Serving the 5G powered business

We talked to 1,100 enterprise IT decision makers and have insights to share. Read about what’s driving their digitalization efforts and how service providers can capture the enterprise digitalization opportunity. The time to act is now.



The next wave of 5G expansion will allow businesses of all types to reap the benefits of enhanced mobility, flexibility, reliability and security, and provide an entirely new range of possibilities for service providers. To navigate this new era, enterprises are looking for a digitalization partner.

Exploring the role of value chains in digitalization

When looking at existing studies, in-depth investigations of the digitalization of individual enterprises, and broader mappings of the digitalization of enterprises in specific industries, can be identified. These reports provide insights to the particulars of businesses and industries, but the results are frequently difficult to transfer to other enterprises and sectors. The decisions in one business depend heavily on those of other enterprises. Therefore, there is a need to explore to what extent ecosystem influence might affect the development of individual enterprises’ strategies and approaches to digitalization.

Drivers for digitalization

For businesses, digitalization is mostly about business and proportionally less about technology. This is reflected in the reasons for and approaches to evolve different processes. Some industries face major structural changes such as transition to e-commerce, sustainability electrification, forces that influence transformations across many different industries. Furthermore, competitive pressure – margin squeeze, productivity or differentiation – holds major influence on their strategies and approaches to digitalization. Lastly, digitalization in the consumer world is beginning to shape the expectations of what customer experience, even within B2B areas, should look like. How these drivers shape digitalization is explored further in the report.

Digitalization types

We have identified five different types of digitalization, relevant to different enterprises and situations, each requiring their own types of solutions and with different barriers to entry. Push digitalization deals with accelerating the forward productivity flow in the value chain, while pull digitalization concerns adapting the value chain, to be more responsive to customer demand. Value- add digitalization focuses on increasing the value in the end customer’s domain, whereas coordination digitalization is about bringing together resources needed for producing a certain result. Finally, disruptive digitalization happens when new entrants step into the value chain. The full report explores these digitalization types and their impact.

Service provider paths in digitalization

To become a relevant partner in enterprises’ digitalization journeys is not an all or nothing deal. Rather, there exist many different niches with varying degrees of complexity and barriers to entry that service providers could approach. There are several paths that service providers could take in the digitalization landscape. Within Ericsson’s three existing service provider roles we have identified six paths, each contributing a specific value to digitalization. They are not exclusive to each other and service providers should consider which path they want to follow, and what ecosystem to work in, to pursue that path.

Navigating the digitalization transformation

The value-chains, digitalization drivers, types and levels of maturity all affect each other to shape the evolving digital landscape. The aim of this report is to provide a map of some key areas for navigating this complex environment, and to break down the complexity and make it more approachable. We hope that this insights provided in this report will support service providers to identify their path for how to enable the 5G powered business, starting already today.


The findings in this study are based on two parts. The first part is built on in-depth interviews with 25 industry representatives, each with key roles in in their enterprise's digitalization journey –Interviews ranging from CFOs and CDOs to production managers. The second part constitutes of detailed responses from 1100 IT decision makers from enterprises active in the targeted value-chains across Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South-Korea, Spain, UK and the USA.

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