Communications technology is evolving and it’s important to make sure that your IT networks can keep up with the latest innovations that are arriving.

5G is one of several areas that businesses need to watch, according to a recent article for ITPro. The growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) is another development that businesses should keep on top of.

But how will these, and other technological developments, affect IT networks? The news provider explained that 5G will result in a transformation for both the internet and the networks that it supports. This is because “centralised data moves to the edge of the network, creating flexible communications systems with low latency” as the 5G rollout accelerates.

5G will also bring changes to the data networks themselves, the publication added. This will be in the form of new hardware infrastructure, as well as a move towards large-scale network function virtualisation (NFV).

When NFV is combined with software defined networks (SDN), it allows companies to split the 5G network into different channels for specific use cases.

Having the option to process data locally is one of the benefits to 5G and something that everything from healthcare organisations to businesses with sensitive commercial information will benefit from, Martin Garner, chief operations officer at CCS Insight, told ITPro.

He added that edge networks will be fundamental to allowing these kinds of data processing services.

Mr Garner also explained that the main benefits of transitioning to 5G networks are their “speed and latency”. “By doing the initial processing of a lot of the data at the edge, decision making can be done more quickly and at a lower cost,” he elaborated.

TM Forum also told the news site that there could be big changes ahead with the more widespread introduction of 5G.

“5G promises to be revolutionary if communications service providers, suppliers, application developers and enterprises can figure out how to co-create, manage and participate in digital ecosystems,” the communications service industry body told the news provider.

Writing for Forbes recently, Jason Leigh, a research manager for the International Data Corporation, explained that many businesses still don’t fully understand the opportunities that 5G presents.

He said that there is a great deal of potential for “major efficiency gains” in some businesses, because 5G will allow organisations to make better use of AI, automation and virtual reality in their internal operations.

Mr Leigh also said that there is significant potential for organisations to create new products and services to drive revenue using 5G, but added that he believes there will need to be one “blockbuster product or service” that showcases what 5G technology is capable of before we see significant changes in this area.

He also explained that 5G has the potential to simplify certain elements of our IT networks, particularly relating to security.

“Imagine a scenario where my laptop is nothing more than a keyboard, screen and radio receiver. No data sits on it. It almost makes the laptop disposable. I lose it and guess what? Nobody can use it to access data because there’s nothing on it,” he stated.

This is because 5G could lead to a time when devices can do everything via the cloud, from anywhere. While this technology is still new and evolving, it’s clear that it has enormous potential.

If you need assistance with your IT strategies in London, get in touch with our experts today to find out how the likes of 5G could benefit your business.