5G will drive the innovation loop at breakneck speedsChris Manuel
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Welcome to the third blog in this series! Happy to have you back. At this point you have decided to be, if not a leaper, at least a leader. And you have started to ponder this concept of “Quality of Experience” and how it will become THE next set of metrics that we use to wrap our arms around the customer experience in the age of 5G. What I have not mentioned yet is innovation. Almost seems kind of silly considering that 5G is arguably one of the greatest innovations in the history of networking and telecom. Easily could have been the first blog, yes. With that being said, we are on blog 3 and let’s peek into where innovation fits into 5G and what it is going to mean for the digital assurance strategy of the “everyday” company.
When it comes to innovation and 5G, I think about it at two levels. First, the macro level. For instance, the last great wave of disruptive innovators such as Amazon, Netflix, Uber, Instacart, Tesla, leveraged technologies in ways that we never thought possible and as a result, not only blew up their respective industries, but redefined their industries in ways few thought was possible just 5-10 years ago. Let’s call them the last wave of innovative disruption. (And yes, of course, the Amazon’s and Uber’s will continue to be at the leading edge of innovation…they are not going away.)
But let us focus on the next horizon of innovative digital disruption and that will be ushered in with the critical mass adoption of 5G. The next Netflix ix is out there somewhere – most likely in a garage or a basement with a stocked fridge of craft beers and old Bo Deans vinyl playing in the background. Some of them we already know their names, but for many others we do not. But make no mistake, the next Uber is out there – across every industry and some that we have not even considered yet. Regardless, the next wave of digital disruption driven by 5G innovation will touch every aspect of our lives. Think about how much of our everyday lives remains “like it always was”. I still go to the grocery store and pick items off the shelf, put them in the cart, check out, pay, pack and leave. Despite some advances in technology, it is still an incredibly manual process. If I got to a professional baseball game (Go Yankees!), I still have to ask the usher where to find my seat, I watch the game live with replays – chosen by a summer intern – on the “big screen” accompanied by cheesy songs and graphics, for the most part I have to go to the concession stand to order something to eat or drink. In both examples, I have very little control over the experience. And these are just two examples that remind us, as much as things have changed, the canvas for disruption is still huge and very white. The progress that 5G enables for IoT-everywhere, AR/VR, AI/ML – we have just begun to scratch the surface.
And so 5G macro innovation naturally leads to the 5G micro innovation and that is where the rubber will hit the road regarding 5G innovation at the company level. Innovation will not start and stop with a great idea; ideation will not be a SDLC phase with a start and stop. The necessity to have a continuous innovation loop, driving faster feedback – some might say feedback as fast as the 5G network – will become absolute.
What an amazing evolution – albeit long evolution – we have witnessed with regard to incorporating feedback and innovation into software ideation and design processes. We have seen it go from taking up to a year with shrink-wrap software, to web-based software where the innovation cycle shrunk to months…to current day where companies can react to user feedback and changing market dimensions within weeks if not days. An Amazon or a Netflix can release software hundreds of times a day. Yes, they remain the outlier, but certainly not as much as they were even 1-2 years ago. But with 5G, we will no longer view the Amazon’s and Netflix as being in some other unachievable realm of software superiority that is not fit for mere mortals. With 5G, every company is going to have to be able to read-react-respond with the same speed and velocity that the software leaders of today do. Anything else will not be an option. And with that will come the necessity for capturing customer feedback while “the experience” is happening, quickly factoring (or re-factoring) that analysis into their ideation and design and rolling out updates to the customer. Essentially at the snap of a finger.
This continuous innovation loop will be the lifeblood of every organization, more so than it is even today. As we exit the era of “Digital Transformation” whereby everyone is digital – yes, we eventually will have to retire the ‘transformation’ term as painful as that may be to many of us – every company with the spirit and intent of growth and success, will need to step up its game with not only the software products it produces, but the manner in which they are able to monitory the customer experience and rapidly feed that analysis back into their innovation engine.
It will no longer be an exercise of getting feedback in-app or through the app store. It will be customer sentiment analysis on steroids in that it will be a 360-degree view of live and static user feedback, production analysis (defects, logs, incidents, etc.), and live app and network monitoring. Waiting for that 5-star review, or that 1-star review as it may be, will very rapidly become a thing of the past. Monitoring what users are doing, how the apps or devices are performing on the network, capturing that data, making logical sense of it, and feeding it back into marketing, product and engineering teams – this will become the new innovation loop and a critical element of digital assurance.
Digital Assurance is a factor of many moving parts – platforms, technology, data, processes – all of which must be considered and validated in coordination with one another. And let us not forget about a major factor underpinning all of this – the network! With the emergence of 5G we can expect a new horizon of transformation as organizations evolve from delivering applications on top of the network to delivering applications that inherently leverage the vast capabilities of the network (as will be the case with 5G).
Cigniti has incorporated 5G Assurance into our overall Digital Assurance strategy, and as part of this has established a capability that provides 5G automated testing, monitoring, measurements, and analytics. We support a broad range of applications that can be live-monitored and tested:
- End Device Applications
- Edge Compute Applications
- Distributed Applications
- Special Hardware Applications
- Network Applications
Organizations now have an easy and cost-effective platform to test on a 5G network – whether that be the much-need validation of how your current apps will work in 5G or building out your next generation apps that will take advantage of the promise of 5G. Paired with our Digital Experience Monitoring solution (InCight), they also now have the real-time visibility and predictability of the end-user experience to round out their digital assurance strategy.
While we’ve covered how 5G will drive the innovation loop at breakneck speeds, stay tuned for the upcoming blog series that will explore the new imperative for Digital Assurance – Let’s welcome 5G to the dance.
Get in touch with our 5G testing experts, they will help you provide a solution for your business and will demonstrate how to scale the quality of experience for 5G services.