More than two thirds (78%) of enterprises investing in edge are solving real-world business challenges and 8 out of 10 organizations expect their dependency on third-party edge services to grow over the next two years. This is according to Dimension Data’s parent company NTT Ltd’s Edge Advantage Report launched recently.
Enterprises around the world are discovering the edge advantage, benefitting from digital technologies that accelerate data-driven decision making, secure physical and virtual assets, and control sustainably resilient operations. But while more than 80% of technology decision makers say their edge investment expectations have been met or exceeded, many fear that the rapid pace of technology evolution could cost them in the long term.
Current adopters see the fragmented management of compute, connectivity and IoT devices as a hindrance to realizing the potential of edge. As such, those organizations that are combining private 5G and edge technologies report the highest benefits over enterprises who have adopted a legacy segregated approach, or none at all.
The report also revealed that though most organizations believe their network infrastructure can handle their current edge requirements, almost 40% of global enterprises planning edge deployments acknowledge a need to upgrade their network to support the expected spike in connected devices and applications. In the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, nearly two-thirds of enterprises that already deployed edge have coordinated a wide area network refresh.
In light of this, many organizations are planning to turn to partners to help them on their edge journey. So much so that 86% of SA businesses believe their organization’s dependency on third-party edge services will grow in the next 24 months, with 88% expressing a preference to consume edge services from a single partner that offers a central point of accountability and 94% declaring that “having more managed service options” is a top factor in making edge consumption easier.
“The growing need for faster processing and a distributed digital architecture is creating increased pressure on networks and infrastructure capabilities, driving both accelerated adoption of private 5G and edge,” said Shahid Ahmed, EVP New Ventures & Innovation at NTT Ltd.
“Achieving the edge advantage will require end-to-end solutions with holistic management and uncompromising accountability. Only through utilizing these solutions can enterprises gain instant access to data, where it is generated or collected, with near zero latency, and harness it to drive powerful business outcomes.”
The motivation behind edge adoption can vary from industry to industry. Among manufacturing firms in MEA, supporting network segmentation strategy is the top-ranked edge investment driver, with operational efficiency second. Manufacturing firms are striving to be just-in-time organizations that meet and even anticipate market needs, turning data into competitive advantage.
“Organizations striving to become real-time enterprises need help beyond design and launch of edge solutions,” said Camille Mendler, chief analyst at Omdia. “Managed services offer a pragmatic and adaptive way to keep ahead of complexity.”