As 2019 winds down and we all begin thinking about the future of Edge Computing in 2020, one thing is clear: Edge Computing will be an increasingly-important strategic path to help drive digital transformation and real business value. In a recent trend report, industry analyst firm Gartner stated that, “Edge Computing will become a dominant factor across virtually all industries and use cases” naming it one of the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2020. And IDC identified Edge Computing as one of the top 10 key drivers for IT over the next five years. Forrester, too, has cited the benefits of Edge Computing as an approach to achieve digital transformation.
As I look at where we have been and where we are going as an industry, I believe digital transformation will accelerate, increasing efficiency and effectiveness across organizations. Digital transformation, and related Edge Computing initiatives, will expand deeper into and further across company departments and core business processes, not as part of IT-only functions.
Companies are considering Edge Computing for many parts of their businesses – from customer service, to human resources, to product development. How we collect, analyze and employ data as part of these functional applications to make improvements in business processes and decision making will be a key to future business growth and automation.
But industry leaders are not just “thinking” about Edge Computing, or simply planning for adoption, but are actually defining which processes can be improved and automated. This is leading them to map out tangible business benefits. So creating value from the edge to the data center and beyond is quickly becoming a key part of companies’ digital transformation.
While digital transformation will focus on technology and process, we can’t forget about the people. By making data insights more accessible to the people on business teams, organizations will empower their executives and they – in turn – will drive greater business performance. And that’s where Edge Computing can really make a difference in business results – especially in organizations that are short-staffed or simply don’t have enough data-management expertise onsite.
When considering the future of Edge Computing, I see a stronger push toward digital transformation, with Edge Computing as the conduit in 2020. Companies are already using Edge Computing solutions to automate and ensure the safe and reliable management of oil and gas terminals, bioreactors, water and wastewater processes, and even building management systems. Overall, companies will look to achieve increased momentum in Edge Computing adoption across industries, especially large and mid-sized companies. These early adopters are demonstrating leadership at the edge and showing other companies that now is the time to get on board with Edge Computing or run the risk of potentially getting left behind.