Deloitte prepares for the 5G revolution
5G represents a turning point for enterprise technology and digital transformation. As the industrial and corporate worlds teeter on the brink of this new frontier, a panel of communications and technology experts from Deloitte has come together to explain why advanced connectivity is a game changer.
Rob Kasegrande is a managing director in Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) practice and leads Deloitte's 5G and Edge Computing practice. “We are in a period of hyperconnectivity,” he says. “There’s tremendous focus on digital transformation in enterprise. Our clients are looking at advanced connectivity solutions as a way to gain advantage whether it's by creating new revenue models or creating innovative efficiencies in their operations, or just operating with a more agile and digital infrastructure.
Jack Fritz is a principal in Deloitte’s TMT practice and also leads the 5G and Edge Computing practice. He adds, “We recognize our clients from commercial enterprises to government organizations are all in different phases of their connectivity journey. We work with clients to help them understand the opportunities and potential risks associated with 5G and edge computing. And then we help them design, build, and operate their solutions, including the underlying infrastructure with our ecosystem partners, and ultimately realize value for their organization.”
And, Kasegrande adds, “An ecosystem is not a ‘nice to have’, it's really a necessity. Our intention is to create opportunities for collaboration, for co-development of solutions and insights that really bring all these pieces together.”
Deloitte is working with SAP to bring frictionless ecosystems to businesses. Jerry Hoberman, a principal and Americas SAP practice leader at Deloitte, says, “We're spending a lot of time with SAP to both architect and engineer industry cloud solutions. The success of those solutions is really dependent on having a clean ERP and, more importantly, being able to unlock industry-specific edge solutions and microservices to where the value is. And with 5G, we can get higher speeds and more secure data transfer, which means that we can actually make and process deeper insights. Ultimately, it means we can take better actions to engage the customer, to have more responsive supply chains and even to improve how we engage with employees and make them more productive.”
A Deloitte survey found that four in five technology leaders thought advanced wireless technologies would transform their industries. “These are the kinds of responses that we would expect from new or emerging technologies, but not from a fifth or sixth generation release,” admits Fritz. “In fact, these expectations are even higher than we saw in a recent AI study.” Nine out of 10 thought they would gain competitive edge from employing next-gen connectivity, with 80 percent believing it would be “a force multiplier that is critical to them unlocking the full potential of things like edge computing, AI, IoT and other emerging technologies.”
It’s a tectonic shift, agrees Kasegrande. “When we talk about 5G, what we're really talking about is advanced connectivity: 5G, Wi-Fi 6, enhanced LTE. But the difference is 5G is going to bring the ability to connect millions of devices at the same time and guarantee a certain level of service. It's going to be able to consume massive amounts of data and, with edge, process that data for real time response. The way enterprises tried to use technology in the past was somewhat limiting. Now, in manufacturing you can automate quality sensing and preventative maintenance. In retail, you can have real-time personalization and pricing while your customer is standing in an aisle.”.”
For Fritz, it’s this use case diversity that presents opportunities. “The way that 5G is architected is far more modular than in the past. Some organizations will need massive device density, some will need low latency, and the way in which you architect, design and deploy the network to meet these needs may vary. And that allows enterprises to take a much more active role in that design and the architecture, and ultimately potentially in the ownership and management of the network itself.”
Frictionless, is Hoberman’s keyword for the 5G revolution. “Frictionless commerce results in faster results and greater value through speed, reliability, edge, modularity and security. It's all bundled into the promise of what 5G offers.”
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.