South Africa : The essence of connectivity, reinvented
- 31 March 2022 / News / 293 / Fares RAHAHLIA
In just two years the essence of connectivity has evolved, shifting from a tool used by organisations to connect with customers and collaborate with staff to a resource that drives innovation and growth.
It’s the key to unlocking agility, scale and cloud, and it’s the line that connects the organisation to new markets and opportunities.
As McKinsey points out, it’s connectivity that underpins more agile ways of working and that has allowed for organisations to cross boundaries, improve speed to market, innovate fast and make decisions even faster.
This new way of looking at connectivity, as a whole and through the lens of emergent technologies and solutions, is reinventing how it is used, and perceived. The World Economic Forum describes this as standing on the precipice of another era-defining technological shift.
The organisation believes that just as every business is now a technology business, so will every business become a 5G business – a trend driven by the seismic shifts of the past two years and by the potential of 5G itself.
After all, even though this is an emergent technology, 5G-enabled services are already showing off their abilities across the Internet of Things (IoT), smart cities and self-driving vehicles.
In addition to 5G sitting at the heart of innovation and intelligent solutions and systems over the next five to ten years, the World Economic Forum(WEF) also believes that it will play a role in driving global growth.
The GSMA has estimated that 2025 will see one-third of the world’s population covered by 5G and research from the Wi-Fi Alliance suggests that the global economic value of Wi-Fi will reach about $4.9 trillion by the same year.
And this is just one element that forms part of the connectivity ecosystem. And this is without even considering the value of fibre and how this, combined with 5G, is a critical enabler for the enterprise.
Combined, these two technologies are crucial to supporting the business digital journey and hybrid working models.
Another area where connectivity has shown immense value is in ensuring business continuity and becoming an essential resource for organisations juggling disparate teams, customers, and company bases.
For many enterprises, connectivity has evolved beyond simply providing the employee with access to systems or ensuring that customers can engage with systems and solutions.
It has become the hallmark of sustainable growth and success. This is largely due to the reality of cloud, but also thanks to the ubiquity of unified collaboration.
Unified collaboration resources helped companies stay connected in times of great disconnect, but they’ve also evolved to allow people to balance the load.
Recently, McKinsey described the constant barrage of calls and meetings the ‘collaboration overload’ – too much time spent online, in meetings, and not enough time spent doing the work.
In an article with the WEF, the research firm points out that connectivity itself has had to evolve to become more articulate within the noise.
Organisations have become more strategic around how they build collaborations and conversations, and the ways in which they use their communications tools to mitigate burnout and improve performance.
Companies are evolving their approaches to cohesion and connection to create communities and a sense of belonging – motivation over mandating.
This ties in with another aspect of connectivity that has emerged as a trend in 2022 – the use of trusted technology to build connectivity foundations that are capable of withstanding ongoing uncertainty.
Over the next few months, it’s very likely that Wi-Fi 6 and 5G will continue to gain momentum and that their applications will become increasingly relevant to the enterprise.
The speed, low-latency, and cost reductions these technologies bring to the proverbial table are hard to ignore, and way better to implement.
They will be further supported by increased adoption of solutions that allow for the organisation to leverage network resources at the edge and the continued domination of SD-WAN and SASE.
The latter two providing enterprises with much needed levels of network optimisation and security at price points that work in times of economic belt-tightening.
Artificial intelligence and automation, along with smart self-healing networks, will gain traction, driven by the rising cybersecurity threat.
Together, these trusted technologies will help companies build connectivity foundations that are capable of withstanding uncertainty without compromising on people, platforms and potential.
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