A ‘smart’ future isn’t possible without 5G
The arrival of 5G networks in the UK will play a crucial role in speeding up the adoption of smart technology among businesses.
That is the view of Chris Hill, director of sales, Enterprise Business Group UK, Huawei, who will be speaking at our Grow your business through smart tech event in Manchester on 13th November.
Hill says smart technology, which can “connect everyone and everything seamlessly”, has become more prevalent in the last 12 to 18 months.
“5G will obviously increase the speeds in which we’re able to communicate but it also means enterprises will be able to gather enormous amounts of information using big data and IoT devices,” he said.
“The fundamental platform for all these smart technologies, like smart health or smart government – all rely on one thing and that’s connectivity.
“The building blocks of technologies like big data, IoT and machine learning cannot go ahead without connectivity and 5G is going to be an enormous part of that emergence of smart technology.”
Smart tech solutions have the ability to transform how a business operates but Hill says a major challenge that companies face is understanding how to put together a strategy.
“Things have moved so fast in the last 12 to 24 months from a technology perspective and people hear about digital transformation but they don’t actually know what that means,” he said.
“Digital transformation is a journey, it’s not something that happens overnight.”
Hill revealed that Huawei recently signed a major agreement with discount supermarket chain Lidl to bring a new IoT wireless capability to each of their stores.
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“This will enable them to have digital price tags, so staff don’t have to go around every single product removing tags daily trying to remain competitive.
“In real-time they’ll be able to tell what kinds of products are being bought globally and change the pricing accordingly.
“That’s just one example of what digital transformation can look like.”
Last week, department store chain Debenhams revealed a major financial loss and confirmed plans to shut 50 of its stores across the UK.
Hill suggested that any business whose digital transformation strategy is not aligned to the “dramatically” changing habits of its customers is in trouble.
“Without doubt we’re facing probably the biggest digital revolution that there’s ever been,” he said. “Times are changing very quickly, and all companies have to consider their future.
“Now is the time to think about your digital capabilities, investment and strategy for the next five years.”
Hill will be sharing his expertise at the event alongside Chris Sulej from Utopa Technology; Urban Zoo managing director Chris Grannell; and Chris Smedley, CEO of Landways. The full speaker line-up has yet to be confirmed.
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