As organisations adapt to the new world of business and work, technology will help unlock workforce productivity.

Due to the pandemic, most people and businesses have (in more ways than one) been living on the edge. Intelligent edge computing is rapidly growing, providing an opportunity for businesses to improve their agility by integrating edge data with applications built on cloud platforms.

The number of new operational processes deployed on edge infrastructure will grow from less than 20% today to over 90% in 2024 as digital engineering accelerates IT/OT convergence. This presents a set of new opportunities across the channel as the need to deploy and manage a growing range of edge-based infrastructure, code and data sets across geographically dispersed locations linked to centralised cloud resources increases. The age of an intelligent edge is upon us.

The IDC predicts that 80% of the edge-driven investments and business model changes in most industries will be a reaction to the changes of the newly adopted workforce and operations practices caused by the pandemic.

IT environments will change and the expedited digital transformation will lead to a greater focus on deploying and operating IT resources at dispersed edge locations. This is part of the intelligence everywhere movement which will take full advantage of the accelerated disruption to improve business and system resilience and carve out new opportunities for harnessing the power of intelligent endpoints.

The confluence of infrastructure, application and data resource is at the centre of the opportunity, and organisations will have the means to drive internal and external intelligence through devices, software, provisioned services and professional services.

For enterprise edge which is typically defined as being remote office or branch office (ROBO) scenarios, the emphasis is on low-touch deployment and remote management. From filing and printing services to more resource-intensive and business-critical applications like security and device management, the face of enterprise edge will start to reflect the advancements made in AI and IOT.

Data generated from IOT devices will continue to accelerate the growing need for edge computing. AI-embedded devices will have an edge over their counterparts due to their innate ability to process data locally, gaining vital insights and reducing the load on the network.

To this end, the IDC predicts that by 2022, over 40% of organisations’ cloud deployments will include edge computing and 25% of endpoint devices and systems will execute AI algorithms. The obvious challenge for the channel is to educate the local market about what AI embedded edge computing means for their sectors and industries. According to a 2018 study by McKinsey, edge computing represents a potential value of between $175 billion and $215 billion in hardware opportunities across the tech stack by the year 2025. The study was conducted using over 100 use cases across 11 sectors. The big winners include travel, transport and logistics, retail, public sector utilities, global energy and materials, advanced industries and healthcare, to name a few. What the study didn’t take into account was a global pandemic that would fast-track the adoption of AI in edge computing.

The Axiz pedigree is best described as distribution at scale. Through close engagement with vendors and partners, Axiz is leading the distribution industry towards intelligent edge-driven ecosystems that are key to unlocking hybrid workforce productivity. Realising that the intelligent edge is a growing market, Axiz has positioned key edge vendors as key players to help unlock the aforementioned workforce productivity.

Organisations need to take full advantage of the progress made and find the right set of edge tools, devices, software, provisioned and professional services to drive insight-based action from the edge. The drivers of intelligent edge computing are numerous and its impact presents opportunities for the entire channel. What will separate the wheat from the chaff is an organisation’s ability to identify, process and store human emotions, behaviours and cognitive states through a deep analysis of facial, biometric and verbal cues. For the channel, the opportunity lies in our ability to facilitate, deploy, monitor and manage a rapidly expanding edge portfolio of assets and services.