Industry in southern Asia-Pacific is gearing up for the launch of 5G in 2020

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A new report by MIT Technology Review Insights in association with Huawei, finds that digital transformation in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand is already heavily underway particularly in terms of internal systems, products, and services. The digitalization of manufacturing and supply chains is lagging, but will be substantially accelerated by the launch of 5G.

The report, From follower to leader: Digital transformation and the road to 5G, is based on a multi-industry survey of senior technology executives across the six Asia-Pacific markets as well as expert interviews. It examines how companies are deploying Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies such as cloud, IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, robotics, blockchain, and virtual and augmented reality, as well as preparing for the opportunities that will open up through 5G. Key findings include:

  • Companies are already making strong progress with digital transformation in internal systems, products, and services. Cloud and IoT are the most established 4IR technologies, with 29% and 34% of respondents having already deployed these for one year.
  • Improving customer experience is the single biggest driver of technology adoption across the region, followed by increasing the speed of decision-making and increasing operational agility. The high cost of deployment is the number one challenge to further digitalization.
  • 5G is expected sooner rather than later. Two-thirds of respondents report that there are active conversations taking place inside their organizations about the future impact of 5G, yet only 46% say that there is a good understanding of the benefits that 5G will bring. Nevertheless, 65% expect 5G to be available in 2020, with a further 18% anticipating 2021 as a more likely date.
  • Collaboration and ecosystem development will further fuel digital transformation. Only 35% of respondents believe that there is sufficient infrastructure in terms of regulation, connectivity, and public services to support further digitalization, which shows there is more to be done.
  • Some 82% of survey respondents think infrastructure upgrade costs are the key 5G hurdle that telecom operators will need to overcome, yet 83% believe that telecoms will take the lead in the future 5G ecosystem. A further 70% feel that governments should create a collaborative environment for 5G.

“This survey finds that executives in Asia-Pacific are bullish on new technology, with the majority having plans to launch either AI, automation, or IoT within a year,” says Claire Beatty, editor of the report. “They also have high expectations that 5G will be available within the next two years, and that the manufacturing, financial services and automotive sectors will benefit the most.”

Download full report here: https://insights.techreview.com/from-follower-to-leader/

About MIT Technology Review Insights
For more than 100 years MIT Technology Review has served as the world’s longest-running technology magazine, the standard bearer of news and insights on how the latest technologies affect the world around us. Read by a global community of innovators, entrepreneurs, investors and executives at the highest level, it offers an unrivaled authority that is backed by the world’s foremost technology institution, and features editors with a deep technical knowledge and understanding of technological advances.

MIT Technology Review Insights is the content solutions division of MIT Technology Review. It includes two main divisions: Research and Live Events. Aligned with the same stellar editorial heritage and standards as the magazine itself, we leverage our access to a wide network of subject matter experts and leading content contributors to create custom content for clients who want to reach new audiences with relevant, cogent and high-quality stories and experiences to users wherever they want it — in digital, print, online, and via unique in-person experiences.

About the research
To produce this study, MIT Technology Review Insights conducted a review of the digital transformation agenda in Asia-Pacific and the impact of 5G. The research was based on a survey of 191 senior technology and strategy executives in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand as well as a series of interviews during July and August 2018 with experts from around the region. The report, which is sponsored by Huawei, is editorially independent and the views expressed are those of MIT Technology Review Insights.

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