Digital business initiatives are forcing infotech infrastructure service providers to expand their offerings beyond edge computing in order to deliver digital touchpoint services, according to a report by research firm Gartner Inc.
A digital touchpoint can be any kind of interaction with a digital device, product or service. For example, when an individual has a Q&A session with a chatbot, books a flight online or wears a fitness tracker.
“Creating business moments at digital touchpoints is the new scalable way of engaging with customers. Infotech infrastructure service providers that fail to embrace this development will lack a presence at digital touchpoints and struggle to interact closely with customers,” said Rene Buest, senior research director at Gartner.
Gartner forecasts that, by 2021, 65% of global infotech infrastructure service providers will generate 55% of their revenue through edge-related services that help customers create business moments at digital touchpoints.
According to Gartner’s 2018 Enterprise Survey, 27% of organisations are already planning to exploit edge computing as part of their infotech infrastructure strategy. By the end of 2019, 70% of survey respondents expect edge computing to become relevant to their infotech infrastructure plan.
The survey was conducted online from November through December 2017 among 771 respondents from organisations with more than 20 employees located in the US, the UK, France, Brazil, China and India.
"While the cloud provides the foundation for agile infrastructure as enablers and technology back-ends for digital business, digital initiative demands at digital touchpoints are different. This is due to real-time decision-making and interaction requirements, growth in data being produced, requirements for autonomy, and demand for security and privacy. As a result, computer storage and services need to be located physically closer to the people, which forces services to be delivered from the cloud to the edge," the report mentioned.
By 2022, Gartner estimates that half of the large organisations will be integrating edge computing principles into their projects. This is partly because, by 2022, $2.5 million will be spent every minute on the Internet of Things (IoT), and one million new IoT devices will be sold every hour.
“This enormous growth will need to be backed by reliable end-to-end infrastructure environments that support proximity, and that ensure low latency, high bandwidth, autonomy and privacy. The cloud is no longer enough. Infotech infrastructure service providers must exploit this growth by extending services beyond the edge in support of digital touchpoints,” said Buest.
The report highlighted that by focusing on digital touchpoint delivery, infotech infrastructure service providers can boost their service delivery value chain with infotech infrastructure components that are quick and close to where end-users interact with businesses. Possible services can include infotech infrastructure management, integration, and security, and data management and governance.