Webscale drives projected forecast for enterprise edge
On Feb. 26, TBR senior analysts Nicki Catchpole and Stephanie Long were joined by hundreds of professionals across multiple vendors and verticals for TBR’s first webinar on the enterprise edge. The session, The emerging and evolving landscape of enterprise edge computing, focused on the components of the enterprise edge market — as defined by TBR — and projected market growth, in addition to touching on use cases in retail and agriculture that demonstrate the real-life applicability of edge computing across verticals.
In TBR’s definition, the enterprise edge market encompasses enterprises in all verticals, including communication service providers (CSPs). We explores CSP spend on edge infrastructure in depth in our Telecom Edge Compute Market Forecast (2019-2024).
Although edge technology is not new, it is still considered to be emerging, and growth rates are projected to increase significantly through 2024. The spending increase will occur to support connected devices, emerging workloads such as IoT, and faster time to insight on existing use cases and predictive analytics, with the ultimate goal of facilitating the adoption of digital transformation. The most notable driver of edge spend through 2024 will be the complex dynamics within the webscale space in support of digital transformation projects that were historically captured by OEMs.
Use cases in the agriculture and retail verticals demonstrate the value of edge computing across disparate industries
There are hundreds of individually documented and proven use cases for edge computing across many different verticals. A common theme is that edge computing across verticals makes it easier to process data at the source to refine and send it to an edge or cloud network for further analysis, AI applications and storage. During the webinar, TBR analysts covered use cases that touch consumers and vendors alike, focusing on examples in smart farming as well as retail.
Agribots enhance farm management while edge computing introduces benefits for brick-and-mortar retailers
Smart farming technologies mark a notable shift in how farms can be managed by introducing automation and predictive intelligence at scale. Even within this one industry, the examples are vast and varied. Agribots in the form of machinery, like autonomous tractors, interact with the surrounding environment, collecting data and communicating back to the cloud for longer-term analysis. Crop management and production life cycles are optimized through the automation and analytics enabled by edge at scale.
The examples in retail are as equally as diverse, ranging from in-store robots that can create a customized shopping experience to the implementation of AR/VR in fitting rooms. Benefits include improved customer experience as well as workforce and operational optimization.
Questions from attendees prompted a deeper dive
One attendee asked for more detail about what components TBR included in its market sizing estimates. There are many components of edge computing, with varying opinions around what should and should not be included. TBR’s enterprise edge market sizing includes hardware — server and storage networking — as well as close-to-the-box software and services.
Another attendee asked about the “vendor soup” among hyperscalers and whether there are online marketplaces such as Azure that facilitate the decision-making process or if it is largely left to systems integrators. TBR has seen offers from hyperscalers trying to sell more solutioning and recommending combinations of solutions to their customers. This type of approach, but with a more vertical focus in the marketplace, may promote market expansion to include solution advisory services. Implementation of edge computing is a multifaceted and dynamic process, and hyperscalers are well positioned to help customers through the process of selecting and integrating multiple different services.