How CIOs can Bridge the Skills Gap for Edge Computing Deployments

IT professional and edge computing trends

According to Gartner, Inc., 80 percent of corporate employees do not have the skills needed for their current and future roles. Digital transformation initiatives have only increased this gap by creating intense competition for those few workers who are skilled at navigating the new digital environment. One of the offshoots of the digitization trend, the ability to gather large amounts of data and perform local analysis, is driving the need for edge computing.

As a result, CIOs now face increased demands from their line of business colleagues to support newly emerging edge computing environments. These trends are forcing CIOs into an awkward balancing act. They need to find a way of addressing the needs of the business by managing the proliferation of edge technologies and data with neither an available pool of additional skilled workers nor any increase to their IT headcount budgets.

Team meeting

New Edge Computing Management Approach Needed

In the struggle to better support edge computing environments and the enhanced business results that they help produce, the numbers are stacked against CIOs. Onsite expertise is neither available nor affordable to help manage these systems. Instead, the answer lies in a new management approach which combines advanced monitoring and management tools, with a tight ecosystem of partners capable of designing, configuring, delivering, installing, supporting and maintaining edge computing systems.

The following three key strategies contribute to CIO efforts for fostering optimal edge computing environment support where minimal internal management expertise is required:

  • Embrace standardization – Migrating to a standardized edge computing component environment enables devices to be easily swapped in and out. Today, vendors are beginning to provide more converged solutions that are pre-designed, pre-validated and pre-tested in the factory. As a result, inexperienced end users are not burdened with putting all the edge computing parts and pieces together on their own. Maintenance approaches can also be standardized thereby simplifying the process of maximizing system uptime.
  • Assemble an ecosystem of IT solution providers for edge lifecycle support – Qualified IT solution providers are harnessing an ecosystem of partners to bring end-to-end technology together for acquisition and implementation of solution critical components. Some partners have developed sophisticated, scalable service and support models that are proving less expensive than an in-house approach.
  • Implement software-driven, digital monitoring techniques – New software solutions have emerged that leverage the advantages of cloud, IoT, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. These new tools act as the glue that binds the members of the partner ecosystem together. The software capabilities, along with the expertise of Managed Service Providers (MSPs), fill-in and augment end user staffing requirements by providing remote visibility and proactive control over all edge computing system assets.

Real World Examples of Edge Computing Success

Edge computing solution successes, developed by an ecosystem, have begun to proliferate across early adopter industries such as retail. One department store retailer, for example, has already turned remote kiosks into a positive revenue contributor. A chain restaurant has automated its franchise kitchens linking them to inventory systems. A leading supermarket chain has embraced edge computing solutions to better automate their warehouses resulting in faster product delivery to customers. In all of these cases, the math for the edge computing business case worked out, thanks to cooperative arrangements with an ecosystem of third-party companies, each of which contributed to successful edge solution design, delivery, operations and support.

Bridge the Edge Computing Skills Gap

To enable more Certainty in a Connected World, APC by Schneider Electric provides access to information and resources to help ease the learning curve for end users deploying new edge computing environments. This sharing of best practices helps end users drive standardization and simplifies approaches for improving edge computing service and support.

To learn more about how to deploy, manage and maintain diverse edge computing environments, download the new APC by Schneider Electric white paper “Solving Edge Computing Infrastructure Challenges.”

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