Risks for UK businesses adopting 5G and IoT assessed by EY

Published: Friday, 22 February 2019 08:29

UK businesses are most concerned about the susceptibility of 5G to cyber attacks according to EY’s latest Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) research.

40 percent of respondents are worried about 5G and cyber attacks while a similar percentage (37 percent) were cautious over the security of Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity. The survey also found that while 5G investment is set to catch-up with Internet of Things spend over the next two years, doubts surround its readiness and relevance. Just over one third of respondents feared that 5G is too immature, while 32 percent believe it lacked relevance to overall technology and business strategy.

The survey of 200 UK businesses looked at attitudes towards the adoption of 5G and IoT technology as well as organizations’ expectations from tech suppliers.

Adrian Baschnonga, Global Lead Telecommunications Analyst, EY says: “It’s not surprising that businesses are most concerned with the threat of cyber attacks. The introduction of 5G will help organizations unlock new growth opportunities, but this transition comes at a time when fears regarding data breaches and network security are especially pronounced.”

“Our survey also shows that 5G has an image problem. The challenge for technology and service providers is to position 5G as much more than just a faster mobile connection, but instead a driver of strategic change and a critical enabler for a variety of new services.”

Despite concerns, 50 percent of businesses surveyed are planning to invest in 5G technology over the next two years and an additional 9 percent are currently investing. In comparison, nearly a third of a businesses surveyed (27 percent) had already adopted IoT technology and 33 percent were planning to invest over the next two years. This is encouraging for both 5G and IoT with over half either investing or planning to invest.

Adrian comments: “It’s important that businesses get and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to adopting new technology and it’s encouraging to see strong spending intentions, especially for 5G given it is not yet commercially available.

Tech suppliers need to listen to business concerns

Praveen Shankar, EY’s Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications for the UK & Ireland, says: “5G is much more than just a ‘plain vanilla’ upgrade in speed, capacity and latency, it represents a huge opportunity for TMT providers to tap into new demand scenarios and build stronger relationships with their customers.

“Telecommunications and technology companies need to move beyond the supplier mindset to more of a partnership. TMT providers therefore need to focus on explaining the business benefits of 5G, and engage in consultative dialogue that positions 5G within the broader context of enterprise transformation.

“Finally, TMT suppliers must be ready with robust solutions that convert business potential into operational strength.”

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