Expect ‘a 5G-led revolution in business automation’

5G may not yet have delivered the consumer gains that were promised for it, but CIOs should expect 2022 to be the year when we see a 5G-driven revolution in communications for business automation, a leading consultant has forecast.


Raj Shah, North America Lead for Hi-Tech and Telecom with Publicis Sapient, said that the next 12 months will see much innovation in 5G at enterprise level as various industries seek out different ways to leverage its power. But he considers that other heavily hyped technologies, like the metaverse, may have longer to wait for critical use cases to emerge.


“Smart businesses will invest in a more joined up fifth generation of communications, an ecosystem of modernized data transfer, connected solutions which combine IoT, AI, and cloud to produce real-time analytics, granular insights, and seamless results,” he predicted.


Industries that rely heavily on automation – energy, manufacturing, agriculture – will, he said, be the early adopters, utilizing shrinking sensors to enable data collection from hundreds of thousands of inputs to build ‘digital twins’ of real-world environments: “These will range from robotic assembly lines to power grids, to huge farms,” said Shah. “Using this data, collected over 5G industrial networks, they’ll be able to automatically adjust conditions and sense even the minutest changes. This level of hyper-efficiency should lead to better energy usage, more precise manufacturing and automated repair, and stronger returns on investment.”


The metaverse, he predicted, will be useful to consumers and businesses alike, but only once everyone works out exactly what it is: “The metaverse is still too undefined to be able to benefit from it,” noted Shah. “At this point, companies should be exploring what the implications of the metaverse will be, how they want to be positioned in it, and dabbling in proofs of concept. The metaverse is on the way to being huge and will undoubtedly impact the future of marketing and customer engagement.”


He picked out AR and VR as likely to become more common in our lives much sooner: “This is mainly because hardware has advanced so that we don’t have to wear 30lbs of gear on our heads to experience it. Early adoption of metaverse will happen as extensions of what we’re already seeing with Zoom, Slack, or Microsoft Teams. In commerce, how people buy homes and cars may be much more interactive. Digital twin technologies will merge into the metaverse, allowing for engineering, manufacturing, and other physical world industries to create and work in virtual environments.”


Image courtesy of IEEE Innovation At Work

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Book of the Month*


By Walter Isaacson
We do not need to be told that Steve Jobs was a genius. That fact is spelt out clearly in his legacy of brilliant and beautiful innovations, devices, systems, concepts and a company that, ten years after his death, still towers over the world of information technology. What we do want to know is how such genius could arise in a difficult adopted child from a chaotic background. If any book can offer answers, it is this one: written by a professor of history at Tulane that had been CEO of the Aspen Institute, chair of CNN and editor of Time, and the author of a series of bestselling biographies of some of the world’s greatest geniuses.

 “It’s your book” said Steve Jobs when he chose Walter Isaacson to write this definitive biography, “I won’t even read it.” Here was a man, notorious for his need to control, apparently giving a stranger unfettered permission to expose his disturbed background and turbulent career. Jobs did, with some initial reluctance, live up to that promise by encouraging even his harshest critics – past colleagues that he had fired, abused or abandoned – to be interviewed by Isaacson.

The result is an extraordinarily rich and textured account of a very complex and unpredictable character. On the one hand he could exemplify the serenity of his Buddhist beliefs – a quality evident in the techno-Zen minimalism of his creations and preferred lifestyle. On the other hand his colleagues could see him as a swearing, vindictive Rasputin figure who stole others’ ideas, told lies and could treat family and lovers appallingly.

His public image was a lot less complicated: he was known as a God-like figure that created the most innovative computer company in the 1970s and raised it from the dead twenty years later. He was a techno-guru before adoring disciples. We read that, when the iPhone was first released, Jobs visited his local Apple store and was hailed “as if Moses had walked in to buy a Bible”. On the launch of the iPad it was said: “The last time there was this much excitement about a tablet, it had some commandments written on it.”

It is indeed good for humanity to have the example and inspiration of idols and saviours. But it is also vital to understand the bigger picture, one that reveals the human beneath the myth as this book does so successfully. If the Great and the Good were truly God-like, then what hope could there be for the rest of us ordinary mortals? This book is not a hagiography, but rather a realistic exploration of the contradictions that can deliver greatness, provided that they are not denied.

Jobs claimed to be above the allure of greedy materialism, and yet he created gadgets that inspired the whole world with the lust to possess them. He embraced a creed of silent mindful awareness, and yet he destroyed that inner peace with a smart phone connecting us into the whole chaos of existence. But can there be any value in transcending materialism if you have never experienced the lust to possess? What is the value of achieving one-ness if you have never lived multiplicity? If someone who begins his life in revolt against capitalism ends up as CEO of the world’s richest company, does that make him a hypocrite or a boundary-shattering genius? We need books like this to help answer such questions.

We also learn that Jobs’ final wish was for everyone at his funeral to be given a copy of The Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda – a book that he adored and re-read every year. How much of the man’s deeper nature can be found by reading this book, and why did he think it was so important for the next generation of business leaders to read it?

The Business Innovation Leaders Forum interviewed Nalanie Harilela Chellaram and Shaman Chellaram – two members of the famous Harilela business family that are also known for their experience bridging modern business and spiritual insights. The interview asks why this autobiography was so influential and what it meant for Jobs. This podcast will be released though the Business Innovation Leaders Forum this January.

And for this Book of the Month we are also offering the option to include The Autobiography of a Yogi as a bonus for those wanting to dig deeper into the mind of Steve Jobs.

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