Why are end users suddenly demonstrating high levels of interest in edge computing solutions? It has to do with changing marketplace trends. Local devices make up the bulk of the “things” that constitute the much talked about Internet of Things (IoT) phenomenon. As many as 30 billion devices could be IoT-connected by 2020. This growth is driven by lower smart device costs, greater standardization, more scale, and an available cloud back end.
Along with the growth of devices comes the corresponding large volumes of data creation. According to App Developer Magazine, more data was generated in 2017 alone than in the previous 5,000 years of human history combined. As a result, enterprises will need to develop their ability to both gather the data and to analyze it to drive business growth.
Helping end users drive their digital transformation
Managed service providers (MSPs) and systems integrators can support their end users as they embark on this digital journey in three important ways:
Lowering data transmission costs
Many end users have discovered that migration to the cloud becomes more expensive in a more data-intensive world. With IoT data constantly transmitted in real-time to the cloud, end users are paying cloud providers for inward-flowing data and message processing and outflowing data when data is being extracted from applications. Thus, end users are being charged for every second of 7×24 connectivity (end users in North America, for instance, pay a blended average across all the transit providers of $10 per megabit per second per month) and significant costs are incurred for keeping devices connected. All of these costs are part of the equation when a smart connected device is deployed.
With edge computing, less data travels between data centers. Since that data can be processed at the local level, thereby avoiding latency problems that sometimes occur in data heavy transmissions from the cloud, businesses have the luxury to choose what they want to run locally, and what they want to run in the cloud. Integrators and MSPs are in a unique position to help their customers decide which combination makes the most economic sense.
Improving business agility
In fast-changing markets the ability of a company to react quickly to business growth opportunities represents a significant competitive advantage. Business growth almost always has to be supported by IT infrastructure growth. Systems integrators and MSPs, by introducing end users to concepts such as pre-fabricated data centers and micro data centers, can save end users up to 40% in deployment times (10-12 weeks to build and deploy vs 18-20 weeks with a traditional set up). Rapid deployment means faster time to market for new products and services.
Sustaining improved uptime
New computing architectures provide global real-time visibility and predictive analytics across edge environments, optimizing operations across IT and facilities. MSPs who support end users can now pick up a smart phone and see every device that they are responsible for monitoring. This offers both end users and MSPs an entirely new level of stress relief. IT administrators no longer have to stop what they’re doing and hotspot VPN, taking 15 minutes before accessing the information they need. Their smart phone allows them to visualize the current status of what’s going on, and quickly assess activity and equipment behavior over the last 24 hours. Such capabilities allow support staff response time to drop down to practically zero minutes.
Benefits for integrators and MSPs
As digitization spreads across companies of all sizes, integrators and MSPs find themselves with the opportunity to sell much more than just simple point products. End users are looking for help managing their new edge computing infrastructures and require services that optimize their business performance. As the new edge computing environments develop, MSPs can grow the number of assets under their management. Over the next four years, based on projected edge computing growth, MSPs that engage in a solution selling approach (vs. traditional point product selling), can expect their business growth to at least double.
In order to help drive more Certainty in a Connected World and to grow new business opportunities, explore Schneider Electric’s new edge certification program and learn more about APC by Schneider Electric edge computing solutions.