Fifth-generation (5G) mobile service and data security are the two major technologies Bangladeshi companies believe will have the greatest impact on businesses in the next five years, according to a recent international survey.
As many as 56 percent of Bangladeshi businesses consider 5G to be the game changer for them in the next five years, showed the HSBC Navigator survey, conducted on behalf of the international bank by Kantar, one of the largest research agencies worldwide based in London.
Of the respondents, 26 percent think 5G will improve supply chain management and 20 percent think it will enhance product and service delivery.
The report came as Bangladesh is preparing a guideline to introduce 5G by 2021. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has until January 31 to come up with the draft guideline.
According to the survey, 46 percent companies identified data security as the second most important growth driver.
Of the businesses, 22 percent pointed out that Internet of Things (IoT) are the next important stuffs and 18 percent stated robotics will play a significant role in the future journey.
Kantar surveyed 193 businesses in Bangladesh between August and September last year.
Artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing and machine learning, facial or image recognition, augmented or virtual reality, blockchain and wearables are the other technologies that will also play an important role, the report said.
“Not only technology businesses, these technologies will lead any business in the coming days,” said Mahboob Zaman, an ICT entrepreneur in Bangladesh.
“5G will happen by default and that will also be vital for the business because of its ecosystem – which is also easy to predict,” said Habibullah N Karim, a policy activist and serial entrepreneur in the country.
There is no need to wait for the future as data security is already important for the current situation. This is because both public and private sectors are facing major security threat and the risks will only mount in the coming days, said Karim, also a former president of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) and currently chief executive officer of Technohaven Company.
He pointed out Bangladesh’s lack of preparation in dealing with data security issues. According to the HSBC survey report, 18 percent Bangladeshi companies believe that data security technology will aid sustainability efforts.
In Karim’s view, 3D printing, an additive manufacturing process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file, should be a highly encouraging thing that can bring revolution in a very short time.
“We have seen some preparations in blockchain segment at both private and public sectors but there has been no progress in 3D printing,” he said, adding that 3D printing could be the game changer so the government needs to give some encouragement.
A blockchain is a database that is shared across a network of computers. Once a record is added to the chain it is very difficult to change. To ensure all the copies of the database are the same, the network makes constant checks.
When 5G will be rolled out, other technological advancements will automatically flourish in the market, said Zaman, managing director of DataSoft Systems Bangladesh.
“But to reap the optimum benefit from technological advancement, we need to take sufficient preparation with the upcoming services.”
Many companies are working with new technologies such as AI, robotics and blockchain, but the pace has to be accelerated. Mainstream companies are also not warmly welcoming these technologies. “This is frustrating,” he said.
“The government needs to play an active role to address the skill gaps to adopt new technologies to flourish in the future businesses. The ICT industry has also responsibility,” he said.