Rising Edge Computing Investments to Reach $350B by 2027, According to IDC


It’s the furthest thing from a secret that the way we process information has been – and will surely continue – undergoing a series of massive shifts. The world is content. The world is engagement. The world is data. (These phrases are said with some editorial spice, but they’re also simply true in many ways.)

So then, imagine data that can be analyzed and acted upon not in mammoth-sized corporate structures and data centers, but right where the data itself is generated – in home offices, on the factory floors themselves, in retail stores where customer data is initially generated; you get the idea.

This, in a loose-form explanation sort of way, represents the power of edge computing. It’s continuing to be a game-changer for businesses everywhere, in IoT-centric fields and beyond.

Recently, the International Data Corporation (IDC) released data of its own. This was part of its new Worldwide Edge Spending Guide and the forecasts therein.

Here's our version of IDC’s info, specifically regarding why edge computing is such a hot topic:

  • At a Glance: Worldwide spending on edge computing is expected to reach $232 billion in 2024, representing an increase of 15.4% over 2023. IDC suspects that enterprise and service providers’ spending habits (spanning hardware, software, professional services and provisioned edge services) will, quote, “sustain strong growth through at least 2027, reaching nearly $350 billion.” That’s a huge surge of green, and it certainly isn’t being funneled towards nothing. Edge computing is on a very real rise.
  • Why is this Important? Well, let’s look at how IDC defines the edge – “information and communications technology (ICT) actions being performed outside of a centralized data center, where edge is the intermediary between connected endpoints and the core IT environment.” This is highly flexible, and its value should be noticed in myriad workplace settings; we’re talking about increased enablement of business processes, decisions and actionable intelligence not confined to legacy-type physical locations. Faster response times, fewer undue instances of downtime, and greater efficiencies are all pretty difficult to say no to.
  • Top Industries Benefiting: Manufacturing, retail, and professional services are at the forefront of edge computing adoption, per IDC. These industries leverage edge computing for tasks like optimizing production lines, enhancing customer experiences, and streamlining large-scale operations.
  • Matching AI with Edge Computing: These two are ideal for one another, namely the edge powering AI applications. By crunching data locally, AI systems can make quicker and more accurate decisions, uncovering new possibilities in areas like predictive maintenance, supply chain resilience, production asset management, AI-augmented IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) diagnostic systems, in-store contextualized marketing and other avenues featuring customer personalization.
  • Geography of Growth: From a geographic perspective, North America is currently the leader in edge spending, but regions like China and EMEA are catching up. This reflects the global potential of edge computing to transform industries, regardless of borders.

This is the future, according to Marcus Torchia, Research Vice President, Data & Analytics, IDC:

“Enterprise investments have continued to shift the past 24 months toward infrastructure expansion and greenfield deployments. Companies are acting on plans to build more robust local computing infrastructure capabilities. And through it all, customer-facing new services and products and enabling new business processes are top enterprise drivers. Over the next two years, the share of planned investments moderately favor edge offerings. Yet in the balance, enterprises are looking to rationalize total service provider outlays. This sets up a dynamic market of edge offerings competing for investment dollars through 2027.”

The bottom line here? Edge computing is no longer a futuristic concept. It's an empowering technology modernizing how we process information and drive innovation across near-countless sectors. As businesses embrace this decentralized approach to computing, we likely can expect a wave of new applications and opportunities that will reshape aspects of the grand digital landscape.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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