Written by: Jacob Chacko, Regional Director – ME and SA at Aruba, an HP Enterprise
The C-Suite and business leaders understand the value of technology and the benefits it can bring to their bottom line, but there is one key technological shift on the horizon that they can’t afford to ignore. Networking at the edge.
Over the next few years, organizations in every industry will experience change on an unprecedented scale as people, digital devices, smart technologies, and an ever-expanding network come together to transform commerce, work, education, healthcare, recreation, and more. A whole new range of possibilities emerges when we can engage with literally every device and build intelligence and connectivity into physical objects such as office furniture and clothing. The path to 2030 will spawn new customer-centric businesses, enable entirely new industries and reinvent existing ones, challenge us to adapt and evolve, and facilitate greater access, equity, and inclusion across every aspect of society – this is the potential of the Edge. We define the Edge as the new experiences being enabled by edge technologies for customers, employees, students, patients, and any users of network services.
Smart meets digital at the Edge – smart conference rooms, smart assembly lines, smart menu ordering, smart stadiums, and a range of technology-enabled smart experiences. The opportunity at the Edge is driven by many things, including smart applications powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), mobile devices, Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, data analysis, next-generation Wi-Fi, 5G communications, and “edge-to-cloud computing.”
Transformational Aspects of Edge-Based Strategies
Edge-based strategies are driving five critical shifts shaping the future of business and work:
- User Empowerment – The technologies are enabling a fundamental redesign of the user experience – be they customer, student, patient, or employee – giving users the tools to define what they want, how they want it, and even how they want to pay for it.
- Transformational Leadership – The scalability and rapid capability enhancements of exponentially advancing technologies such as AI, ML, IoT, and cloud computing are enabling leaders to pursue and deliver experiments to drive 2x to 10x greater improvements across their businesses.
- The Pursuit of Digital Innovation and Excellence – The increasingly central role of digital technologies demands that we raise digital literacy across the organization and prioritize the rapid evolution of our digital capability to accelerate the adoption of a digital mindset and speed up the creation of digitally based products and services based on insights generated from data collected.
- Embracing and Embedding Smart – The Edge is helping organizations embrace the true power of smart devices to deliver mass customization and deep personalization of a range of user experiences. Rapid advancements in AI and ML are enabling the establishment of smart spaces and creating the opportunity for smart personalization, adaptation, and continuous learning in the applications offered to users.
- Emergence of New Businesses and Industry Sectors at the Edge – The focus on solutions tailored to customer needs is driving opportunities from the creation of new businesses to the birth of new trillion-dollar industry sectors.
Call to Action
The opportunity at the Edge represents a new way of conceiving business – designing from the outside in and putting the organization’s focus on what happens at the edge to maximize value for customers and employees, while also driving operational efficiency. Although it may seem that the concept is in its infancy, the nature of competition and the exponential rate of advancement in the underlying technologies mean that the pace of adoption will accelerate. This will lead in turn to transformational shifts in the experiences created and the business and revenue models adopted across every sector. For the C-suite, the call to action is clear. The only question is: how quickly can you respond to start building the future?