Edge Without Business Outcomes is Like Flying Blind
by Joe Wojtal, World Wide Technology
Edge computing will drive a wave of new applications that take advantage of the low latency, higher bandwidth and greater density promised by 5G, helping enterprise customers deliver on their digital transformation initiatives.
However, without substantial use cases to deliver on those intended business outcomes, the value of edge computing diminishes greatly.
Think of edge computing as an airplane, a technology designed to take the enterprise to new 5G heights. In this analogy, the destination of our flight is the use case. Without a destination, you’re just flying around aimlessly — flying blind, really — while wasting time and resources.
Enterprise customers, which face intense pressure to digitally transform their businesses to become more operationally agile while at the same time delivering customer delight, can ill afford technology investments that don’t deliver against these outcomes.
Established, well-devised use cases — the more the better — are critical to ensuring edge computing delivers on its value proposition to the enterprise.
No crystal ball
The future is hard to predict, especially for a newer technology like edge computing that can befuddle decision makers on how best to utilize it.
For these reasons, we’re excited about the potential of Seamster.
Because edge computing is not a single technology, but an emerging ecosystem of technologies, use cases, applications and resources, incorporating edge computing into your network architecture can often feel like a formidable puzzle.
Let’s stick with the puzzle analogy.
Imagine you’ve just opened a 10,000-piece puzzle. You may be wondering where to start. Using Seamster — a place to learn how leading enterprises are solving for edge-enabled experiences — would be like partnering with someone who has already put the puzzle together (maybe several times over).
Innovation, in a business sense — the identification of new technologies and incorporating them into the business enterprise-wide — is hard, particularly when use cases are not yet fully developed or even thought of yet.
Seamster presents an opportunity to learn from others. Take ideas, iterate on them and make them your own.
Know before you go
Use cases can help guide strategic thinking and focus strategy. But edge solutions designed to deliver specific business outcomes should not be treated like Swiss Army knives that can easily support a broad range of use cases.
The disaggregated nature of 5G makes edge solutions inherently complex yet incredibly agile, thus enabling them to be built to suit. These unique combinations of hardware and software need to be aligned with specific use cases to optimize performance and outcomes.
Therefore, it is important to understand both the use case and industry which an edge solution serves, along with the related applications that are mostly likely to gain traction.
Some of the most transformative business ideas are born out of iteration — many times iterating on top of existing use cases from different industries.
This is where innovation comes in.
The intent of Seamster is to build a community of knowledge sharing, offering up practical use cases that can theoretically be used in an open source manner. The hope is decision makers browsing these use cases can take what they learn and apply it to real-world scenarios in their own organizations.
Now that you have the use case and business plan for your edge solution set in place, what now?
Enterprise customers must find a way to build the complex solution — typically requiring multiple vendors — and validate that it delivers against their intended outcomes. After validating the solution, it must be integrated and deployed.
World Wide Technology (WWT), as a systems integrator working with the majority of Fortune 100 companies and the largest service providers, can help shorten this entire deployment motion with expertise, efficiency and at scale.
WWT has partnered with MobiledgeX to accelerate the global commercialization of scalable mobile edge computing (MEC) deployments by providing validated edge architectures optimized for hosting MobilegeX’s catalog of bundled, certified solutions to address industry-specific use cases. These architectures are ready and waiting for enterprise customers to consume.
Once validated, WWT sends the solution architecture to one of our global integration facilities — collectively spanning more than 4 million square feet spread over three continents — to centrally stage, integrate and deploy service. MobiledgeX provides location aware certified solution delivery and updates to these deployed sites.
The world’s largest multinational CIOs and CFOs need operational and financial assurance that they can deploy applications at scale globally across telecom and cloud service provider networks.
It’s critical that enterprise customers are confident that the solutions they deploy will work as intended once deployed in the field. Operators need an experienced integrator that can oversee multi-vendor solutions, validate and ensure design requirements are met, rollout the solution quickly at scale, optimize the solution on an ongoing basis and provide technical support between various vendors.
By combining our extensive capabilities with our deep experience serving enterprise customers, WWT can help enterprise customers develop and execute on edge strategies to achieve their digital transformation goals.
Edge Visionaries Welcomed!
Take action and help drive the edge computing conversation inside Seamster. Use Seamster as an opportunity to engage with like-minded people, promote common interests, and leverage new findings. Your input could help drive next-generation experiences!