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Ultra-fast internet will trigger unprecedented cloud disruption

You’ve undoubtedly heard the hype surrounding 5G in recent years. Kind of like driverless cars and virtual reality, right? It’s coming, but not quite yet! Well, 5G is actually closer than you think, and there are plenty of reasons you might want to pay attention.

For quick review, 5G stands for “fifth-generation” and it’s the next iteration of over-the-air broadband signal strength (for perspective, 4G first appeared in 2010). 5G can best be described as super-connectivity – like, the out of this world kind. Imagine downloading a movie in 4 seconds instead of the usual 40!

Among the sectors most impacted by 5G rollout will be the cloud. Cloud spending will more than double from $229 billion in 2019 to nearly $500 billion in 2023. The technologies behind 5G will be a major catalyst for digital transformation 2.0.

In the following, we’ll describe some of the key enabling 5G technologies and the impacts on cloud infrastructure, consumption, and utilization they will trigger. Hold on, because things are about to get really exciting!

Blazing fast digital transformation

The next 5 years will see some amazing new adoptions as cloud technology becomes even more advanced and complex. Businesses will, in fact, need to rethink how to leverage insights from the enormous amounts of data that will emerge from 10X faster network speeds and the emergence of ubiquitous computing and IoT. This will open an entire market for new business models and strategies, along with transformations in content and digital marketing.

Immersive technologies will go mainstream

We’ve been hearing about virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for a few years now and have seen the niche market for VR glasses grow, especially among gamers. But the data demands for these technologies are high. The catalyst that will vault these technologies into the mainstream will be the latency reduction and speed boost provided by 5G. User experience is another major factor (remember the failed Google Glass experiment!). If any brand can solve that issue it’s Apple. In fact, Apple Glasses, slated for release by 2023, could be the proving ground for 5G, with the potential to revolutionize wearable technology.

Living on the edge

Edge-computing reduces latency by closing the data transfer loop and bringing information closer to the end-user much faster. Once this technology syncs with 5G, end-users will receive “instant data” through smart objects, phones, and network gateways. New cloud-native approaches to microservices, containers, and distributed computing are part of this paradigm shift as well. Business leaders will need to adapt quickly to strategizing around the ways edge-computing redefines the cloud.

What’s more, edge-computing will show just how easily new tech can displace seemingly foundational technology paradigms like “mobile.” When everything is “smart” – from wearable glasses, to kitchen countertops, to self-driving cars – then phones will be superseded by cooler and less “blocky” form factors. Julie Coppernoll, VP-Global Marketing at Intel, probably says it best: “Nothing will be ‘mobile’ anymore because everything will be mobile.”

Holographic teleconferencing

The COVID-19 pandemic proved that society has the ability to transform and adjust quickly to worldwide paradigmatic shifts. Almost overnight, everything from banking to retail and education migrated online and relied on remote work. But imagine the next level of communication – for example, holographic teleconferencing. 5G transfer speeds will finally enable real-time full-motion, 3D video – a data-intensive process that existing and legacy networks could not do. Redefining how remote parties interact and communicate is just the tip of the 5G iceberg.

Traveling living rooms

Self-driving cars have been in the works for years now but the user-experience enabled by 5G may be the ‘killer app’ that wins over reticent car-buyers. Fast, constant, and seamless data connections will pave the way for turning Tesla sedans into traveling living rooms. In the next 5 years, scanning your VR highlights from last night’s game via Apple Glasses while sipping coffee in your automated car might be less far-fetched than it sounds!

Despite years of seemingly unfulfilled hype, certain technologies are nonetheless about to get a major boost from the latency reduction and speed breakthroughs provided by 5G telecommunications. The cloud and edge-computing will see the biggest disruptions. Simply stated, businesses of all sizes must prepare themselves to leverage the enormous new opportunities, strategies, and “instant data” to emerge from this transformation.

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