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Study: Schneider Electric says Aussie edge market growing

09 Oct 17

The edge computing market is poised for a period of sustained growth in Australia, with 22% of businesses looking to develop an edge strategy in the next 24 months, while 16% already have one in place.

This is according to a new research report commissioned by technology and energy management company, Schneider Electric.

The report draws on the insights of 320 Australian businesses and IT leaders, exploring trends in the data management space and the opportunities presented by edge computing, which is described as the equipment and applications that are distributed at the edge of networks to complement cloud approaches.

According to the report, the Australian market remains in a period of ongoing consolidation of applications and infrastructure either to colocation or cloud services.

The study predicts that approximately 75% of organisations will consolidate their data centres and associated infrastructure before the end of 2018, with just under half of respondents (42.5%) to move out of their on-site facilities in favour of colocation or cloud services during this period.

Joe Craparotta, Schneider Electric vice president for IT business says, “The local data centre market is undergoing seismic transformation, as businesses look to exploit the opportunities presented by migrating their data to cloud or colocation sites while navigating challenges such as security, compliance and performance.

“However, it is hugely encouraging to see that the ICT industry now recognises that there are legitimate business and technical reasons to consider edge computing as part of the mix. Edge computing can play a pivotal role in applications such as utility plants and infrastructure that have high numbers of sensors and data requirements,” he says.

“The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and latency-sensitive applications are also driving this move as more computing power is being decentralised to the network edge.”

The research found a range of viable situations that would support applications of edge computing infrastructure and technology, which include;

  • Smart- buildings or offices for digitally enabled workforces and automated/integrated building management. This may include video monitoring and sensor-based networks for triggering actions that only occur within the premises based on occupancy movements.

  • Mine sites and other primary industry campuses and their associated living quarters in remote locations that aren’t able to access common services.

  • Smart fishing vessels that use video and/or sensors for catch analysis and machinery for production. Similarly, Schneider Electric says cruises and other ships will likely require edge computing in order to provide digital services.

  • Hospitals and healthcare providers that require lots of bandwidth for sharing medical imagery and data.

Trevor Clarke, Tech Research Asia co-founder and Asia Pacific research director says edge computing is a key area of transformation for business in Australia looking forward, and the right approaches need to be heavily considered.

“How you handle edge computing will be as key a consideration as data centre consolidation and cloud computing for many organisations in Australia in the next few years,” he says.

“This is especially true for those who are pursuing IoT-based business outcomes where the customer experience determines success. For many, the hybrid reality of IT strategies will extend from the edge to colocation, to on-premises data centres all the way through to the cloud.”

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