Navigating edge computing challenges
Edge computing is seen as key to certain digital transformation strategy elements, such as Internet of Things integration with enterprise architectures and data analytics efforts.
According to Schneider Electric, by 2024, companies will spend more than $650 billion (€584 billion) per year in digital transformation. But, the vendor adds, enabling digital transformation has created challenges as IT professionals plan highly distributed IT edge computing networks.
Working with independent research firm Canalys, Schneider Electric has written two new e-guides to support the IT industry in addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by edge computing.
The first is entitled ““How to Capitalize on the Edge Computing Opportunity,” and is aimed at helping managed service providers (MSP) and value-added resellers (VAR) identify new revenue streams by supporting customers in their edge computing strategy.”
The second entitled “Buyer’s Guide to Edge Infrastructure Management,” identifies the right questions to ask and key steps IT and data centre professionals should take before selecting and deploying an edge infrastructure management solution.
Edge computing is designed to put applications and data closer to devices — and their users, say the authors. While cloud computing drove the creation of mega data centres, edge computing brings distributed IT with an exponential number of micro data centres. This new environment reduces latency and increases availability of data, ensuring IT systems can deliver the benefits of digital transformation. With a highly distributed network, IT professionals need to address new issues including lack of on-site IT staff, physical and cyber security, a lack of integrated or standardised systems and, as a result, poor resiliency.
“Our reliance on digital experiences is ever-increasing, changing how we personally interact with each other and the companies with whom we do business. A digital customer experience is now a business imperative and IT professionals – from end users to VARs and MSPs — are navigating a complex new hybrid IT world,” said Jamie Bourassa, VP IT Channel Strategy, Schneider Electric. “We have developed these guides, along with tools and other resources, to remove some of the complexity from the process of developing a unique edge computing strategy.”
Edge computing offers new service and solution revenue for channel partners, argues Schneider. The vendors says the e-guide on edge computing opportunity presents the results of Canalys’ primary research from more than 350 IT channel respondents regarding edge computing opportunities and challenges. Key findings include:
- Priority vertical industries for Internet of Things solutions include healthcare (37%), manufacturing (33%) and industrial (23%)
- Channel partners report that an average of 75% of their end users cite downtime as detrimental to their business
- Nearly all IT providers cited remote site management, physical security and standardised deployment as important or very important
In addition to discussing how channel partners can grow edge
computing expertise, the e-guide provides a detailed roadmap for successfully
identifying and implementing physical infrastructure to enable edge computing
projects including how to:
- Identify solutions that complement existing portfolios
- Understand the required capabilities and sales approach
- Access tools that enable edge design, deployment and management
- Leverage wide ecosystem of partners to address emerging opportunities in industrial environments
The buyers’ guide outlines a pragmatic approach to
evaluating edge infrastructure management, says the authors. The distributed
nature of edge computing, they argue, means sites often lack IT support and are
more vulnerable to physical and cyber risk. The buyers’ e-guide outlines the
value of edge management and the important steps IT and data centre
professionals should take before buying and deploying a solution. By
understanding the considerations and evaluating approaches in a pragmatic and
methodical way, decision makers can identify solutions more effectively,
ensuring better outcomes. It includes sections and tools designed to help
small, medium and large enterprises to:
- Self-assess if there is a need for an edge infrastructure management solution
- Map the business requirement to the solution
- Assemble the right team of experts with appropriate skillsets
- Build a business case and action plan