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Edge Computing Revenue will Reach $250.6 Billion

If you want to thrive and prosper, then encouraging 'remote work' must be part of your organization's digital transformation agenda and knowledge worker culture. Each individual 'branch of one' person must be supported at the edge of an organization's secure network infrastructure.

Edge Computing refers to the facilities and services between centralized enterprise data centers and intelligent endpoints -- either a branch location or more recently an employee home office. Moreover, an endpoint can be a mobile device, such as a smartphone or media tablet. It could also be a sensor.

Proliferating devices benefit from a digitally transformed IT world through cloud edge capabilities. Regardless of how that edge is being defined, the compute, storage and networking cornerstones gird data creation, analysis, and management outside of the centralized core.

Edge Computing Market Development

A future scenario is unfolding where extraordinary value and opportunity for essential IT products and services from a myriad of technology ecosystem stakeholders are being created and marketed.

According to the latest global market study by International Data Corporation (IDC), the worldwide edge computing market will reach $250.6 billion in 2024 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.5 percent over the 2019–2024 forecast period.

"Edge products and services are powering the next wave of digital transformation," said Dave McCarthy, research director at IDC. "With the ability to place infrastructure and applications close to where data is generated and consumed, organizations of all types are looking to edge technology as a method of improving business agility and creating new customer experiences."

The marketplace of vendors and service providers that are present and investing in edge computing continues to grow and increasingly includes a diverse set of competitors.

Familiar companies in the hyperscale cloud computing space include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Equinix, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Switch among others.

Physical IT technology and telecommunication platform infrastructure providers include companies such as AMD, Dell Technologies, Ericsson, HPE, and Intel.

Meanwhile, telecom services companies such as AT&T, Lumen, and Verizon deliver critical networking capabilities to connect the thousands of planned and deployed edge data centers.

IDC expects edge computing expenditures will be concentrated in the U.S. and Western Europe markets over the next several years. In 2020, the global regional spending shares for the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific will be 45 percent, 27.9 percent, and 27.2 percent, respectively.

From an industry perspective, 11 of the 19 standard industry segments will deliver 5 percent or more of total worldwide spending in 2020. The top two industries for edge spending throughout the forecast period are discrete manufacturing and professional services, while retail will overtake process manufacturing to become the third-largest industry by the end of the forecast.

Professional services will also see the fastest growth in edge computing related investment with a five-year CAGR of 15.4 percent.

From a technology perspective, services (including professional and provisioned services) will account for 46.2 percent of all edge spending in 2024. Hardware follows as the second largest technology category with a 32.2 percent share of spending, while the remaining 21.6 percent will go to edge-related software.

Why Edge Computing is Transformational

"While no technology market has been spared from the economic impact of COVID-19, edge market suppliers are poised to experience sustained growth throughout the forecast from enterprise and service provider investments," said Marcus Torchia, research director at IDC.

I believe that new modes of IT application delivery will become the norm. In particular, the "Everything-as-a-Service" model will create a level of abstraction where the 'on-premises platform versus public cloud service' debate is not the focal point of savvy decision-makers -- in particular, those senior executives that lead enterprise 'digital growth' projects.

Furthermore, envisioning a consumption-based pricing and on-demand application delivery modality will transcend the legacy mindset of the old-guard players that are unable to evolve. Besides, the ability to hire and retain skilled talent will be the defining factor that enables a vendor to surpass the competition.

That said, the few leading vendors that choose to undergo a metamorphosis will act with a bold sense of purpose. In contrast, the majority will likely attempt a change management course of action via small incremental adjustments to their current status quo.

Offering the freedom to scale IT resources so enterprise customers can quickly react to changes in the app development and app delivery environment is important. However, credible vendor ambassadors that can articulate a compelling solution and associated business outcomes are the greater imperative.

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