London, October 20, 2021 – A new PAC study reveals that many business leaders are yet to develop a detailed strategy for the adoption of enterprise 5G. More pressingly, only a third of telecommunications firms have a strategy in place – lagging behind enterprises that will inevitably rely on the sector to support their adoption journey.

5G is set to become one of the most impactful and transformative innovations impacting the modern enterprise. The benefits are clear – with executives building investment business cases around more responsive, secure, and stable networking capabilities. In the process enabling new digital capabilities – from greater sensor density on the factory floor, to the extension of operations beyond traditional boundaries. 

The research, supported by NTT DATA, Wind River, Vertica, and Telit, reveals that businesses from a range of industries are pushing ahead on their 5G adoption journeys. Many are already far into their roadmaps, benefiting from detailed and thoughtful strategies that align existing operations and technologies with the evolving possibilities presented by 5G. Many more are experimenting and exploring, finding experts and partners to help them build out a coherent plan. And others remain locked in a ‘wait and see’ stance, reluctant to invest or unsure of the right path to follow.

Fig 1. Which of the following statements best describes your 5G strategy? (Source: PAC, 2021; n=120 enterprise leaders)

Ollie O’Donoghue, Industry Analyst at PAC, said: “We’re starting to see enterprises take a serious look at the impact 5G will play on their business. And while optimism is high, leaders are beginning to recognize that a lot of work is still needed to develop the foundations necessary to deliver real value from 5G. Moreover, there is a pressing need to find solutions to a growing list of challenges – from the maturity of solutions on the market to robust security and data management capabilities to soothe compliance concerns. There’s a significant role to play for the evolving ecosystem of vendors and providers in the space as enterprises look for more support as they head further into their 5G journeys.”

Large maturity gaps are opening up between industries

The research reveals significant gaps across industries – with several standing out from their peers in terms of maturity. In the Banking and Insurance sector, for example, over half of respondents advise they have a clear strategy for 5G, compared to just 35% in the Utilities sector.

Despite their role in the development of 5G infrastructure, the Telecommunications sector is one of the least likely to have a clear strategy in place, with just 35% advising they have a clear strategy for integrating 5G into their business.

Matthew O’Neill, Head of Networks at NTT DATA UK, commented, “5G stands to disrupt the telco industry more than most, given the high demand for 5G technology across all industries. As such, telco businesses need to ensure they have a clear strategy to manage the transformative impact of the technology and meet current demand. The benefits of wider implementation promise great opportunity, but clarity is needed to ensure a smooth transformation journey.

Flemming Andersen, Field Leader for Vertica International, said “the results of the PAC survey confirm what we hear from many of our customers. 5G presents an incredible opportunity for operators who are able to transform growing volumes of IoT data into business and customer value. And the enterprise is more than ready for the solutions that will come with the 5G era. We're excited to be a part of the technology ecosystem that delivers the next wave of innovation.

Paul Miller, Chief Technology Officer at Wind River, said, “5G creates opportunities across industries where greater intelligence and compute will be vital at the edge of the network. These exciting new use cases, such as augmented reality, telemedicine, and lights-out manufacturing, will demand low latency and high reliability. Future success will be determined by how we collectively plan and implement infrastructure now. The results from the PAC study reinforces the importance of thoughtful and proactive preparation and offers insight into the current state of the industry.

Marco Contento, Vice President of 5G Technologies at Telit advised, "Telit has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with PAC. One of the key aspects of the analysis work they produce is objectivity with a clear perspective, devoid of either hype or doom. That perspective can be clearly gleaned from the review and conclusions in this white paper covering the very dynamic and changing market of 5G and its application areas and segments. A most engaging read."

About the study

The PAC study “Building the business case for 5G” is supported by premium sponsors NTT DATA, Wind River, and Vertica, and gold sponsor, Telit. More than 200 senior decision-makers who have a role in 5G initiatives within their organization were surveyed, with respondents from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy. By vertical, the sample polled included over 80 telecommunications executives, and over 120 enterprise leaders from Banking, Manufacturing, Utilities, Healthcare, and Transport sectors

The infographic relating to the study and the executive summary are now available for download.