When new technology sparks a new opportunity, it often brings new complexities. And as new generations of the technology emerge, you might suddenly start to feel like you’re trying to fix a flat tire while the car is still cruising along at 75 mph. If things go well and demand surges, you’ll need to somehow manage to scale – while somehow still providing a top-notch customer experience.
And when you throw two new technologies together, the results can be downright explosive. Just take a look at the red-hot market for electric vehicles (EVs) coupled with the migration to 5G telecommunications networks:
- How hot are EVs? Tesla, the largest EV manufacturer in the US, now has a market cap larger than Ford, GM, Toyota, and BMW combined. Sales of EVs are outselling conventional vehicles in some countries, and are enjoying rapid growth around the globe, from Norway to Nepal. And the recent US infrastructure spending bill allocated more than $5 billion to build out the nation’s charging networks, with a goal of ensuring that US EV drivers will never be more than 50 miles away from a charging station. A report from McKinsey pegs the market for EV charging services in the US as being on pace to reach $15 billion/year by 2030.
- If that’s not enough manic growth for you, 5G is turbocharging the growth of EVs. Upgrading EV charging stations to use 5G (along with other technologies, such as mobile edge compute capabilities) have been proven to improve metrics (like latency in charging sessions and real-time load rebalancing) by as much as 50%.
- The improvements that are made possible by upgrading charging networks to 5G are especially important when dealing with fleet charging, as opposed to charging individual consumer vehicles. EV fleets are a particularly fast-growing segment of the EV market, with companies like HP, Ikea, Baidu, and Coca-Cola committed to accelerating their adoption of EVs. But with large fleets, the challenges of providing reliable, efficient, and trouble-free charging become more complex.
Many aspects of the growth trajectory of the EV industry are unique, but there are also many parallels with the challenges that other infrastructure industries – from telecom providers to engineering services – have wrestled with (and solved).
A crucial step for many companies in all of these industries has been to find a software solution to automate their field operations to keep pace with their exponential growth. Some are upgrading from obsolete software, while others are only now moving beyond an ancient paper-and-pencil paradigm for managing operations.
But the key ingredients remain the same across all industries:
- Identify a solution that combines the best of off-the-shelf software (such as speedy deployment and baked-in expertise) with the best of custom-developed tools (that can be tailored to your specific needs)
- Expect a seamless integration with your existing legacy systems and applications, to ensure a smooth transition
- Rely on low-code development capabilities for a future-proofed solution that can evolve to meet the next curveball lobbed your way, whatever it turns out to be
We’d love to help you map out your path to 5G (or whatever your latest infrastructure challenge might be). Get in touch here and we’ll share some of our favorite tips for optimizing field service operations. New technologies can drive innovation – and they can also create chaos along the way.