In November 2019 World Wide Technology conducted in-depth surveys with 207 enterprise decision makers, from companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenues, which revealed a $17 billion market opportunity for service providers acting as Edge implementation partners over the next 36 months.
“Edge Computing is transforming the way enterprises manage data. As 5G becomes a reality, Edge will provide the backbone for game-changing applications across data-intensive areas such as sensor-based activity recognition, AI, smart mobility, robotics and real-time digital experiences,” explained Daniel Valle, Chief Technologist - Service Providers EMEA at WWT.
The Edge Disconnect
The survey, titled The Edge Disconnect, was conducted in collaboration with Analysys Mason – and taking place in the UK, Germany, USA and Japan – was commissioned to better understand enterprise attitudes, and found that 59% of that $17bn sits at the level of user-facing application and service platforms. And by value, the role of the ‘Edge application enabler’ outstrips the more connectivity-centric roles service providers can play in deploying Edge.
“Service providers’ deep understanding of connectivity confers an advantage. By filling gaps in their vertical expertise, they can become one-stop-shops for the connectivity, infrastructure and applications that will make enterprise Edge deployments truly transformative,” said Valle. “Service providers should look to grasp the edge opportunity, and make sure businesses are ready to become a go-to Edge implementation partner.”
Those being surveyed included ‘Chief Digital Officer’, ‘Business Decision Maker’, ‘Chief Operating Officer’, ‘Chief Strategy Officer’ and ‘Head of Innovation’ levels, across manufacturing, transport, financial services, retail, healthcare and the public sector. Key findings included the following:
- Manufacturing: 58% cited immature Edge cloud software as the greatest challenge
- Transport/Logistics: 60% mentioned the lack of compelling Edge-based solutions
- Financial Services: 60% expressed concern over the security of Edge operations
- Healthcare: 66% were concerned about the lack of Edge data centre providers
- Retail: 52% were concerned about the lack of robust connectivity at the end of the network
- Public Sector: 63% were concerned about the risk to fragmentation of data
The survey also highlighted that organisations are looking at Edge as a pathway to reducing data management costs by up to 20%, but just 6% of decision-makers would turn to service providers for their Edge implementations. By comparison, 41% would primarily trust a technology company and a further 31% would trust a public cloud provider.
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