Switch your enterprise customers to a 5G powered business
In today’s ever-present digitalization of enterprises, leading service providers can now leverage 5G opportunities, and could be well on their way to building a momentum in revenues beyond mobile broadband. But what are the insights and the priorities? What do your enterprise customers highlight as the most important in selecting what partners to rely on in their transitions? We asked 1100 enterprise IT decision makers to find out.
Are you in it to win it? Or are your main priorities to follow leaders with caution, learning from them and accepting the comparably lower rewards and risks – reacting rather than acting first? For me, I’ve always been inspired by leaders paving the way and aspiring to do better, before everyone else. Here at Ericsson, we have the privilege to work closely with many service providers who are spearheading their way into the business realities that come with 5G and enterprise digitalization. Learning from them and sharing everything we know to contribute to this effort is what drives both myself, and our team each day.
Listening to the enterprises
Are you a good listener? I know I want to be. Our team at Ericsson want to really understand where all our key stakeholders, particularly our customers, in the ecosystem stand. But of course, we don’t stop there . We also strive to tap into the views of what is on top of mind for our customers´ customers. Regularly, this has been in the form of our Consumer Lab surveys, tapping into the consumer realities connected with communication services. But now we decided to approach 1100 enterprise IT decision makers directly. Spread across 11 different countries, these digitalization drivers are representatives of businesses in any part of six selected B2B2X value chains, ranging from food retail to media & entertainment:
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Exploring the elements of digitalization
So, what did we hear? First, we heard that digitalization is not one homogeneous thing, which was not a surprise. Instead we identified five different types of digitalization that an enterprise would typically associate with its business reality. The dominance of each category results in an inclination to look for certain qualities and profiles among the digitalization partners the enterprise chooses to invest time in and build solutions with. Second, there are different drivers and constraints for digitalization, each playing a key role in shaping any enterprise´s transformation efforts. And third, different enterprises are at different maturity levels when it comes to digitalization.
A top priority for many smaller or traditional businesses is typically to simplify routines concerning communication and documentation. However, most enterprises have come further. For the majority, digitalization today is collecting data from various flows, and gradually refining it to turn into KPIs for people to act on.
Only at the highest levels of digital maturity – which arguably, can be said to be focused on a low latency and high speed 5G context – we find enterprises with access to expertise and digitally native organizations. Here, priorities are extensive data collection, use of AI and related technologies, and eventually fully automating longer series’ of complex tasks.
Enterprises´ views on telecommunications service providers
All – the different types, drivers and constraints, and the maturity levels - come to play important roles, as enterprises invest in their digitalization transformations. But where do their preferences lie when it comes to who to trust and who to work with, to get the solutions they need to evolve their business? What values, qualities and services do they predominately view as the best, having experienced different types of cooperation with service providers? And perhaps most important for me, our team and our customers; in what ways would they like to work with service providers to attain these services? What roles and paths would they like for service providers to take, in order to present viable alternatives to other ICT partners and suppliers, such as cloud infrastructure providers or IS/IT consultants?
We succeeded in finding answers to all the questions above. Some of them came in the form of new and valuable insights and I can really recommend that you tap into our report, which reveals the highlights and conclusions of this study.
For me, someone who aspires to understand what shapes the priorities of leaders serving B2B2X digitalization, it was an absolute worthwhile read, and hope it will be for you too!
5G is not any other G
Do leading service providers agree with us that the growth ahead is in the ´5G for business´ domain? From my experience the answer is yes, we see that they do. And they’re evolving a set of insights that increasingly steer their priorities:
- 5G is not any other G. 5G is also a software game and a platform that makes it possible for service providers to innovate and build new digitalization value for enterprises. Additionally, 5G is where the implementation of IoT solutions will play an increasing role across business applications and throughout society.
- The smarter networks are the decentralized networks, effectively handling a complexity that goes far beyond what a human can deal with. Technical, operational, and business capabilities all interact to achieve this.
- The best way to handle a network is not to handle it all. For this, a dual-mode 5G Cloud Native Core and infrastructure create the base. A closed loop, intelligent orchestration is critical. And an operation supported by continuous software updates is obligatory. And in the business category, API exposure driving wholesale partnerships and ecosystems is essential.
On reading the most recent blogpost from our Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Digital Services, Jan Karlsson, I resonate entirely with what he states; that ´The era of the 5G powered business is here – Explore your path industry digitalization and take your position now!´ And I can only echo what Jan sees: that some service providers have already achieved a strong start in serving the digitalization transformations of their enterprise customers, while others are still weighing their options.
The time to act is now
Last year, in our report ´5G for business: a 2030 market compass´, we made a review of the business potential for service providers across a selection of 10 different industries and 9 use case clusters. What we discovered is that there is a confirmed and significant opportunity to break a largely stagnant trend of revenues, that has been prevailing regardless of network generation shifts. Most of the value will remain residing in the current scope of services, services that now enter a phase of evolved mobile broadband, and fueled by the transitions to 5G. But as 5G deployments move from coverage and cost priorities, to meeting the expected surge in demand for bandwidth, the new value and revenue streams are expected to materialize in the B2B and B2B2X digitalization dimension. The service provider growth potential is what we refer to as the ´5G for business´ domain. And with positions already being taken today, the time to act is now.
For the full findings of our survey with 1100 enterprise IT decision makers, check out our ´5G for business´ page and read the full report: Serving the 5G powered business:Download report
Also tap into Jan Karlsson´s podcast with Dez Blanchfield, where Jan shares his reflections on this study and the above topics:
Listen to podcast where Jan Karlsson, Senior Vice President and Head of Digital Services at Ericsson and Dez Blanchfield, Industry Analyst and Business & Technology Consultant, discusses how to deliver smarter networks to customers enabling them to do smarter business