‘Edge computing will impact all industries and force IT to adapt to new architectures’

‘Edge computing will impact all industries and force IT to adapt to new architectures’
Viswanath Ramaswamy
  • By the end of 2025, 75% of all the data generated will be collected, analyzed, and acted on at the Edge.
  • Hybrid cloud models that extend from corporate data centers (or public or private clouds) to the edge are critical to unlock new connected experiences.
  • Physical security of edge devices, continuous power availability at the edge are major barriers for adoption.
‘Edge’ has become the most preferred destination for today’s digital-first enterprises.
The need for high availability and ultra-low latency has been tempting organizations to extend computing capabilities outside their core data centers and public cloud infrastructures. Worldwide spending on edge computing is expected to touch $176 billion by the end of this year, an increase of 14.8% over 2021, according to IDC data.

IBM sees this as a tremendous opportunity. Last year, the company launched IBM Cloud Satellite that enables clients to deliver cloud securely in any environment including at the edge. Viswanath Ramaswamy, VP, Technology, IBM Technology Sales, IBM India/ South Asia, spoke to Business Insider India about how edge computing is evolving, its key growth drivers and why hybrid cloud is here to stay.

What do you see as the key drivers of edge computing adoption in India? Which industries do you consider frontrunners?
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Edge computing will impact all industries and force IT teams to adapt to new architectures, deployment models and business models. According to Gartner, by the end of 2025, 75% of all the data generated will be collected, analyzed, and acted on at the edge, which presents a huge opportunity. To have a resilient long-term business strategy, organizations in India should leverage the benefits edge computing has to offer.

The key drivers for edge adoption will continue to be – better control over data and costs, faster insights and actions and continuous operations. In addition to that, factory automation to increase productivity, driving predictive maintenance through visual insights, reducing operational costs, and 5G implementation are other key drivers for edge computing. At present, we see that the industrial manufacturing and telecom sectors are frontrunners when it comes to adopting edge computing, but the healthcare industry is also making a lot of progress.


What are the challenges that organizations are facing while scaling up the edge infrastructure and capabilities to meet their dynamic goals? Are edges equipped to handle the growing computing power and storage needs?
Organizations need to figure out the right edge computing strategy that will solve their business challenges. This is however easier said than done, and hence having the right technology partner is crucial to leveraging their expertise in building a robust strategy.

Another challenge to keep in mind is that we are still at a stage where there are very few use cases and their relevant edge applications. Hence it is important for organizations to think innovatively to create new use cases. Edge computing generates a lot of data and modelling the data to find the right one while not missing relevant ones is also a major challenge.

IBM is working with multiple independent software vendors (ISVs) to solve customer challenges and develop new use cases of edge and distributed cloud. We are investing heavily in AI to find the right data and then make sense out of it.

Physical security of edge devices and availability of continuous power at the edge are major barriers for adoption.

How do organizations ensure that their edge and centralized cloud capabilities work together to create integrated outcomes? Are there any barriers in this area?
To create integrated outcomes from edge and centralized cloud capabilities require having a uniform and seamless platform across multiple destinations that allows a single administrator to autonomously manage the scale and variability across tens and thousands of endpoints. Whether you use public cloud, private cloud or edge, having a single platform for all of them helps to move workloads across, as well as having a holistic security and operations framework. This helps with saving cost and reduces time to market.

Tell us how IBM Satellite fits into the edge equation?
IBM Cloud Satellite is a distributed cloud offering that enables you to consume cloud services anywhere you need them and to deploy, manage, and control workloads across on-premises environments, edge computing and public cloud environments from any cloud vendor. It brings cloud-native services like AI & ML, platform services, toolchains to the edge location as well as customers chosen data center/public cloud.

With IBM’s cloud satellite you can run your workloads in the location of your choice to better meet legal requirements, compliance standards, data speeds and network latency requirements. Other potential use cases for IBM Cloud Satellite include remote work and study, or healthcare services, where it can offer improved efficiency.

Workloads can be run securely and more efficiently. As workloads are increasingly run with edge computing, IBM Cloud Satellite allows companies to benefit from reduced latency while maintaining a level of information security, privacy, and compatibility similar to that in hybrid cloud environments.

How do you see 5G changing the dynamics of edge computing for Indian enterprises?
The convergence of 5G, edge computing and hybrid cloud will revolutionize how Indian enterprises operate. As more businesses embrace 5G and edge, the ability to modernize networks to take advantage of the edge opportunity is critical.

For example, by moving to a hybrid cloud model, telcos can process data at the core and network edge across multiple clouds, perform cognitive operations and make it easier to introduce and manage the differentiated digital services. As 5G matures it will become the network technology that underpins the delivery of these services.

For enterprises on the other hand, adopting a hybrid cloud model that extends from corporate data centers (or public or private clouds) to the edge is critical to unlock new connected experiences. By extending cloud computing to the edge, they can run AI/analytics that make actions faster, run enterprise apps to reduce impacts from intermittent connectivity and minimize data transport to central hubs for cost efficiency.

How is IBM collaborating with ecosystem partners to advance the adoption of edge computing in India?
IBM is committed to delivering open standards-based edge computing to a comprehensive ecosystem of value-add partners, so that together we can deliver edge solutions to our joint clients at a global scale. Hence, we are collaborating with multiple ISVs, manufacturing companies and telecom operators to build, test and pilot use cases. We’re validating these edge use cases with IBM Cloud Satellite, so that it not only saves time for customers but also helps in a seamless adoption. We are expecting to see a lot of these partners developing readily built use cases with defined deployment frameworks.
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