collaboration with customers, as well as digital and integration partners, to develop and scale value-driven proofs of concept. This market is still nascent, but with benefits-driven investment and partnerships, the potential is vast, both for enterprises and for the customers they serve.