Many countries in Asia have robust IT and network infrastructure often put in place, to support consumers that have been quick to adopt new technologies, and businesses that have been quick to leverage burgeoning ecommerce and IoT markets. So not surprisingly, the awareness of the digital edge – where users meet, where data is exchanged and applications are shared – is also on the rise. Recently, I was speaking at an event in Singapore and attendees were clearly expressing an interest in going to the edge!
You may ask, why should Asia-Pacific enterprises move to the edge? There are financial and technological benefits. As projected by a recent IDC report, data-driven and analytically oriented organizations that transform at the digital edge and embrace a digital multi-cloud core, will achieve $2 trillion in extra benefits in the form of increased revenue, lower costs, and improved productivity over the next five years. IDC also anticipates edge environments will be “the foundation for innovation in augmented/virtual reality, IoT, robotics, 3D printing, and cognitive/AI.” Achieving this requires businesses to interact with multiple end-points while traffic becomes increasingly heavy.
What is the Digital Edge?
It is a redefined edge network to accommodate the emerging characteristics of digital data. This digital data can originate from multiple sources, including but not limited to smartphones, digital content, big data, predictive analysis, and cloud workloads.
To respond to an evolving digital landscape, business and IT need to transform from siloed and fixed architectures to integrated and dynamic. Rather than taking everything back into core systems to be processed, organizations need to push out selected applications and data to the network edge, and create an environment in which the data handshake is intelligent, seamless and highly available.
Thriving at the Digital Edge
So what are the benefits? Simply put, enterprises embracing the digital edge can stay ahead of the competition by having:
- The freedom to choose from and move between a wide variety of service providers and ultimately mitigate risk of vendor lock-in
- An opportunity to rebalance their network a lot more intelligently and efficiently, deciding what should be in the core and what should be at the edge
- The ability to quickly extract value out of their data by combining it with real-time predictive analytics available at the edge
Tapping the full potential of digital businesses
After all, edge architecture is not new. In fact, most service providers have been building edge-oriented architectures for quite some time. Edge is an important intermediary and aggregation point before the access network.
Take Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers as an example: they invested heavily at the edge to improve the quality of experience for their customers. It is an important meeting point. Content Delivery Network (CDNs) providers cache frequently accessed content at the edge so they can serve customers with the lowest possible latency.
In the enterprise world, the benefits of moving to an edge based architecture is limitless. Banking and finance customers are innovating online and mobile based services by connecting with customers and new ecosystem partners, e.g. digital payment providers, at edge locations. By shortening the distance between applications, data, consumers, employees and partners, the edge is enabling them to serve customers with greater performance and reliability.
The same benefits ring true for E-commerce providers who can now dynamically push services to edge locations when they are in high demand during major seasons and festivals.
Revamping your digital edge is a journey that is part of Interconnection Oriented Architecture™ (IOA). By embracing this, enterprises can locally collocate ecosystems at the edge thanks to direct, dedicated connections to a variety of partners and cloud providers. There are four steps:
- Simplify the Topology: Localize, segment and optimize network traffic flows, bringing WAN and LAN together at the edge
- Create Security Guard Rails: Localize security services, establish boundary controls and create an inspection zone
- Establish a Data Fabric: Localize data requirements, balance access with protection and govern data movement
- Integrate via Intersection Points: Localize application services – as a multi-cloud, multi-party business and integration point
You can find out more about this approach in our IOA Playbook.
In this increasingly digitized and interconnected world, moving to the edge is one of the key ways for organizations to stay ahead of the competition and deliver on emerging consumer demands. It’s time to re-architect for a digital edge. Are you ready?