Schneider Electric has launched a newly commissioned IDC White Paper entitled, Succeeding at Digital First Connected Operations, which highlights the power of edge computing in enabling the shift to a digital-first world.
The white paper details responses from over 1,000 IT and operations professionals across industrial, healthcare, education, and other verticals as well as a series of in-depth interviews with industrial enterprises.
Respondents were global, representing firms in the United States, China, Japan, Germany, The United Kingdom, India, and Ireland. The organizations ranged in size from 100 to more than 1,000 employees. Responses provided insights about the factors driving edge investments, the challenges firms faced while deploying to the edge, obstacles to continued investment, and strategic recommendations to future-proof edge capabilities.
“As organizations seek to create new or improved experiences for customers and to become more operationally efficient, improve safety and security, and become more sustainable, they are leaning more on digital technologies. The white paper examines the crucial role that edge computing and edge deployments play in enabling digital-first, connected operations,” says Chris Hanley, SVP, Commercial Operations & Global Channels, leading edge commercial strategy, Schneider Electric. “It highlights strategies that IT professional and decision makers can adopt to future proof their edge computing capabilities to support remote, connected, secure, reliable, resilient, and sustainable operations.”
Edge computing is one of the major enablers of a digital-first paradigm. In fact, the most common use cases of edge infrastructure include cybersecurity systems to monitor the operational network locally as well as storing and processing operational data to bring it to the cloud. Further, when organizations were asked why they were investing in edge computing to support these workloads, respondents cited, “improve cybersecurity” (50%) and “systems resiliency and reliability” (44%). Yet, there are various challenges that organizations must overcome to ensure their edge infrastructure, and thus, their connected operations, are resilient and reliable. Despite the promise of the edge, many organizations report connectivity and power outage concerns. In fact, 32% of respondents have experienced a “lack of connectivity or slow connectivity” with their edge deployments. Further, 31% have experienced a “utility power outage or power surge lasting more than 60 seconds.”
Challenges to overcome when transitioning to digital-first connected operations
“Resilient edge resources are the foundation for shifting to digital-first, connected operations,” said Jennifer Cooke, Research Director, Edge Strategies, IDC. “Organizations will become vulnerable if and when their technology fails. To future proof edge deployments, leaders must develop a strategy that addresses concerns, such as cybersecurity and connectivity issues, and ensures access to the skills required to maintain resilient edge infrastructures.”