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Edge Computing in Europe: Understanding the Benefits and Challenges

The world is rapidly evolving from a centralized network of computing and data storage to a more distributed approach, and edge computing is one of the drivers of this revolution. Edge computing involves shifting data processing and storage away from a centralized location, such as a data center, and instead pushing the computing power to the edges of the network. This enables devices and applications to be more efficient, responsive, and secure, and it helps to reduce latency and improve performance. JSA Media Consultant João Marques Lima offers a closer look.

In Europe, edge computing is becoming increasingly popular and is being adopted across industries, such as automotive, telecoms, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail. 

According to Quadintel, the Europe edge computing market is expected to reach a value of US$1.94 billion in 2023. IDC estimates more broadly that enterprise and service provider spending on edge computing will reach US$40 billion in 2022 in Europe and significantly increase over the forecast period, reaching nearly US$64 billion through 2025, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.4%.

One of the primary benefits of edge computing is improved performance and latency. By pushing computing power to the edge of the network, data can be processed closer to the source and can be sent directly to the device, rather than through a centralized hub. This reduces latency and improves the speed of user interaction with applications.

In addition to improved performance, edge computing also provides enhanced security. By decentralizing data storage and processing, organizations can reduce the risk of data breaches and ensure that their data remains secure. Furthermore, edge computing can help organizations to comply with data protection regulations, such as the GDPR, by ensuring that data is only used in accordance with the user’s consent and is not shared across multiple data centers.

However, despite the many benefits of edge computing, there are still some potential challenges that organizations may face when adopting this technology. One of the primary challenges is scalability. Edge computing requires powerful devices that are located close to the source of data, and these devices may not always be available in sufficient quantities. Players may also need to invest in additional infrastructure, such as routers and switches, to support edge computing.

In addition, organizations may find it difficult to ensure that their edge computing infrastructure remains secure. Without a centralized system to monitor and update the devices, it can be difficult to guarantee that all of the devices are secure and running the latest versions of software and applications.

“The increasing inter-dependency of infrastructure, software, communications, and cloud will be under the spotlight over the next few years,” said Andrew Buss, research director with IDC’s European Enterprise Infrastructure group. “In this case, we’ll see more and more technology providers partnering to be able to mix all these capabilities together to offer a portfolio of end-to-end solutions and use cases.”

 

Deploying Europe’s Edge

In order to ensure successful implementation of edge computing in Europe, there are several key strategies to consider, including, for example, standardization. This means creating a set of unified standards that can be applied across different countries and organizations. Standardization will ensure compatibility between different components and will lead to better integration between different networks. It will also make it easier to move data between different systems.

Secondly, as previously mentioned, security must be thought from the offset. Edge computing will involve the transmission of sensitive data across multiple networks and countries. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that the data is secure. This can be achieved by implementing security measures such as encryption, authentication, and two-factor authentication.

Thirdly, and as simple as it might sound, connectivity is paramount for a successful edge computing deployment. Edge computing requires high-speed and reliable connections to ensure that data is processed in a timely manner – and you guessed it, secure too. This means that organizations must invest in high-speed internet connections and deploy wireless networks to ensure that all parts of the edge computing system are connected.

And lastly but increasingly more important, are the skills needed to deploy and manage this infrastructure. Edge computing requires specialized skills and knowledge if it is to be implemented properly. Organizations should ensure that their staff are properly trained in the use of edge computing systems and technologies. This includes training in network management, security protocols, and data processing.

The successful implementation of edge computing in Europe will bring numerous benefits. But organizations must be aware of the strategies outlined above and ensure that they are implemented correctly.

“With new industry-specific solutions developed and a value chain that is building up in Europe, many industries have started to understand the benefits and opportunities behind edge and have increased their edge investments,” said Alexandra Rotaru, research analyst with IDC’s European Customer Insights & Analysis group. “Therefore, organizations will increasingly move from initial awareness and pilot phases to more mature production rollouts in the next few years, supported by a wide range of edge-enabled service providers.”

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