Amandeep Nagpal, Dean, Centre for Advanced Training, Lovely Professional University

The year 2022 saw enterprises pushing the pedal on exploring 5G use cases and devising plans to leverage its potential. During the year, enterprises across sectors deployed new-age technology solutions such as AI/ML, big data, AR/VR, cloud computing and robotics to enhance their productivity as well as business. Amandeep Nagpal, Dean, Centre for Advanced Training, Lovely Professional University, shares his views on key technology trends, the opportunities opened up by 5G, challenges in digitalisation and the way forward…

How are new-age technologies such as AI/ ML, big data, AR/VR, cloud computing and robotics transforming the enterprise segment and fuelling Industry 4.0? How are you leveraging these solutions?

New-age technologies play a significant role in Industry 4.0, characterised by in­tegration of advanced digital technologies in­to traditional manufacturing and industrial processes. These technologies are dri­ving the fourth industrial revolution by enabling businesses to collect and an­alyse data, deliver accurate predictions, and au­tomate pro­cesses. This leads to ef­fi­­cient, flexible and responsive operations and enhanced personalised custo­mer experience. Such technologies are tra­­ns­forming the enterprise segment in se­veral ways including:

  • Automation and optimisation of business processes: AI and ML are being used to automate routine tasks, improve customer service, and optimise supply ch­ain management.
  • Improved decision-making: Big data analytics is being used to gain insights fr­om vast amounts of data, enabling bu­sinesses to make informed decisions and improve their operations.
  • Enhanced customer engagement: AR and VR are being used to enhance customer engagement by providing more immersive and personalised experiences.
  • Increased collaboration and productivity: Cloud computing and collaboration tools are allowing for remote work and increased flexibility, and robotics is being used to automate physical tasks, improve efficiency and reduce costs.
  • Increased scalability and flexibility: Cl­o­ud computing provides businesses with scalable and flexible infrastructure to support the deployment of these te­ch­nologies.

What opportunities has 5G opened up for enterprises in India? How do you plan to le­verage its potential?

5G is expected to open up several opportunities for enterprises. These include:

  • Increased connectivity: 5G is poised to provide faster and more reliable internet connectivity, enabling businesses to im­prove their operations and better serve customers.
  • IoT and Industry 4.0: 5G will enable the widespread adoption of IoT and In­dustry 4.0, allowing businesses to collect and analyse large data, improve automation, and deliver accurate predictions.
  • AR/VR: 5G will support the use of AR and VR in various applications such as training, product visualisation and re­mo­te collaboration.
  • Remote working: 5G will enable more seamless remote working and collaboration, by providing high speed and low-latency connections to employees working from different locations.
  • New business models: 5G will enable the creation of new business models, such as cloud gaming; immersive experiences such as VR tourism, virtual training and product visualisation, and smart cities; telemedicine; autonomous vehicles; remote manufacturing; and drones for use in a variety of applications such as delivery of packages, monitoring and surveillance, and agriculture. Such new business models enabled by 5G will op­en up new opportunities for companies to provide innovative services and inc­rease their revenue streams.

What, according to you, will be the key digital trends that will reshape the enterprise segment in 2023 and beyond?

Some of the key digital trends that are ex­pe­cted to reshape the enterprise segment in 2023 and beyond are:

  • AI/ML: AI and ML will continue to be major drivers of digital transformation, with businesses using these technologies to automate routine tasks, improve customer service, and optimise supply chain management.
  • Big data and analytics: Businesses will continue to collect and analyse large am­ou­nts of data to gain insights, undertake informed decisions, besides improving their operations.
  • Predictive maintenance: The use of ML to predict when equipment is likely to fail and schedule maintenance before it happens will reduce downtime and increase efficiency.
  • Smart factory and Industry 4.0: The use of digital technologies such as IoT, AI and robotics to create smart factories that can automate, optimise and monitor production processes.
  • Digital twins: The use of virtual models to simulate physical systems and proce­sses in order to optimise performance, id­e­ntify potential issues and plan for fu­ture scenario.
  • Blockchain: The use of blockchain technology to create secure and transparent supply chains, track products and impro­ve trust among different stakeholders.
  • Extended reality (XR): The use of XR technologies such as AR/VR and mixed reality (MR) in various industrial applications such as training, product visualisation and remote collaboration.
  • Hyper-automation: The use of advan­c­ed automation technologies such as AI, RPA and low-code platforms to automate a wide ra­nge of business pro­ce­sses, from simple ta­sks to complex, knowledge-intensive work.
  • Multi-experience: The use of multiple digital touchpoints and voice assistants to provide personalised and immersive experiences for employees and customers.
  • Autonomous things: The use of auto­nomous technologies such as drones, ro­bots and self-driving vehicles to automate physical tasks and improve efficiency.
  • Zero trust security: The adoption of zero trust security models that assume th­at all network traffic is malicious, and that all users and devices must be verified before accessing the network.
  • Cybersecurity: The use of advanced cybersecurity measures to protect industrial control systems, such as the use of encryption and machine learning to detect and prevent cyberthreats.
  • Edge computing: Edge computing will become increasingly important as businesses look to process data closer to where it is generated, reducing latency, and improving performance.
  • 5G: 5G networks will become more widespread, providing faster, more reliable internet connectivity, and enable the use of new technologies such as cloud gaming, VR and autonomous vehicles.

These digital trends will play a major role in shaping the future of the enterprise segment and help companies optimise their processes, improve efficiency and re­du­ce costs. Companies that can qui­ckly adopt and leverage these techno­logies will have a competitive advantage in the marketplace. This is expected to lead to more efficient, flexible and res­pon­sive operations, and a more persona­lis­ed customer ex­perience.