The Edge Is Key to Meeting Digital Transformation Demands
Organizations in virtually every vertical industry are undergoing a digital transformation in an attempt to take advantage of edge computing technology to make their businesses more efficient, innovative and profitable. In the process, they’re coming face to face with challenges ranging from time to market to reliability of IT infrastructure.
It’s a complex problem, especially when you consider the scope of what digital transformation entails. “Digital transformation is not simply a list of IT projects, it involves completely rethinking how an organization uses technology to pursue new revenue streams, products, services, and business models,” according to research firm IDC.
Companies will be spending more than $650 billion per year on digital transformation efforts by 2024, a CAGR of more than 18.5 percent from 2018, notes research firm Market Research Engine.
The drivers behind all that spending include internet of things (IoT) technology, which involves collecting data from machines and sensors covering every aspect of the organization. That is contributing to big data–the treasure trove of data that companies mine to find the keys to efficiency, opportunity and more. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are crucial to that effort, helping companies make sense of the mountains of data they’re creating and consuming, and to find opportunities.
Requirements for Edge Computing
All of these trends are creating the need for more and more compute power and data storage. And much of it needs to be close to the source of the data, and to those employees who are working with it. In other words, it’s driving the need for companies to build edge data centers or edge computing sites.
Physically, these edge computing sites bear little resemblance to large, centralized data centers, but they have many of the same requirements in terms of performance, reliability, efficiency and security. Given they are typically in locations with few if any IT personnel, the data centers must have a high degree of automation and remote management capabilities. And to meet business requirements, they must be built quickly.
Answering the Call at the Edge
These are complex requirements, but if companies are to meet time-to-market goals and deal with the lack of IT personnel at the edge, they demand simple solutions.
One solution is integration. We’re seeing this already in the IT space, with vendors delivering hyper-converged infrastructure that combines servers, storage, networking and software that is tightly integrated and delivered in a single enclosure. This saves IT groups valuable time in terms of procuring and configuring equipment and makes it far easier to manage over the long term.