Enterprise Communication in the Era of AI and 5G

Anurag Lal Written by Anurag Lal, President and CEO of NetSfere.

The enterprise communication landscape is rapidly evolving with developments in AI and 5G shaping a new era of mobile communication. While these innovative technologies have the power to transform business communications, it is critical for enterprises to address and present dangers of legacy/fragmented enterprise communications solutions and consumer-grade messaging tools that are not built to keep pace with transformative technologies like AI and 5G.

Enterprises are adopting AI technologies at a rapid pace. A 2019 CIO Survey by Gartner found that enterprise use of AI grew a staggering 270% over the past four years and at least 37% of businesses are using AI. Many of these companies are using AI to incorporate sophisticated chatbot technology within their enterprise messaging infrastructure to create internal efficiencies and competitive advantages.

As messaging services continue to grow in usage and popularity, chatbots are taking messaging to the next level by providing an engaging and enhanced customer experience as well as a smarter approach to productivity and collaboration. Chatbots are gaining traction in the enterprise mobile messaging landscape as more and more enterprises explore a range of applications from customer service to internal collaboration. However, with growing adoption of these chatbots comes increased security concerns.

Enterprises using AI chatbots should be focusing on how they can secure this communication. Consider that just as the messages sent between a CEO and his COO must be highly secure, so too must the messages between a CFO and a messaging chatbot that has access to sensitive financial data. The chatbot message itself must be fully encrypted and the ability to interact with the chatbot must be regulated with a robust, role-based security framework.

Chatbots require a higher guarantee of the integrity of the information exchanged, as well as increased security commitments that are not found in legacy enterprise communications solutions and consumer-grade messaging tools. As such, integrating this AI technology should involve an approach that puts the right security, integration and vendor partnerships in place for a secure, customized experience that meets the unique needs of each enterprise.

5G is another technology shaping a new era of mobile. With speeds up to 10 times faster than previous networks and the ability to handle higher amounts of data, this most recent iteration of cellular connectivity allows smart devices across the board to communicate more efficiently.

Some of the world’s largest telecom companies have begun rolling out 5G technology and manufacturers have started making 5G phones available to consumers. While 5G is still in its infancy, analysts project the market to take off, reaching $277 billion by 2025.

The richer and more comprehensive communication experience provided by 5G will continue to drive its rapid adoption, making it critical for enterprises to consider the increased risk potential of the technology. As with many new technologies, there are security issues that come with 5G. According to Tom Wheeler, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, “5G is a cybersecurity risk because the network is software based. Earlier networks’ reliance on centralized hardware-based functions offered a security-enhancing choke point. Distributed software-based systems, per se, are more vulnerable.”

As enterprises begin integrating this next generation of wireless technology into their communication platforms, they should address the security issues inherent in the technology. This is especially critical for companies using legacy communications solutions or consumer-grade messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp that bring with them their own security loopholes and threats. A good first step for enterprises to secure communications in a 5G environment is to migrate to a secure, cloud-based messaging platform. Businesses should also exercise caution in providing access and permissions to applications and use encrypted applications whenever possible.

With the rapid pace of innovation in mobile communications, enterprises may be tempted to adopt new technologies without evaluating how these innovations will impact the enterprise IT environment in terms of security, compliance and reliability. Before making the leap into AI and 5G, enterprises should address vulnerabilities in the adoption of these new technologies by partnering with enterprise-grade secure messaging solutions to ensure that these technologies are securely integrated, smartly architected and seamlessly implemented.

Taking a comprehensive approach to business communication and collaboration technology strategy and making the right investments now will safeguard enterprises from security issues that could be detrimental to a corporation’s reputation, and significantly increase the exposure to a myriad of business risks. Today we are helping our customers and partners globally to enable their business communication strategy with our enterprise-grade mobile messaging platform, NetSfere, by not only providing a communication platform which is secure and compliant, but also is helping to drive productivity gains with innovative mobile-first, messaging-first user experience for all preferred channels of communications—text, voice and video.