Edge computing is experiencing breakout growth, as enterprises look to capitalise on their changing work environment. Research suggests that edge technology spending will grow by a massive 34.1 per cent CAGR over the next five years, positioning it as one of the fastest-growing segments in the industry.
For many organisations, edge computing is being seen as a post-pandemic opportunity for competitive differentiation. After leveraging the transformation that enabled remote working through social distancing, organisations are now turning to their partners to look to ways to turn this infrastructure and investment into a competitive opportunity.
As Vertiv noted in the whitepaper, Data Center 2025: Closer to the Edge, research shows that participants who have edge sites today anticipate the number of edge sites they support to increase by 400 per cent. The edge is going to become a key point of difference for those enterprises that successfully deploy it.
Edge computing is solutions-based, which also makes it an excellent opportunity for the channel. Because edge computing enables a decentralised working environment, it brings together infrastructure, power, cloud, applications, and advanced technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) and AI in such a way that needs cohesive a cohesive architecting and rollout strategy, which makes it a prime opportunity for partners to engage deeply with their customers to deliver meaningful differentiation and advantage.
“Cloud computing is one of the most significant technological developments of this century,” Vertiv Senior Director, Channel Business (Asia), Daniel Sim, said. “But the cloud can’t support the data-intensive and low-latency requirements of the applications emerging today. From smart retail to real-time analytics and IoT, organisations in virtually every industry are turning to edge-dependent applications to improve operations, deliver new experiences to their customers, and improve efficiency and productivity.”
Making the edge work
Edge computing represents a different approach to IT, it needs to be approached differently by CIOs. Some of the key challenges and considerations to overcome in delivering successful edge deployments include:
- Monitoring and control – how can an organisation maintain oversight across a diversified environment when there might not be IT resources “on the ground” at each site?
- Performance – how can the edge deployments connect with the cloud/data centres and interact with them while maintaining performance both across the network, and at each site?
- Security and stability – edge environments are connected to the network, so how can the edge environments be secured? Furthermore, how can uptime be guaranteed when any one of the sites experiencing outages becomes a cost risk to the enterprise?
Furthermore, enterprises need to grapple with the challenges in architecting edge solutions, with the technology, applications, and infrastructure investments that are involved.
“When you consider a customer with multiple edge sites, each of them with low rack counts, but business critical nonetheless, speed of deployment across multiple sites in small quantities is critical for them to scale confidently,” Sim said. “The deployment stage is important, however flexibility to customise in advance and have local support on the ground is a differentiator."
“Channel partners help their customers navigate these challenges by combining their expertise with experienced strong vendors. Critical IT Infrastructure as the foundation of any reliable facility requires more than simply the components of racks, PDUs, UPS, cooling, and remote management, it needs a flexibility of approach from vendors who can deliver high volume standardised products, anywhere to engineered-to-order solutions with service personnel everywhere.”
Boosting telehealth via local technology
One area which has seen explosive growth and demand in IT solutions has been telehealth. From remote consultations to maintain social distancing, to the establishment of temporary facilities, and the transportation of medicine, the healthcare industry is more reliant on edge solutions and on-side datacentre capabilities than ever.
What telehealth cannot afford is outages or sensitive patient data to be compromised. That is why telehealth has become such a perfect case study in edge services deployments, as organisations have focused on enabling remote monitoring and management, to proactively mitigate against the risks of both downtime and security breaches, while also opening up access to those that need it and occupying a small footprint on-site. Read more about how health care is enabling rich telehealth experiences here.
The applications and value of edge computing, micro-datacentres and local technology deployments are growing. Channel organisations that can bring together solutions around power management, compute, cloud, monitoring, security, and applications are well poised to deliver on this explosive and highly relevant IT opportunity.
“Businesses that make the most effective use of edge technology will be well positioned to create competitive advantage through better customer experience and increased user experience,” Sim said. “However, making effective use of edge technology requires developing a plan for managing equipment in remote sites.”
Learn more about these technologies and how your business can benefit from them here.