Channel partners have a critical role to play in bringing edge computing architecture to fruition in the enterprise.
Over the past couple of years, edge computing architecture has garnered increasing attention. The edge is fueling much of the technology change on the horizon.
Indeed, edge computing architecture will enable many of the technologies that define the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is poised to change how we live, work and interrelate.
Immersive, data-intensive experiences and legions of internet-of-things (IoT)-connected devices – Statista estimates there will be 75 billion IoT devices by 2025 – will drive the next era, emphasize the authors of the “State of the Edge Report,” which explores the state of the edge computing market in 2020 and beyond.
“We are moving from a world dominated by the flat, static, two-dimensional internet into a world filled with rich, multidimensional experiences, such as virtual reality, augmented reality and tactile applications,” write the authors of the report. “[Edge computing] is the keystone technology that will enable a rich portfolio of innovative services.”
These kinds of data-hungry devices and processes stall, however, when they require round-trip transit to the cloud. Cloud-based data centers are often hundreds or thousands of miles from the data and devices they support. By moving applications, data and computing services to the edge of a network, rather than a centralized data center or cloud, organizations can reduce operating costs, improve application performance, optimize network traffic and enlist real-time data analytics.
Other data indicate that edge computing is poised to become a driving force in the enterprise — though it may take several years to come to full fruition.
The global edge computing market is expected to reach $28.8 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research. And according to Spiceworks’ “2019 State of IT” report, 32% of large enterprises with more than 5,000 employees are using edge computing, and an additional 33% plan to adopt it by 2020.
Nearly 60% of survey respondents to the Forrester Analytics Global Business Technographics Mobility Survey, 2019, said they have edge computing on their road maps for the next 12 months.
Edge computing and IoT technologies, however, are awaiting the faster network speeds and greater network bandwidth that 5G, the next generation of wireless connectivity, will provide. But 5G requires infrastructure buildout that will take several years, note experts.
If edge computing architecture brings business opportunity, it also brings challenges for enterprises, noted the “State of the Edge” authors. The road to edge-computing adoption introduces a great deal of IT and business complexity, they emphasized.
“The edge . . . requires a wide range of stakeholders for site real-estate, connectivity, IT infrastructure, app development, traffic delivery, service management, and orchestration,” they wrote.
For channel partners, though, this provides an opportunity to help deploy, manage, monitor, secure and integrate this far-flung edge and IoT ecosystem. Further, partners have an opportunity to examine whether an enterprise can move its IT network infrastructure to the edge and whether it can do so cost-effectively.
And finally, partners have an opportunity to help integrate an array of technologies from the myriad ecosystem stakeholders to navigate this increasing complexity.
“The vendor community [is migrating] from delivering dedicated system solutions, to delivering converged end-to-end experiences, driven by the collaboration and partnership of multiple vendors,” wrote Light Reading in a post on partners’ ability to drive customer value through an integrated edge ecosystem.
Channel partners will be critical for the enterprise as they navigate edge computing architecture and, indeed, cloud-to-edge infrastructure as a whole. Partners have an opportunity to educate, evangelize best practices, and foster edge-computing adoption as enterprises build out their edge strategies.
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