HeleCloud’s Ivaylo Vrabchev says businesses should be driving edge computing-based strategies
According to Grand View Research, the value of the global edge computing market skyrocketed to $3.5 billion in 2019. As more businesses plan for extensive IoT deployments, edge computing threatens to improve and replace one of the most influential technology trends of the last decade, cloud computing. Despite edge computing allowing for real-time analysis of the data collected at the edge of a network, it has often been overshadowed by cloud computing. However, due to the unprecedented events of 2020, this could all suddenly change. Unlike the cloud, edge computing will shift much of the critical processing over to the devices connected to them instead of cloud data centres. Due to the growing demand for secure, anywhere connectivity brought about by the digital shift over the last 12 months there is now a need for more intelligent devices and applications that can process data directly at the edge of the network. Edge computing enables businesses to offer faster response times, reduced costs, as well as to provide a comprehensive IoT strategy that allows organisations to stay competitive and innovative. Digitalisation is pushing many organisations to change their business models in order to adapt to these new customer needs. Executives want their channel partners to capitalise on new edge opportunities by migrating their organisation away from mature technology requirements and providing future support for emerging technologies and service requirements such as IoT, security, cloud and analytics.
This shift to edge computing needs to be on every channel partner’s radar, as it has the potential to disrupt the digital landscape and increase business revenue. The size of the global edge computing market is predicted to explode to $43.4 billion by 2027, reaching an annual growth rate of 37.4%. While edge computing has been on the IT and operations radar for a long time, it has now moved into the corporate mainstream, and the accelerated rollout of 5G will only increase demand and need. Edge computing’s significance and potential are more important than ever for virtually every industry. Edge computing is lucrative and has the potential to be very good for channel partners as there is “money to be made at the edge”. Fitting in to the edge model and capitalising on the opportunities Edge computing will be central to the growth and development of the entire economy and all the industries it encompasses. Opportunities for channel partners lie with the handful of industries that will take advantage of edge capabilities sooner than others. If edge computing is harnessed correctly, educational institutions can optimise their financial profits by capturing videos of lectures and reselling them to other international institutions. Healthcare organisations have an opportunity to better understand the efficacy of treatments and medications, allowing better targeting and less waste thanks to the greater analysis of patient data through artificial intelligence and machine learning offerings. This data could also provide personalised guidance on lifestyle management, which could drive down practitioner and hospital visits and reduce treatment burden. Other opportunities of the edge-connected venue include insight-driven personalised food and drink propositions, or at-seat retail offers for instant purchase and collection after the game.
Channel partners making sure they have a strong role to play in the future on the edge Over the next twelve months, channel partners will be key to the success of many companies on their edge journey. To ensure they play a strong role in the future of edge computing, they will need to act fast and be ready to adapt what and how they sell. There is a clear need for more skills-based guidance, training and consultancy regarding “edge migration”, and if channel partners can position themselves as key players in the market, they will reap the rewards. IT budgets and edge investment will inevitably increase to keep up with business needs, which include the demand for hardware, network security, and analysis services that are also becoming a necessity. If a partner can provide IT teams with strategic guidance on the applications and services that streamline workflows and help seamlessly integrate them into the network, they will be positioning themselves as key players in the future of edge. However, the greatest challenge for many IT executives will be ensuring the IT function can lead the pursuit of edge-based strategies and deliver the right level of support with a proactive, enabling stance. Besides this, channel partners must refocus their messaging on securing edge networks, which is a top priority for most businesses. A partner who can optimise a business’ security with the edge, help customers find and stop threats faster and make this an integral part of the network infrastructure, will be the leading and innovative force in the future on the edge.