A new report from Accenture has argued that businesses need to act now to avoid falling behind with edge computing – yet integration with cloud, data and AI will be ‘essential’ to accelerate innovation affordably.
The study, titled ‘Leading With Edge Computing: How To Reinvent With Data And AI’, polled 2,100 C-suite executives globally and found more than four in five (83%) see edge as ‘essential’ to remaining competitive in the future. A similar number (81%) agreed that not acting quickly will see them shut out from the full benefits of the technology.
Accenture placed companies in four buckets depending on their progress with edge adoption. The first and second types, ad hoc and tactical, ‘struggle with IT modernisation or integrating edge into their cloud strategies’, while types three and four – integrated and super integrated – are ‘using edge and cloud as part of their business strategies’ and are therefore seeing better outcomes.
Lest these differentiators for adoption feel like they have a familiar pattern to how cloud adopters were categorised, the link to cloud is palpable. Accenture noted that a ‘cloud-integrated’ approach to edge offers exponential value. 79% of edge adopters in the survey said they planned to fully integrate edge with cloud in the next three years.
Only two thirds (65%) of companies polled said they were using edge to some degree today, and of that, only half had plugged in to integrations to what Accenture calls the ‘digital core’, with cloud, data and AI.
Accenture offered a three-step framework for companies to get the most out of edge deployments:
- Strategize for edge – don’t think of it as an add-on feature but as a key element of your business strategy. Effective industry examples Accenture cites include point of sale in retail and edge-based content delivery apps in telecoms
- Scale across the enterprise – build out edge ‘across the enterprise on the back of cloud, and integrate with enterprise data and AI applications’ rather than ad hoc projects
- Strengthen capabilities – ensure all employees and processes are prepared for edge
“Now is the time for every enterprise to adopt edge in order to fuel innovation for business growth,” said Andy Tay, global lead of Accenture Cloud First in a statement. “Edge presents unique hurdles due to physical limits that require a new understanding of infrastructure, security and user experience to overcome.
“But with the right approach – where edge is aligned to the business strategy, integrated with the digital core and supported by partners and people – edge will lead to differentiated experiences for customers and employees,” added Tay.
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