PAC CxO survey reveals the reality, and opportunity, of enterprise 5G adoption across Europe

Every year PAC selects important technology trends to perform a European CxO survey on to help us, software and services companies, and end-user enterprises better understand the reality of adoption dynamics across both industries and countries. PAC does this because the hype and messaging around technology can often become disconnected from the practical role it can play in supporting organisations in their ongoing digital journeys.

For 2022 PAC chose 5G as one of the key topics to survey European CxOs on in enterprise and telecommunication organisations. The deployment of 5G started across Europe in 2019, but the pace and focus of the rollout continue to vary within countries across Europe. The initial focus for European 5G services has targeted the consumer market positioned around faster connectivity and more bandwidth to provide consumer-based social, media, and gaming services.

However, this focus has led to less engagement with enterprises outside of businesses focused on 5G consumer services. One of the reasons PAC chose to run this survey was because there seemed to be a lack of insight in the market regarding how enterprise organisations can use 5G for non-consumer use cases. While the greater speed and bandwidth that 5G can provide is beneficial, PAC believes the value of 5G for enterprises will be derived by combining it with a range of other technologies to support industry-specific operating challenges. For example, irrespective of the industry, every enterprise organisation that PAC engages with are looking to digitally instrument all operating functions of their business to provide real-time (or as close as is required) data-driven decision-making and automation of tasks.

To achieve this, a combination of internet-of-things (IoT), edge computing, artificial intelligence and analytics, employee experience, and automation technologies are required to drive the levels of data insight sought. This becomes even more complex as enterprise organisations across industries have complex facilities spanning retail units, storage and distribution, processing plants, and manufacturing. The level of digitisation needed for a wide range of facilities is already asserting pressure on organisations from a connectivity perspective. PAC consider 5G as a backbone for industry use cases by providing dedicated, secure, resilient, consistent, fast, and scalable data connectivity services to address specific industry use cases.

To better understand how European enterprises and telecommunications organizations are delivering or adopting 5G services PAC surveyed 596 respondents across the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Benelux, and the Nordics. The following are examples of interesting data points from the European CxO 5G survey results:

  • 44% of those surveyed said that they strongly believe 5G will transform the sector they operate in for the better, with only 3% thinking it will not make a difference.
  • From a business function perspective, 74% of respondents indicated that 5G would have a high/significant impact on direct and indirect customer service functions, and 78% said it would have the same impact on supply chain, logistics and distribution operating processes.
  • Given the role of 5G in supporting remote, low-bandwidth, and field locations, the survey confirmed that for enterprises, it would significantly improve the value of artificial intelligence (AI) at 43% and internet-of-things (IoT) / edge computing at 47%.
  • Just over 50% of CxO respondents across Europe confirmed they are exploring the value of 5G alongside their other investments but do not have a clear strategy yet.
  • 46% and 41% of those surveyed indicated that the perceived immaturity of 5G solutions on the market and their complex business operating environments were the main obstacles to 5G adoption currently.

From the survey data examples highlighted in this blog, it is evident to PAC that 5G presents a significant opportunity for enterprise organisations to improve their operations. However, solution/service providers must focus their messaging on how 5G serves a business outcome through a deeper understanding of European industry and country dynamics rather than just focusing on selling technology.

If you would like to learn more about the findings and understand the country and industry dynamics of 5G adoption across Europe, please reach out to a member of the PAC team or myself.

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