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With the global economy in recession and financial performance under threat, many enterprises are adopting a “do more with less” mentality, taking dollars away from experimental projects that may not deliver immediate payoff. Many businesses have put investments in cutting-edge technologies on hold, unless there is a specific case for acting right now.

Investment reductions are expected in the near term for certain emerging technologies, such as 5G and edge computing, AI, and blockchain. At the same time, rapidly shifting business priorities are creating new opportunities and use cases for these technologies as the new reality progresses

Since COVID-19 hit, some technologies are being prioritized while others have seen short-term spending cuts.


Everywhere, anytime work: 5G and edge computing

The sudden work-at-home environment driven by the COVID-19 lockdown has driven even greater interest in 5G. 5G advocates say the next generation of internet technology will bring about an exponential change in the speed, scale, and security of the world’s digital connections, from people to products to enterprises. The first major shift, already underway, will be a new workplace paradigm: remote work models as productive and rewarding as in-office models.

According to Alex Holt, Global Head of Telecoms and Media, KPMG International, 5G in combination with edge computing will be key to the global economic recovery after COVID-19. 5G provides the capability to support billions of connected devices transmitting huge volumes of data. Edge computing, which moves processing power closer to the user, has the potential to dramatically improve speed, bandwidth, and latency of applications.

Together, these technologies have the potential to transform the way we work in a wide variety of industries. Employees can enjoy a better remote work experience, with increased access and enhanced functionality, which in turn will improve productivity. In addition, data intensive and other jobs that historically required a physical presence will also have virtual options. “Everywhere, anytime” work, just as effective as it is on site, will truly be possible.

These converging technologies also hold promise to transform industry business models and outcomes. The value of 5G and edge computing across five key sectors is expected to reach more than US$500 billion by 2023, according to recent research from IDC and KPMG in the U.S.1

1 The 5G edge computing value opportunity (KPMG in the U.S., 2020)

The excerpt was taken from KPMG Thought Leadership, Enterprise RebootScale digital technologies to grow and thrive in the new reality