The intelligent world of 2030 cannot exist without the digital transformation of industries across the spectrum. In keeping with this vision, Huawei recently held its global industrial digital transformation conference via live streaming and connecting guests from across the world. At the conference, Ma Yue, vice-president of the Huawei Enterprise Business Group, talked about five trends of an intelligent world 10 years from now and proposed a foundation built on new types of connectivity, computing, platform and ecosystem, to enable the intelligent development of a wide variety of industries, including urban development, manufacturing, energy, finance, and transportation. Edited excerpts from his address…
Today, most of the interaction between people is based on various physical measures. In the future, information flow, on the back of new ICT, such as 5G, AI, and IoT, would help us build the foundation of an intelligent world of 2030. We believe that this intelligent world would have five key features – at a governmental level, people-oriented digital governments would be built to adapt to people’s livelihoods better; at an economic level, intelligent robots would make up a critical part of a future labour force; at a social level, digital technology would help equalise the sharing and proper distribution of education, healthcare and other public resources, thereby achieving digital equality; from a cultural point of view, citizens would be freed from heavy physical labour and tedious repetitive work, and their focus would naturally shift from material value to mental value; and from an environmental point of view, the deployment of various digital technologies would help us in monitoring and controlling carbon emissions more effectively and, as a result, help in protecting the earth.
Digital transformation has been ongoing for a considerable period of time. But if we are to create an intelligent world by the year 2030, we must turn the heat on and further push for extensive digital transformation in all industries. There are three new situations in digital transformation. First, new business trends are coming in which would result in businesses being merged to create infinite possibilities. Second, new opportunities would arise with the emergence of digital transformation. Operation technology (OT) and information technology (IT) convergence would become the key. Currently, OT and IT convergence is taking place at a fast pace, but there is still a long way to go. Last but not the least, new requirements would come to the fore. Customers would need scenario oriented solutions instead of just the technical ones.
The next decade would witness the rapid development of new ICT. 5G and AI would be widely applied and used. 6G, brand simulation, and quantum computing would develop at a significant pace. Intelligence in scenarios such as automatic driving, virtual office, and nursing robots would dramatically change the way we work and live. With digital transformation continuing to develop at a great speed, in the future, everything would be connected and intelligent. This would put new requirements on connectivity. The new connectivity would centre on 5G, Wi-Fi6, and other advanced communications technologies.
In the next decade, we believe that Quantum communication would develop rapidly and possibly be put into use in the real world. The new connectivity would breach the boundaries of physical and digital worlds, thus laying a solid foundation for the development of an intelligent world. Based on ultra broadband and high- speed networking, the new platform would be in sync with new technology and would enable digital transformation based on innovations in various industries.
In the intelligent world of 2030, computing would play an important role in diverse intelligence service scenarios. The new computing would offer a full stack, all scenario solution covering bottom- layer chips all the way up to upper layer algorithms, spanning consumers as well as businesses and constituting the core of intelligent transformation.
Huawei has leveraged its digital transformation practices, and worked with customers and partners to build a horizontal digital platform based on the cloud. This new platform optimises and integrates multiple new ICT such as big data, IoT, machine vision, and converged communications. The basic feature of this new platform is openness. It provides an easy to use deployment environment and various keys for third party developers, enabling them to work more efficiently and innovate further.
No single existing ICT vendor can solve all challenges or meet all the requirements alone. Therefore, a new ecosystem is required; one that provides comprehensive customer-oriented solutions. In the process of building this new ecosystem, we propose the SAPO model- an ecosystem based on strategy, architecture, policy and operations. This new ecosystem consists of seven types of partners – sales partners, solution partners, service partners, investment financing and operation partners, talent alliance partners, social partners and industry partners. Traditionally, ecosystem players are only linked together by sales. This new ecosystem features a field of expertise plus multiple skills, and promotes the extensive integration of all players.
New connectivity, new computing, new platforms and new ecosystem, taken together, would build a strong foundation for the intelligent world of year 2030, enabling the intelligent development of diverse industries spanning manufacturing, energy, finance, transportation, and so on. Huawei serves governments as well as manufacturing, chemical engineering, and subway transport industries, all of which have achieved successful digital transformation through the combination of new connectivity, new computing, new platform and new ecosystem.
Huawei has been working in the smart city area for many years, serving more than 200 cities in over 40 countries across the world. One of the key objectives of digital transformation in the smart city space is to maximise the value of big data. A city’s operation centre is a place where we can achieve this goal as it acts as the nerve of the smart city. With the support of new ICT, including AI and 4G/5G, the operation centre visually displays information, offers various useful applications and provides intelligent analysis to assist in decision-making. Huawei has optimised base stations to achieve more accurate and efficient geographic location information for improving the accuracy of city operation and management.
Digital transformation of manufacturing
The traditional manufacturing industry, like all other fields, has also begun to implement digital transformation on a growing scale. Indeed, products are no longer dictated by manufacturers, but consumed by consumers. And consumers require not only products but also services. To adapt to this new chain, manufacturers need to have flexible manufacturing models, which, in turn, are a key driver of digital transformation in this particular industry. The core of flexible manufacturing lies in the flexible scheduling of production lines. Automated guided vehicles and industrial robots work in production lines and implement the production of multiple types of products. Wireless connectivity is the underlying foundation of flexible manufacturing during industrial production. Many processes have strict requirements for network connection. For example, to ensure 99.99 per cent reliability in production, the network latency must be lower than five milliseconds. Bandwidth must also be sufficient to comfortably support 8k video. 5G is more than equipped to meet all these requirements.
Digitalisation in the chemical engineering industry
Ensuring flexible manufacturing or operational safety is one of the major challenges that the chemical engineering industry faces today. The top priority for digital transformation in this industry is the use of digital technology for improving production safety and efficiency. Huawei has worked with leading global chemical engineering enterprises to develop scenario-specific solutions. For example, 5G and autonomous driving, when integrated, help enterprises safely transport chemicals, thereby saving manpower and ensuring safety. The combination of 5G and AI allows experts to be remotely present on site, thereby directly solving the issue of shortage of senior engineers and greatly improving the efficiency and productivity of equipment maintenance.
ICT for subway transport companies
Faster construction, larger passenger capacity, engineering, safety and operational safety are the common concerns shared by all the subway transport companies. Based on technologies such as 5G, machine vision and big data, Huawei along with subway industry customers have developed intelligent operations and maintenance, and intelligent construction site and intelligent vehicle management solutions, resulting in improved subway construction, operations, maintenance and management. These solutions help subway companies remotely monitor operations, detect risks in advance, and reduce incidents of security breach. For years, Huawei and our ecosystem partners have been committed to driving digital transformation in various industries. We have helped many customers achieve successful transformation in fields such as public sector, smart city, smart campus, energy, financing, transportation and manufacturing.