5G, AI, Blockchain and robotics cited as next biggest disruptors

The Wireless connectivity 5G network, Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain technology and robotics have been named as the possible leading technology disruptors in 2020.

During the CIO Year Ahead event held at Serena Hotel on Thursday which graced by different tech-heads in the region, highlighted sectors that will experience tech disruptions this year among which included the transport and logistics sectors.

The year 2019 marked the start of the worldwide deployment of the fifth-generation wireless technology also known as 5G, for digital cellular networks – offering much faster data download and upload speeds.

However, lack of skilled labour and the weak ability of Kenyan companies to adapt to disruption from ever-changing technology have been viewed as possible threats to the rollout of new technologies in Kenya.

While the fastest current 4G mobile networks offer about 45 megabits per second on average, 5G is capable of achieving browsing and download speeds that are 10 to 20 times faster.

Given the greater use of the radio spectrum, 5G technologies will allow for more devices to access the mobile internet at the same time.          

This was demonstrated in October 2019, when doctors in China remotely monitored portions of three simultaneous orthopaedic procedures using surgical robots and 5G technology.                                                                                                                                                                                              

Each robot conducted preset commands in three different locations, while the doctors monitoring the remote surgery were in the city of Beijing. These are some of the benefits that Kenya will enjoy once it adapts 5G technology.

Since its inception in 2019, 5g connectivity has been picking up in the rest of the world and we expect it to pick up here. it is likely to come in handy in the logistics sector. Transport and ports where many systems are operating at the same time concurrently. The advantage is that there will be ease of use, efficiency, saving on time and even cost.” Said Adam Lane, CEO of Public Affairs Huawei.

While these new technologies could render some jobs redundant, Mercy Wanjau, the head of legal services at the Communications Authority of Kenya said companies must prepare to embrace the changing trends.

“We must treat disruptions as catalysts for growth. in addition, businesses must know they are vulnerable to disruption as one disruption sets a base for the next. therefore, we must adopt pragmatic approaches to adopt tech and then focus on defining the long-term opportunities that lie therein.” Said Mercy.

The CEO of CloudHop.it Keval Shah raised concerns that most organizations do not have adequate skilled professionals to keep up with the new changes, pointing to the urgent need for a retooling of Kenya’s education system.

“The problem is the system is outdated teaching technology that is past our time. we have not incorporated futuristic tech into our systems. in addition, our institutions are not keen on retraining their employees concerning changing trends. as the rest of the world advances, we stay stagnant and we will be forced to play catch up.” Said Mr. Shah

With technology evolving every day, the challenge is on for Kenyan organizations to either be part of the disruption or be disrupted.

But that will largely depend on how agile the country’s businesses can upgrade its technology infrastructure, upgrade their skills base as well as the goodwill that organizations will have towards new technologies.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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