Considering how often we write about the cloud, mobility, virtualization and other technology trends in this space, we sometimes take it for granted that businesses are at least aware of these topics, at a minimum. Sure, many companies may have a several-years migration plan to adoption or may be in the preliminary stages of considering adoption, but most are presumably savvy about the benefits of a variety of communications technologies.
Unfortunately, that’s far from the case according to findings from ABI Research (News - Alert). The company discovered that a majority of the 455 U.S.-based companies it surveyed earlier this year were not aware of or familiar with some key technologies, including 5G, autonomous vehicles, blockchain and indoor location. The company queried businesses in the retail, healthcare, transportation, logistics, automotive, manufacturing, utilities, consumer packaged goods and government sectors and found that a whopping 62 percent of them were unfamiliar with 5G wireless technology.
Of the companies surveyed, only 37 percent were just starting to investigate the possibilities of 5G, the proposed standard for the fifth generation of mobile networks. 5G would offer businesses faster connectivity, lower latency and battery consumption and support for machine-to-machine communications, making it a vital part of the growing Internet of Things (IoT).
Indoor location solutions are another major component of the IoT, particularly for vertical markets like retail, and yet only 22 percent of businesses queried were examining or planning for those types of solutions. A mere 7 percent of companies were looking at or had autonomous vehicle solutions planned, while nearly all businesses queried, at 93 percent, were unaware of blockchain, a distributed database technology used for bitcoin currency, but with applications in the healthcare industry and identity management as well.
“The survey clearly shows that we are currently in the phase of adding connectivity to physical first products,” said Stuart Carlaw, chief research officer at ABI Research. “The top three most significant technology segments identified by respondents all centered on connecting physical first products to digital domains. These were wired (Ethernet, PoE), short-range wireless (Bluetooth, WiFi), and cellular technologies (4G/4.5G, LTE (News - Alert)-M, NB-IoT, LPWA).” He added that it’s up to the technology vendor community to address the gap between evangelism and reality that seems to exist surrounding certain hyped technologies.
Edited by Alicia Young