Japan will introduce 5G services in 2020. 5G will offer a dramatic improvement in communications compared with 4G and keenly anticipated due to its potential to promote the spread of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Cloud resources with high arithmetic processing capability and large storage volume will be essential for the operation of IoT and AI. With the adoption of 5G, the importance of the cloud is set to grow further.

 

In recent years, companies have been shifting system operations to the cloud, while downsizing office-based server rooms. The cloud not only offers high flexibility and stability for systems operation, but also enables the use of IT systems supplied by cloud vendors. This means that companies are transitioning to a flexible model in which they use, rather than own, these systems.

 

Along with diffusion of the cloud, there is an increasing diversity and number of IoT- and AI-related devices and technologies. A variety of IoT and AI devices and systems are being introduced in offices in order to enhance workers' convenience, comfort and productivity. These include sensor-equipped devices such as surveillance cameras, security that employs biometric authentication, chatbots and Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

 

To deploy IoT- and AI-related technologies effectively in offices, companies will need to consider issues including the network configuration, the positioning of devices and optimal cable routes. The quality of an office's IT facilities, including its electrical capacity and communications environment, will likely become an increasingly important criterion in building selection.