Will Edge Computing Accelerate Digital Transformation?


The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing organizations all over the world to digitally transform their operations as more employees work from home. As remote work becomes the new normal, many organizations are transitioning data storage not only to the cloud, but to the “edge” in a major shift towards digital transformation. Edge computing, a form of cloud computing where data is stored along the “edge” of the cloud, brings data closest to where it’s produced and consumed, and as a result, reduces latency while boosting speed. Digital transformation through edge computing is allowing organizations around the globe to operate faster and more efficiently, while reducing costs.

Two-Thirds of Organizations in Global Survey Are Adopting Edge Computing

According to a recent global survey from the International Data Corporation (IDC), two-thirds of IT leaders who participated in the survey have begun to adopt edge computing, with 40% planning to adopt new edge technology in under a year. Motivating factors include edge computing’s improved bandwidth and reduced latency and costs. 

“Enterprises around the world are being confronted by a basic law of physics—distance neutralizes speed, causing latency or a delay between an action and an application’s response,” survey sponsor Lumen Technologies stated in a blog post about the survey. “Controlling latency has never been more important, whether data flows to a distributed workforce or a multitude of smart gadgets that make up the Internet of Things.”

How Organizations Will Use Edge Computing this Year

According to a recent TechRepublic survey, 70% of organizations surveyed transitioned to edge computing to deliver enhanced experience for customers and 46% said they use or intend to use the technology to minimize operational costs. 

Among the main applications for which organizations are currently using or intend to use edge computing include laptops and mobile devices (54%), remote networks and servers (50%), locally deployed software and systems (37%), monitoring of remote assets (27%), virtual mobile networks (12%), other IoT applications (8%), and autonomous vehicles (5%). When asked what edge computing technologies they want to roll out over 6 months, remote servers and networks, as well as laptops and remote mobile devices, ranked equally at 42%. Locally deployed software and systems, ranked at 33%, followed.  

How Digital Transformation for Edge Computing Will Accelerate The Internet of Things

The digital transformation to edge computing technology will also give organizations a greater ability to embrace the Internet of Things. This will empower them to solve problems in revolutionary ways. For example, edge computing combined with Internet of Things technology, such as sensors, will allow businesses to roll out super-efficient “smart factories.” Featuring highly connected equipment, employees will be able to quickly spot and fix problems in production lines more easily.

“The industry will continue to move toward more decentralized compute environments, and the edge will add significant value to digital transformation initiatives,” writes Keith Higgins in RFID Journal.  

Digital transformation will continue well beyond 2021, and there’s little doubt that edge computing will continue to play a major role. 

Bring Your Organization to the Edge

Many organizations don’t fully understand edge computing and the impact it can have on their business. From providing real-time data analysis to reducing system malfunctions, edge computing can be customized to meet an organization’s specific needs.

Prepare your organization for edge computing integration. Designed to train your entire team to support edge computing, IEEE Introduction to Edge Computing is an online five-course program. To learn more about getting access to these courses for your organization, connect with an IEEE Content Specialist today.

Contact an IEEE Content Specialist to learn more about how this program can benefit your organization.

Interested in getting access for yourself? Visit the IEEE Learning Network (ILN) today!


Vigilarolo, Brandon. (29 January 2021). Business leaders want low latency, not speed, study finds. TechRepublic.

(28 January 2021). Global Business Leaders Rate Latency Higher Priority Than Speed. 

Higgins, Keith.  (10 January 2021). Trendspotting: Industrial Digital Transformation Matures. RFID Journal.

Edge computing adoption to increase through 2026; organizations cautious about adding 5G to the mix. Tech Republic.

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