Sustainability is a major priority in business boardrooms already, and pressures from regulators, shareholders, board members and employees are likely to further drive this trend. 

Businesses need to do more than just track carbon output. They must reduce waste and increase efficiency. Going green makes good business sense.

While organizations know they need to mitigate environmental risks more effectively across the supply chain, often they struggle to translate that ambition into results. Due to the complexity and scale of the challenge, not all businesses have the resources to move toward net-zero at the necessary pace, and many are lagging.  

At the same time, companies are increasingly being held accountable for their environmental impact, with many countries legislating on emissions reductions. 

There is a clear company risk in not being sustainable, both to the planet and to the business. 

Today’s complex challenges require ambitious solutions that can scale and evolve over time.

NTT recognizes this and has launched the industry’s first full-stack Sustainability as a Service offering. This is designed to help manufacturing, transportation and other industries accelerate sustainability initiatives and make data-driven decisions to reduce their carbon footprint and become more efficient through the intelligent use of IoT connectivity. Rather than making huge investments in infrastructure to collect and process data, companies now have the option to get this as a secure, scalable, fully managed service that requires no large capital outlay.

The full-stack offering, which includes devices, network connectivity such as private 5G, edge computing, an analytics and insight platform, and systems integration, takes a human-centric approach to ensure that the right decision-makers receive relevant and timely information.  The technology stack is complemented by professional services from strategy through to execution to ensure that the data is actionable and that there is a clear ROI.

For example:

NTT is leveraging computer vision to reduce waste in a logistics warehouse. This solution recognizes items that are being picked and packed and provides verification that the quantity and products are correct. NTT is not only providing the technology but is also redesigning the pick-and-pack process and the pick stations to ensure the adoption and effectiveness of the technology.NTT provides a vast ecosystem of sensors that can be used to automate the collection of data on temperature/humidity, occupancy, soil moisture, air quality, water quality, etc. This data can then be combined to provide insights and information to lower energy usage and reduce impact on the environment – for example, by giving notifications of water leaks, chemical spills or exterior doors that are left open. Smart spaces can reduce energy use when unoccupied, while predictive/preventive maintenance can reduce wasteful downtime.As an ICT company with large assets such as undersea cables and data centers, NTT has made aggressive sustainability targets to become net-zero by 2030 and through their supply chain by 2040. NTT is sharing their experience with clients through Sustainability as a Service.

Although evolving, the process to calculate an enterprise’s carbon footprint is still highly manual. Data lives in silos across the IT and OT environment.

Collecting data across the supply chain for scope 2 and 3 emissions creates more complexity.

Organizations can find themselves questioning the accuracy and reliability of their data.

NTT works with clients to understand their data blind spots and leverages the right solution building blocks to collect the data and aggregate it with other complementary data, such as weather and location, to provide actionable insights.

“One of the biggest challenges of IoT is proving ROI,” says Devin Yaung, SVP, Group Enterprise IoT Products and Services at NTT. “You can solve any problem given enough budget. The challenge is to solve the problem in the most efficient way possible. We leverage the right building blocks for the use case and environment and offer these as a service so that clients can start small and grow their sustainability program.”  

He adds: “What is more important is that the data needs to be trusted and actionable rather than just noise. That’s why we also take a user-centric approach to understand who needs to receive the data, how much data they need and at what frequency.”

This becomes more important as the workforce evolves from digital immigrants to digital natives who are accustomed to receiving near real-time data and updates on every aspect of their lives. Sustainability as a Service is not just technology but also considers people, process and the regulatory environment.

Sustainability is a journey that all companies will have to embark upon. NTT’s Sustainability as a Service allows clients to travel this journey at their own pace.

Not only do these solutions help businesses meet sustainability goals, but they also help them benefit from energy cost savings, advanced operational excellence, enhanced risk management, and better work enablement across the organization.

Find out more about NTT’s commitment to sustainability.

Edge Computing

A shift toward hybrid IT infrastructure has accelerated as a result of the pandemic, along with an increased demand for ultra-low latency, high-bandwidth networks and, by extension, edge computing.

However, many organizations simply don’t have the resources or the expertise to build or manage the complex distributed systems required for effective edge computing delivery, a distributed computing paradigm that brings computation and data storage closer to the sources of data.

The open architecture, which is sometimes referred to as fog computing, drives storage and data processing towards a location where it’s needed. Next-generation technologies such as private 5G enable this edge connectivity, while IoT technologies deliver connected devices.

For these companies, an edge-as-a-service (EaaS) solution — which combines hardware, edge connectivity services, and cloud platforms — provides a one-stop solution to accelerate their path to effective edge computing. It offloads the complexities associated with moving applications to the edge and helps businesses confronting a lack of skills within their internal IT teams to achieve greater operational efficiency, security and growth.

For certain industries, such as manufacturing, healthcare and logistics, innovations at the edge such as private 5G and IoT are delivering an even greater seismic shift, enabling them to embark on transformation journeys that were not possible before. 

NTT’s Edge as a Service is the first globally available, fully managed hyper-converged edge computing infrastructure, IoT and private 5G network offering, delivering near-zero latency for enterprise applications at the network edge, boosting user experiences in a secure environment, optimizing costs, and enabling organizations to get closer to their sustainability goals.

“NTT’s managed edge computing enables applications and data to be placed closer to the sources and users of that data and content without the need for dedicated on-site IT resources,” said Parm Sandhu, Vice President of Enterprise 5G Products and Services at NTT. “NTT manages the hardware, application deployment, security and software patching. By processing the data on-site, companies can save on expensive backhaul transport costs required to deliver large amounts of data for traditional cloud processes.”

Embracing EaaS also enables organizations to overcome other challenges they may be facing. For some, latency is a problem due to the absence of on-premises centralized processing. Edge computing enables processing at greater speeds and volumes, leading to greater action-led results in real-time.

For others, security may be even more of an issue due to data at the edge (which can include facial recognition and personal health data), including personal details which are subject to more regulatory scrutiny. Edge computing helps protect data stored at the edge and can be used to help organizations facing growing regulatory requirements.

By embracing NTT’s unique EaaS solution, organizations can also expand their reach and pursue opportunities enabled by next-generation technology. For example, industrial firms can benefit from smart factories, precision monitoring and control, and predictive maintenance enabled by computer vision. The healthcare industry can streamline operations with remote patient monitoring, virtual consultations and robotic surgery.

NTT’s EaaS solution is also key to enabling next-generation technologies such as digital twin models, autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) and autonomous vehicles.

“These technologies require features that are enabled through NTT’s Edge as a Service,” says Sandhu. “For example, the adaptive control of operational assets through AI/ML-enabled applications that learn operational patterns and enact automated self-correction, and mass data virtualization and analysis that bring together disparate data streams into one comprehensive enterprise view.”

Delivering distributed systems from the edge is highly complex and unlikely to be subsumed as a core business capability except within the very largest of enterprises. Using EaaS can help organizations stay hyperfocused on their core business while recognizing new use cases to help them scale.

NTT is working with the City of Las Vegas to transform it with Private 5G. With over 40 million visitors each year and 600,000 residents, the city is faced with immense pressure on their infrastructure as they strive to deliver high-quality services. Watch the NTT keynote address at Mobile World Congress 2022.

Edge Computing