From a long-term, strategic viewpoint, IT leaders must learn to imagine the true benefits of edge computing. Understanding how and where edge computing fits into a company’s overall IT road map can help leadership articulate a business case for it.
With industry experts predicting that edge computing and 5G network services will take off this year (and accelerated by COVID-19’s effect on the enterprise), CIOs are focusing on selling edge initiatives within their companies.
Edge deployments frequently push the limits of what is currently possible with technology. Remote working support, predictive maintenance, and retail and commerce optimization are all examples of how businesses are now using edge computing.
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Consider these expert tips and strategies for tackling the challenges and securing the needed funds for future edge computing goals.
Determine the main factors that influence edge adoption in the business
Is it a result of higher efficiency or reduced costs? Is there a new source of income? Increased ease of solutions construction? Improved encryption or data privacy safeguards? Or all of these?
The business case for edge computing can be divided into two categories: cost-saving and revenue-generating. Edge computing can help businesses save money by minimizing the amount of data they transfer. Edge computing will also play a key role in the launch of new products and services.
Know the total cost of an edge solution
The advantages of being edge-native must outweigh the edge investment. Edge compute platforms, integration, use case development, and support are all included in these costs. When products become more integrated, the need to develop agile, manageable, network-aware applications will boost the edge compute business cases.
Consider the edge’s softer (up)side
Making a business case for an edge deployment or optimization strategy would fail if companies rely exclusively on the financial investment and ignore the potential RoI. Businesses must go into this investment with the intention of delivering more of a soft return, not only financial, in order to offer a better experience for consumers.
Many cutting-edge solutions enhance current processes. Companies would benefit from their investment in the performance and reliability of their applications. Increases in efficiency and functionality will often come at an expense, with the majority of these ‘dividends’ coming in the form of increased goodwill, strengthening of the business’s infrastructure, and better user experience.
Carefully choose the audience
Getting buy-in is more difficult with IT pursuing an edge investment with a longer-term or higher-quality payoff. If a company wants to make a case for improved platform performance or reliability, a more streamlined user interface, or the hardening of infrastructure, they should avoid approaching the CFO first. It’s always a smart idea to find someone in the business, such as the COO, CHRO, or CSO who can understand and learn directly from the results.
Businesses should not make the case for someone who is looking for a hard return to accept a soft financial realization. Increased performance and reliability should be discussed in terms of the realization of a business case, not only the potential for a fast return on investment (ROI).