Schneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, has highlighted ways organizations can future-proof edge capabilities to prevent data breaches and support their transition to digital-first connected operations.
According to British Educational Research Association (BERA), Africa has witnessed a surge in the users of the internet. The numbers rose from 81 million in 2010, to 294 million in 2019. However, transitioning to digital-first connected operations comes with challenges that organizations need to overcome. Some of the challenges include physical and cybersecurity concerns, which are high when connecting operations. There are also issues around the skills of the workforce and reliability as more of the local operations capabilities are directly supported remotely through the connected edge.
In 2021, users of the internet in the United States saw approximately 217 million data breaches. Though it is common to see theft with personally identifiable information (PII), the corporates haven’t been spared, particularly as more firms migrate to cloud computing.
According to Schneider Electric, organizations can future-proof edge capabilities to support their transition to digital-first connected operations by including resilient power and connectivity resources early in the edge planning phases, which reduces the risk of downtime. They also need to adopt Remote Monitoring and Management of edge resources at a large scale; and have trusted partners that can provide the necessary skills for edge resources.
Schneider Electric recently unveiled findings from a newly commissioned IDC White Paper entitled, ‘Succeeding at Digital First Connected Operations’, which highlights the power of edge computing in enabling the shift to a digital-first world. The white paper details responses from over 1,000 IT and operations professionals across industrial, healthcare, education, and other verticals as well as a series of in-depth interviews with industrial enterprises. Respondents were global, representing firms in the United States, China, Japan, Germany, The United Kingdom, India, and Ireland. The organizations ranged in size from 100 to more than 1,000 employees. Responses provided insights about the factors driving edge investments, the challenges firms faced while deploying to the edge, obstacles to continued investment, and strategic recommendations to future-proof edge capabilities.
“As organizations seek to create new or improved experiences for customers and to become more operationally efficient, improve safety and security, and become more sustainable, they are leaning more on digital technologies. The white paper examines the crucial role that edge computing and edge deployments play in enabling digital-first, connected operations,” says Chris Hanley, SVP, Commercial Operations & Global Channels, leading-edge commercial strategy at Schneider Electric.
“It highlights strategies that IT professionals and decision makers can adapt to future proof their edge computing capabilities to support remote, connected, secure, reliable, resilient, and sustainable operations.”
Also, according to Jennifer Cooke, Research Director, Edge Strategies, IDC, “Resilient edge resources are the foundation for shifting to digital-first, connected operations.
“Organizations will become vulnerable if and when their technology fails. To future proof edge deployments, leaders must develop a strategy that addresses concerns, such as cybersecurity and connectivity issues, and ensures access to the skills required to maintain resilient edge infrastructures.”
Edge computing is one of the major enablers of a digital-first paradigm. In fact, the most common use cases of edge infrastructure include cybersecurity systems to monitor the operational network locally as well as storing and processing operational data to bring it to the cloud. Further, when organizations were asked why they were investing in edge computing to support these workloads, respondents cited, “improve cybersecurity” (50%) and “systems resiliency and reliability” (44%). Yet, there are various challenges that organizations must overcome to ensure their edge infrastructure, and thus, their connected operations, are resilient and reliable.
Despite the promise of the edge, many organizations report connectivity and power outage concerns. In fact, 32 percent of respondents have experienced a “lack of connectivity or slow connectivity” with their edge deployments. Further, 31 percent have experienced a “utility power outage or power surge lasting more than 60 seconds.”
As a trusted partner and full solution provider, Schneider Electric says that it works closely with customers in designing their strategies to ensure certainty, resiliency, security, and sustainability throughout the design, deployment, and management at the edge. This comes through resilient, secure, connected and sustainable physical infrastructure solutions for any edge environment – delivering certainty in a connected world; a cloud-based monitoring and management platform EcoStruxure IT providing remote visibility including security, data-driven insights and recommendations, reporting capabilities, and digital service capabilities; and an integrated ecosystem composed of IT Technology alliances, a global network of trusted experienced channel partners and service engineers as well as rules-based design tools.