Leading decision makers in the telecom industry are optimistic about the opportunities that the digital transformation will bring, but there are shortcomings in the application of new and emerging technologies in the telecom networks themselves. This is according to new report accelerating the intelligent enterprise, where decision-makers from 27 world-leading telecom companies were interviewed to give their view of the telecom industry’s digital transformation.

In the report, it appears that 69 percent of participants see 5G and the internet of things as the most important new technologies to drive digital transformation forward in the next five years. Automation (62%) and ai (58%) come in second and third respectively. In contrast, the use of new technology is mainly focused on customer-related improvements, rather than improvements in the telecommunications networks themselves.

Nearly half (48%) of respondents say the most important aspect of automation is improving customer support, and nearly all (96%) say customer experience is the driver for developing analytics tools and ai over the next five years. Only 44 percent say network-related uses will be as important in the next five years.

Telecom networks have so far accounted for the majority of investments and costs, but the focus on new technology that strengthens the experience for users has increased significantly in recent years. Going forward, it is also important to take a holistic approach to ai and automation and also apply these technologies to other areas such as network operation. The mobile networks will become an increasingly important part of the infrastructure, which will entail greater demands on the reliability of the networks, which ai-based technology can secure, says krister skålberg, partner and advisor within technology media and telecom.

The report states that the current strategy for adapting to new technology is not in phase with the leading telecom companies’ long-term ambitions. Nearly eight in ten participants (76%) believe that it and the network are likely to benefit most from improved analytics tools and ai over the next five years,despite the hesitation to go beyond today’s clearly customer-focused areas of use.

The gap between companies’ strategies and long-term ambitions is not the only thing considered a barrier to maximizing the benefits of automation (46%). Over half (67%) believe that the lack of skills and poor data quality (33%) is a large part of the problem.

The move to 5G networks and the emergence of the internet of things means that the pace of development within the telecom industry is increasing rapidly and will have great significance for the digitization of companies and for society in general. Telecom operators will need to be extremely adaptable in order to meet new customer needs. Ai, data analysis, and automation are powerful tools for increasing the quality of companies’ services while reducing costs.