CIOs are at the center of virtually every major initiative as businesses digitally transform in dynamic and competitive markets. According to Gartner, four out of five companies are increasing digital technology investments to counter current economic pressures like inflation, scarce talent, and supply constraints.
More than ever, CIOs are being tasked with executing digital strategies in operational environments such as factory floors, production sites, and remote locations. With that, Edge Computing has emerged as an enabler of the software-based tools being deployed within these digital-first business initiatives.
Edge Computing is giving IT a way to reliably access data, protect and manage applications, and deploy future solutions. Read on to learn how CIOs are embracing Edge Computing as part of their digital transformation strategies:
Solutions at the Edge
CIOs are introducing solutions at the Edge that improve customer experience, drive performance, minimize downtime, and create efficiencies safely in often resource-constrained locations. In fact, 61% of IT leaders reported that they are planning to run IoT, edge, or both technologies in the next 12 months. Edge Computing creates a path for CIOs to deliver improvements that expand the performance and capability of operations over time and allows for data to be aggregated, organized, coordinated, and shared across systems and up to the cloud while minimizing latency, security, and cost issues that often impact a CIO’s ability to deploy reliable, repeatable solutions.
These solutions focus on collecting, protecting, and using data to achieve efficiency, sustainability, and traceability across their operations and involve custom or off-the-shelf software needed by operations to run – including cybersecurity applications. In the future these applications will include AI, ML, and IoT and will require compute at the Edge given the vast amounts of data being processed and utilized both locally and in the cloud. Today CIOs using Edge Computing are better equipped to support complex processes and optimize daily operations than ever before.
Edge Enables Scalability
CIOs are also leveraging Edge Computing to scale solutions across their business operations. By 2025, Gartner predicts 75% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside a data center or cloud and at the Edge.
As companies strive to remain competitive through digital transformation, they increasingly need to solve incremental challenges with new solutions, and then scale those solutions across their business – often with limited resources and time. CIOs therefore need easy-to-manage, highly reliable compute architectures that bridge the gap from the Edge to the enterprise. Edge Computing creates an effective way to bring solutions from one location to the other across a plant or the enterprise, delivering the full benefit of digital transformation initiatives.
Edge Offers Serviceability
As solutions are deployed, they must be managed and maintained – ideally remotely or with minimal onsite IT resources. This has been a barrier for CIOs and their teams dealing with legacy systems. However, best-in-class Edge Computing is inherently serviceable and easy to manage, including autonomous management and monitoring of the compute platform.
IT can use Edge Computing platforms as standardized access points for servicing an operation, such as delivering software patches and other services critical to the operation. Additionally, virtualized Edge Computing platforms allow workloads, applications, and servers to be consolidated, reducing IT’s footprint and the corresponding cost of ownership. Introducing Edge Computing can, in fact, reduce the complexity and risk of supporting an operation for the CIO and their team.
Edge Provides Security
CIOs are leaning on Edge Computing to help secure remote operations without compromising IT standards for secure connectivity and data protection. While Edge devices such as sensors may increase the surface area to be protected, Edge Computing provides an added layer of protection as data is securely managed at the Edge, close to where the data is collected and used.
CIOs can apply a “zero trust security posture” via Edge Computing that allows access to each device or node to only necessary individuals, making it easier to tighten and control security measures. Features within purpose-built Edge Computing platforms include secure trusted boot, host-based firewall, role-based access controls with enhanced password management and active directory integration, restricted USB ports, and secure, encrypted communication channels. This best-in-class Edge Computing comes with out-of-the-box security linking directly with IT cybersecurity and networking standards, extending the CIO’s cybersecurity posture out to the Edge.
As businesses digitally transform, CIOs are under pressure to migrate operations to more innovative environments and platforms to ensure business success and continuity. Understanding and implementing Edge Computing will help CIOs establish highly reliable environments for running critical processes and applications effectively, safely, and competitively.