Private wireless delivers ROI and strategic benefits to the industries
Proven use cases for industrial digitalization - accelerating
the pathway to Industry 4.0
PODCAST AT A GLANCE:
Early adopters of private wireless networks report strong return on investment (ROI) and strategic benefits
Head of Enterprise Marketing, Nokia
Global Head of Research and Analysis, GlobalData
Principal Analyst, GlobalData
Many enterprises are aware of the potential advantages of deploying private wireless network solutions – but remain hesitant about pushing ahead with deployment. They feel they need more clarity around the business case, specifically with regard to the benefits that will be delivered, and the likely return on investment (ROI).
Nokia, in conjunction with GlobalData, surveyed 79 industrial enterprises around the world in verticals including manufacturing, transportation, and energy. These companies either have already adopted private 4G/5G or are currently evaluating such a move.
The results from this research should offer immense encouragement and reassurance to enterprises considering deploying private wireless and industrial edge.
Majority of companies report a noticeable – and rapid – ROI
More than half of the companies surveyed reported that they had seen their total cost of ownership (TCO) reduced by more than six per cent from an OPEX perspective. Indeed, almost one-third said the TCO had gone down by more than 10 per cent.
It is particularly striking to note just how quickly that reduction in TCO was delivered. Almost 80 per cent of the enterprises surveyed saw a return on their investment within six months.
The cost impact of moving to private wireless and industrial edge had been, not surprisingly, the principal concern that enterprises had. Many of the decision makers were particularly keen to avoid any CAPEX, which in turn throws the onus on 4G/5G partners to offer flexibility in their terms.
Most enterprises favor an end-to-end private wireless solution
Private wireless networks are complex, and they can comprise a sizeable ecosystem of components, devices, and elements. Are most enterprises looking for basic connectivity, or do they require an end-to-end solution?
While some enterprises are taking a modular approach and deploy one component at a time, most of the companies we surveyed prefer an end-to-end approach. This is because there would be fewer suppliers to manage, which would in turn lead to a lower TCO and faster ROI.
One driver for smaller enterprises is the lack of in-house technical expertise to take on solution development and integration. The more piecemeal approach is compelling only with organizations that have large in-house development teams.
Almost 80 per cent of enterprises we surveyed favored the end-to-end approach to drive specific business outcomes and reduce additional internal development cycles.
This is useful information for Nokia, which sets out to simplify this complex process. By delivering all the ingredients for industrial digitalization in one platform, the process is streamlined – and the solution can interface more easily with legacy systems.
Private wireless is delivering against other key drivers
As well as the desire to reduce TCO and show a healthy ROI, early adopters of private wireless had other targets in mind. Strategic priorities included securing the IT environment, business continuity, streamlining business operations, and meeting ESG targets.
However, the most important factor for most enterprises was worker safety. In manufacturing, transportation, and other industrial environments, this is a significant issue. Indeed, 95 per cent of the companies we spoke to named worker safety as a key or major factor in their decision to invest – and 61 per cent of them have seen an improvement of more than 10 per cent in worker safety.
Close behind this issue was critical process reliability, which was a key or major factor for 94 per cent of our early adopters. An impressive 74 per cent reported internal material flow efficiencies.
Other important considerations were the enhanced insights delivered by automated data collection, increased operational agility, the automation of time-consuming tasks, and improvements in cyber security driven by keeping mission-critical communications in a private environment.
Sustainability is a key consideration for so many businesses, and 48 per cent of early adopters reported reductions of more than 10 per cent in energy use – a huge benefit in an era of soaring energy prices. In fact, 94 per cent reported at least a slight reduction in consumption.
Overall, between 65 and 75 per cent of all respondents reported benefits in areas including operational efficiency, productivity, increased production quality, reduced down time and reductions in carbon emissions.
Research data will help future adopters to build business cases
It bears repeating that large numbers of enterprises accept in principle the benefits of deploying private wireless networks and industrial edge. People understand the advantages of connecting their assets, being able to analyse their data, and increasing their level of automation.
However, to be able to add a layer of confidence regarding the likely business results to be driven by adopting private wireless represents a significant step forward for Nokia.
As well as delivering reduced TCO and a noticeable ROI, private wireless can deliver against a range of other benefits. As well as the widely known enhancements implicit in low-latency connectivity, it can also lead to improved worker safety, better cyber security, and increased worker safety.
Private wireless and industrial edge can help in so many ways when enterprises are looking to embrace Industry 4.0.
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