Skip to content

The executive playbook: 10 innovations driving growth in TMT

Ten of the most promising and intriguing digital trends and applications being explored by ambitious TMT enterprises

Recent years have been unpredictable for the technology, media, and telecommunications (“TMT”) industries. The COVID era upended the market, followed by market pressures in 2023 which caused a strategic shift to conservative, cost-saving strategies.

But now, buoyed by an ease in market pressures due to strengthening economies around the world, TMT executives are seizing the opportunity to transform and reinvent their businesses.

To accomplish this strategy, executives are making investments in technologies and practices to  streamline operations, increase agility, mitigate risks, and expand revenue streams. In this article, we’ve highlighted ten of the most promising and intriguing digital trends and applications being explored by ambitious TMT enterprises. 

By the numbers Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) forecast of total market size:

- 5.4% per year for 2021-2028 Telecom services
- 7.9% per year for 2024-2029 Media
- 9.7% per year for 2023-2030 IT Services 
Little concern about a market slowdown: only 17 % of executives believe there will be a recession in the next six months
89% of CFOs say striking the right balance between cost-cutting and investing for growth is a top challenge to transformation
Embedding new technologies into their business model is the #1 strategic priority among executives over the next three to five years.

The key digital focus areas that we cover below are:

  1. Generative AI

  2. Internet of Things (IoT)

  3. 5G Network and technology

  4. Edge computing

  5. Sustainable technology

  6. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting software

  7. Site reliability engineering (SRE)

  8. Architecture modernisation

  9. Augmented reality

  10. Post-quantum cryptography

Generative AI

As discussed in “Pioneering progress: Telecommunication's trailblazing GenAI adoption”, the applications of GenAI can be applied to virtually every area of an organisation. This includes supply chain optimisation, automation, risk management, customer alignment, new business development, and more.  

The chart below illustrates specific use cases by industry, sorted to show those that stimulate growth at the top of each list, and those that promote organisational efficiency closer to the bottom.

A table showing the areas in technology, media and technology where GenAI can add value

The total size of GenAI’s impact is still to be determined, but it’s already demonstrating positive disruption where it’s being applied. It’s estimated that as much as 50% of customer service activity could be automated, generating a 30-45% improvement in productivity. Additionally, GenAI could automate up to 70% of repetitive work activities, and boost software developer activity by 20-40%. 

As long as it’s trained with clean data, implemented responsibly and ethically, and monitored and maintained by skilled humans, the benefits of Generative AI are poised to drive growth in all of the TMT industries.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Globally, the IoT market was approximately $596 Billion in 2023, and is expected to reach almost $4.1 Trillion by 2032, a CAGR of 24% for the period. The impressive growth can be attributed to low-cost/low power sensors that can be integrated into many types of devices, along with general availability of high-speed connectivity, and the proliferation of mobile devices. The increased ability for electronics of all sorts to gather and share data creates business opportunities for high-data-generating industries like those in TMT.

There are a number of applications that can enable telecommunications providers to revolutionise communications and secure data sharing between the telco, end users, and a variety of third-party organisations. These include enabling various functions such as transportation systems and energy management in Smart Cities, as well as monitoring Smart Agriculture devices to make farming more efficient and productive.

Devices such as wearables and other media devices can also contain IoT technology, which can connect products across technology, media, and telecommunications. And due to the nature of IoT, which requires a two-way connection between the end-user and the company receiving the user data, telecommunications devices are often instrumental in facilitating the data sharing and resulting actions.

5G network and technology

Although 5G technology is not yet in widespread use in every country, the global market size for 5G services was valued at $122 Billion in 2023, and is expected to grow to over $1 Trillion by 2028. This incredible growth rate, a projected 54% per year, is attributed to the many potential applications of the technology itself, as well as its integration into IoT offerings and other telecommunications devices.

The significantly higher speeds and low latency provided by 5G (approximately 100 times faster with 1000 times the capacity of 4G networks) allow telcos with 5G capability to go beyond the standard B2C subscription model. In this “business-to-business-to-X” (B2B2X) model, telcos can provide connectivity to another company, that then provides it to public or private customers of their own. And as adoption of 5G devices grows, additional new business opportunities are likely to emerge. 

For telecommunications companies, 5G opens possibilities beyond simply enabling faster and more reliable services to consumers. Applications could include credit risk assessment products marketed to financial institutions, bundled media for entertainment services, home security, and more. These applications could mean an additional $100 Billion in revenue over the next five years for telcos alone.

5G technology will benefit the media industry as well, enabling more users to stream content more smoothly, and making data-heavy applications like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) accessible to mobile devices.

Edge computing

Edge computing is the practice of collecting, filtering, processing and analysing data near its origin, at the “edge” of the network, as opposed to sending the data to a centralised data centre. In 2023, the global edge computing market size was valued at $16.5 Billion, and is expected to have a CAGR of 37% between 2024-2030. By 2025, Gartner predicts that approximately 75% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside a traditional centralised data centre or cloud.

Benefits of edge computing include preserving bandwidth and making latency and congestion virtually nonexistent, all of which enables near real-time insights and facilitates localised actions. Moving data collection closer to the data source in the telecommunications and media industries, for example, enhances the experience for end-users. It does this by allowing for more devices to be connected simultaneously without loss of quality, even for high-data-generating activities like online gaming. 

Processing data near its source can positively impact the performance of products and applications in all of the TMT fields. IoT devices can send and receive data faster, online games are more responsive, and telecom customers experience more reliable service.

Perhaps most compelling, the above benefits combine to reduce the total cost of ownership of an edge computing system for the organisation as well.

Sustainable technology

A combination of government regulations, recognition of corporate responsibility and increased consumer awareness of business impact on the environment is driving the adoption of more sustainable practices across industries. Specifically in the technology, media, and telecommunications sectors, many companies are integrating sustainable practices and products that aid in minimising or offsetting the impact of their energy use. 

Although there are a variety of ways to minimise a corporation’s carbon footprint, including reducing waste and using sustainable energy, one of the most impactful things TMT organisations can focus on is to improve data centre efficiency. The increasing amount of data generated in everyday operations means that data centres are consuming more energy, so working to minimise this consumption not only reduces the company’s carbon footprint, it also reduces costs.

In the telecommunications industry specifically, there are a number of ways to cut consumption and save money as well. Experts predict that telcos could reduce their carbon footprint by 2%, or 12 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in each of the next 2 years. They can accomplish this in several cost-saving ways, including shutting down outdated copper wire and 3G wireless networks, switching field service vehicles to EVs, and integrating 5G radio gear with a “snooze button” that shuts down when not needed.

In the technology and media industries, large companies with high energy needs are working to decarbonise their operations by using alternative energy sources. Microsoft has developed a generator powered by hydrogen fuel cells, and Amazon is employing green hydrogen to work toward using 100% renewable energy by 2025.

Industry expert insight:
“The top themes for 2024 will be AI and environmental, social and governance (ESG). Companies will need to prepare for a new phase of ESG called ESG 2.0. This is characterised by stricter environmental rules and a shift from voluntary to mandatory compliance driven by government mandates.”

Romilly Leech, Associate Analyst, GlobalData Thematic Intelligence

Cooperative innovation

It’s interesting to note the interconnectedness of several of the technologies highlighted in this document, and how the development or advancement of one of them (5G, for example) can drive improvements and adoption of others (IoT, edge computing, and AR.) 

This interconnectedness is generating a cycle of incredible advancements that are increasing revenue, sustainability and productivity in the technology, media, and telecommunications industry. It will be interesting to follow the evolution of these products, services and practices, and see how they contribute both to a more connected world and to overall industry growth.

To see the remainder of the list, download the full version of ‘The executive playbook: 10 innovations driving growth in TMT’.

Insight, imagination and expertly engineered solutions to accelerate and sustain progress.