5G technology will benefit Australian businesses and society

21 June 2020 Consultancy.com.au 4 min. read
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Australian executives are increasingly aware of the benefits that 5G can bring to their business and society as a whole – a realisation that has been made clearer by the Covid-19 virtual working conditions. This is according to new Accenture research, based on surveys from business leaders across the globe.

Accenture surveyed more than 2,500 executives globally, 200 of whom are based in Australia. The survey found that 5G adoption has progressed significantly, on the back of growing positive attitudes towards the new technology in the business environment. Across the board, nearly 80% of all respondents indicated that 5G could bring tremendous value to their business in a variety of ways.

These executive see the new technology’s potential to modernise their business model, while also creating new revenue streams. Three-fourths also acknowledge 5G’s potential to boost productivity for their business. Closely related to productivity gains is the ability to increase business efficiency through more detailed monitoring of operations and assets.

Extent to which 5G has been adopted

In Australia, 5G has previously been touted for its applications in the defence and national security space, while the rest of the business environment is gradually embracing the potential of new technology. Accenture Australia & New Zealand’s Communications, Media and Technology Lead Jonathan Restarick suggests that 5G is likely to be an integral part of this digitalisation drive.

“It’s clear that Australian businesses recognise the huge potential of 5G, with many ready to take advantage of the opportunity to connect all their assets into an intelligent enterprise, creating new business potential,” he said. What’s more, he pointed out that the current circumstances will only accelerate this process.

A growing share of businesses are now working from home, which puts strong connectivity at the core of efficiency in operations. As businesses adapt their models to meet virtual working conditions, many are realising that remote working actually has concrete value for their business, indicating that these might end up being long term arrangements in some cases.How businesses will develop applications reliant on 5GMeanwhile, the average Australian consumer will benefit considerably from better service offerings and customer experience built on 5G-related advancements, while overall social interaction is expected to become more efficient via better connectivity.

“The accelerated – and in some cases permanent – digitisation brought about by the pandemic will see consumers, business, infrastructure, the economy and society transformed by 5G’s capabilities.”

Partner network

“Having the right strategy and strategic partnerships will be vital,” said Restarick. The “partnerships,” in this case, are not only with 5G service providers, but also with tech partners that can help businesses realise the potential of 5G for their specific models. Accenture reports that more than 75% of business executives acknowledge that they will need support with developing their 5G vision.Biggest 5G security challenges for the organizationAs a result, the demand for digital partners is expected to increase in tandem with 5G adoption. In many cases, experts have called for telecommunications companies and 5G service providers to leverage their unique knowledge of 5G to expand their service offerings and become digital partners.

The one drawback for 5G remains the global concerns around its security. “When we talk about security within 5G networks, it presents a unique security challenge as more functions will be reliant on software and not hardware, and in fact, we are already now contending with some of these challenges in light of Covid-19,” said Joseph Failla, Security Lead at Accenture Australia & New Zealand.

He refers to the spike in cyber attacks during the pandemic, as hostile forces look to take advantage of stretched IT infrastructures. Privacy is another major concern surrounding 5G, with suspicions around the hyper-accurate location capabilities under the new technology.

According to Accenture’s report, executives in Australia and across the globe are already devising strategies to tackle some of these issues and allay fears among their own employees and society as a whole.