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Technology advancements impact great things that will unfold in the next decade. In an increasingly global and digital world, combining physical and digital will be the norm. And data? It will remain the most valuable asset.

No longer restricted by proximity, innovations in the modern era will continue to bring people together, empower them, and make their life easier. As we focus on technology and platforms, it's worth considering that tech itself is not great on its own. What goes on around it and how this will affect individuals, enterprises, and communities matters.

Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies brought exponential change. It is anticipated to result in the next version of the world as we know it – programmable and automated. It’s stimulating to be part of it. Yet, using digital technologies responsibly is the key to enabling innovation now and in the generations to come.

Technology advancements can only take us so far. It is a must to construct or adopt standards, rights, and frameworks that would drive a trustworthy and fair usage and have an open mindset that its benefits will have the upper hand in supporting the new ways we live, learn, work and play.

Programmable

An anticipated change in the upcoming years is the internet being integrated into the world of technological (and physical) infrastructure. Content, data, applications, operations would all rely on codes and algorithms to function.

“We are moving to a future where it will also be possible to create digital representations of very large entities – like whole cities with their intricate infrastructures and sprawling activities,” said Ericsson.

Indeed, algorithms have been improving and advancing for years. The experts don’t see that momentum slowing down. Making the physical as programmable as the digital world, control, customization, and automation are being instilled into the world around us.

Nokia also envisions a programmable world where all sectors around the globe experience the benefits of ICT. The programmable world provides an opportunity to improve people’s lives. IoT applications in cities would possibly hit $1.6 trillion in yearly economic impact by 2025. This can be done through automation, enhanced connectivity, and intelligence as well as industries becoming more efficient, agile, and responsive.

From writing software codes to running machines to compute efficiently, we are on the verge of programming the world; metaverse and Web 3.0 are already starting this. 5G rollout globally would fuel this giant technological leap through low-power, low-latency connected devices.

It’s been claimed that the tectonic shift for the world ahead is not focused on bringing digital experiences into the physical world. It will focus on creating physical environments and experiences that are digital.

Moving into this new world of technology advancements, it's important to be business-ready. Enterprises would have to gain a deep understanding of the three underlying layers of the programmable world in the making – connected, experiential, and material. Over half of the global population has access to the internet and more IoT/edge devices would generate data that would be collected and analyzed at 5G speeds. New kinds of smart materials and programmable aspects would customize more products later on.

Combining IoT with online services also extends the idea of an API-programmable Internet to a programmable world. This is where automation of trivial tasks saves time and money as well as creates new value. In order to bring IT and IoT closer together, technology should blend event-based and query-based data in real time, not one or the other.

Technology that can be programmed is being interwoven with physical environments in sophisticated ways such as the convergence of 5G, augmented reality, smart materials, and connected devices that use sensors and other IoT technology to communicate with each other.

Even CommScope leverages the best-of-breed and leading-edge technologies and platforms for orchestration and automation. This is part of its commitment to building an open solution. CSPs create the programmable, automated, and intelligent networks of the future.

Automated

Forecasts predict that the AI market will grow to a $190 billion industry by 2025. More so, global spending on cognitive and AI systems will be over $57 billion in 2022.

Introducing technology advancements like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotic process automation (RPA) is now part of a solid business strategy. These results in increased productivity, higher rates of production, better quality service, and the efficient use of materials.

The International Society of Automation defines automation as "the creation and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services.” In various sectors like manufacturing, health, real estate, education, transportation, and other utilities, these are apparent.

In the health sector, AI-powered technologies are helping to save lives, diagnose diseases and extend life expectancy. On the other hand, virtual and distance learning environments brought knowledge and training to unreachable students. Public services are also becoming more accessible and accountable as digital government transformation takes place. Ultimately, AI assistance and big data analytics are supporting technologies.

Automation crosses all functions – from installation, integration, and maintenance to design, procurement, and management. This is applicable in various elements including communications, cybersecurity, sensors, wireless applications, etc. In the long run, there is a need for a fundamental change in attitude toward automation and robotics. We should encourage more positive views, address the fear of change in the workforce and other areas, and be bolder in terms of business culture and strategy.

Telcos play an important role in supporting the full shift to automation. Deploying 5G becomes an enabler of more flexible and customized services. Bandwidth is certainly one aspect that must be delivered at a very complex speed, and having automation is a very critical part, said Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF. “This technology has the ability to bring everybody together and deliver supply chain provisions.”

Along with that, technology advancements powering automation are getting cheaper. B-Yond believes that we are in an era where we must introduce “comprehensive automation by leveraging the power of AI.”

Improvements in computer hardware components such as semiconductors and the development of more advanced software for AI, ML, and robotics pave the way to properly interpret and process loads of information in the complex ways needed to power automation.

In terms of technology advancements, even the next wave of digital tech aka smart tech has the potential and power to actually help rehumanize work. Smart tech and humans are not competing with one another, contrary to traditional belief. In fact, they are complimentary, but only when the tech is used well. They make the decisions, with people in mind.

What automation can change for the better is redesigning jobs and reengineering workflows to enable people to focus on the parts of work that humans are particularly well-suited for, such as relationship building and problem-solving.

Humans are still going to be human, but there will be more opportunities to improve the quality of human life. It is too late to go backward, and we must embrace technology to improve much more.

To cite an example, implementing intelligent identification and fault detection can help prevent and predict faults that can be detrimental to businesses. “Verifying these capabilities with our partners enriches our model database and abilities, allowing us to make better and more precise predictions,” said Vanness You, Vice President, Huawei Middle East Carrier Business Group.

Overall, automation will bolster connectivity and reliability in a hyper-competitive ecosystem. Truly, the future of automation looks promising where everything is accessible and readily available.

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