Enterprises value edge solutions for addressing data growth, but hurdles around security and cost remain, Aruba survey finds
Enterprises are increasingly turning to edge solutions to better leverage the massive amounts of data they are generating through mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, but they are concerned about security and cost, according to a study from Aruba Networks.
The Lowdown: Aruba, the networking arm of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, surveyed 2,400 IT decision makers worldwide and found that companies with a strong edge strategy are more likely to be able to derive actionable information from the data collected from the devices, giving them a competitive edge against rivals.
The Details: As more data is created by IoT and other devices, businesses are looking to move more compute and storage capabilities closer to those devices to more quickly collect and analyze the data and to reduce the cost of having to move the data to the cloud or data centers.
According to Aruba’s study released Tuesday, 72% of respondents said they are already using edge technologies and another 16% are planning to do so next year. In addition, 82% said there is an urgency around implementing integrated systems to handle data at the edge.
Other key findings include:
> Need for edge solutions: 33% of respondents said there’s too much data for their systems to handle, and 28% said they can’t process the data quickly enough to take action.
> Challenges: 23% pointed to budget issues as a concern with managing data at the edge. In addition, 23% also pointed to a lack of skills and 21% said it was difficult to collect data from so many different sources.
> Security: 57% of IT decision makers said connecting IoT or user devices at the edge had made or would make their businesses more vulnerable, while 47% listed improved security as a benefit of capturing data from these devices.
> AI and machine learning: 55% said leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning on their networks helped them process data more quickly.
> Benefits of the edge: 53% said improved operational efficiencies and costs was the top benefit of capturing and leveraging data from edge devices, while 47% pointed to workforce productivity. About 44% said the data gave them greater insights into customers.
The Impact: The edge has been a growing focus of HPE over the past several years, and Aruba is the company’s tip of the spear of its edge efforts. HPE in 2018 pledged to spend $4 billion over four years to build out its edge technology and services portfolio. As the amount of data generated by billions of user and IoT devices continues to grow, so will the need for solutions that enable enterprises to collect, store, analyze, and act on that data.
IDC this year forecast that global spending on edge computing will grow an average of 12.5% a year between 2019 and 2024, when it will reach $250.6 billion. Dave McCarthy, research director of edge strategies at IDC, said that “edge products and services are powering the next wave of digital transformation. With the ability to place infrastructure and applications close to where data is generated and consumed, organizations of all types are looking to edge technology as a method of improving business agility and creating new customer experiences.”
Background: HPE spent $3 billion in 2015 to buy Aruba, which at the time was a growing force in the wireless networking space. It has since become HPE’s networking and edge unit, which has grown this year after HPE bought software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) vendor Silver Peak for $925 million with plans to merge it with Aruba.
The Buzz: “Developing an edge strategy against the backdrop of existing cloud implementations is becoming a necessity as the number of connected devices increases and it becomes impractical to transfer vast volumes of data to a cloud or data center environment, especially as organizations undergo digital transformation to advance their business objectives and address customer needs,” said Partha Narasimhan, CTO and HPE senior fellow for Aruba. “Harnessing insights at the edge is an opportunity for enterprises to revolutionize their approach to data and unlock its value as a business asset. Organizations that can process, store, and analyze data at the edge will be able to use that data first to optimize their existing business model, and over time, will develop innovative products, services, and experiences that will not only augment, but transform their offerings for customers and employees.”