How data generated by IoT and other devices is stored, processed, analyzed and transported is being transformed by edge computing. With 5G being rapidly deployed and the rise of real-time applications requiring minimal latency, edge computing is being more widely adopted.
Stratus Technologies and Espalier shared market research that identified key use cases and industries projected to drive edge computing adoption up to 46% through 2026.
The research assessed a range of edge computing use cases for horizontal Industry 4.0 technologies. The technologies include IoT devices and platforms, AI and analytics, cybersecurity, augmented reality/virtual reality as well as traditional enterprise software workloads in industrial and non-industrial verticals.
Edge computing applications were grouped in three distinct markets and projected growth:
- OT workloads: Software running machine and equipment processes at edge locations in industrial environments governed by OT teams with a focus on PLCs and safe operations is projected to grow up to 46%.
- Edge OT workloads: Applications for monitor and control of machines and equipment focused on analytics, maintenance and AR are projected to grow up to 13%.
- Edge IT workloads: Software running site-wide industrial applications such as distributed control systems, batch management, analytics and asset performance with significant oversight by IT is forecasted to grow up to 28%.
Various industry verticals are benefitting from edge computing and are helping drive adoption. The industries are oil and gas, digital manufacturing for discrete and complex discrete industries, life sciences and pharmaceutical manufacturing, and smart infrastructure and renewables.
Additionally, the research detected how companies across the industries are using edge computing.
- Monitor and control with HMI SCADA: Edge computing platforms deliver the performance and fault tolerance required to run and scale HMI SCADA and historian applications reliably for critical equipment and processes.
- Supply chain visibility and automated material handling: Edge computing provides the ideal combination of computing power, performance and reliability to support warehouse automation and automated material handling.
- Manufacturing execution and batch management: Manufacturers run MES, batch and quality applications close to production lines and critical equipment for real-time data acquisition and control.
- Asset performance management: Edge data from critical equipment and processes provides a foundation for APM solutions.
- Access control and building management: Edge computing enables building management to consolidate systems, including security, access control and utilities onto a single platform.
“For nearly 20 years, Espalier has studied the edge compute market worldwide, and there’s no question edge is approaching a key inflexion point, post-pandemic. Enterprises across verticals are looking to complement prior cloud deployments by transforming how they collect data and manage critical processes at the edge with the highest levels of reliability,” said Inder Thukral, CEO of Espalier.
Edge computing, based on research results, is more suited for organizations that require local compute power for critical processes that receive the best business benefits.
Edited by Greg Tavarez