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IDC says edge computing spend to reach $274B, highlights key drivers

IDC says edge computing spend to reach $274B, highlights key drivers

Market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) released revised figures that forecast worldwide spending on edge computing to reach $176 billion in 2022, an increase of 14.8% over 2021 figures. Content delivery networks (CDN), virtual network functions (VNF), and edge analytics are among the key uses of edge computing, the firm noted.

Enterprise and service provider spending on hardware, software, and services for edge solutions is forecast to continue rapid growth through 2025 when spending will reach roughly $274 billion, according to the IDC’s Worldwide Edge Spending Guide.

Edge hardware will make up the bulk of spending in 2022 (85%), with CDN and VNF among the use cases seeing the largest investments — nearly $26 billion in spending this year, according to the report. This isn’t entirely surprising, as CDN and network service provider businesses are capital intensive, but an increasing amount of R&D effort has gone into developing a new generation of flexible, programmable edge platforms.

Enterprise spending on edge computing

IDC sees enterprise adoption of edge computing investment shaping up with the following being getting the largest investments in 2022:

  • Manufacturing operations
  • Production asset management
  • Smart Grids
  • Omni-channel operations,
  • Public safety & emergency response
  • Freight monitoring and transportation systems

Hardware and services spending will account for 85% of all edge spending in 2022 with the remainder going to software. Meanwhile, professional and provisioned services spending will have a five-year CAGR of 19.6% and account for nearly 50% of all edge spending by 2025.

Key workloads for edge

In a related item, IDC said it has identified four workloads from its Worldwide Enterprise Infrastructure Workloads Taxonomy that are emerging as the main edge use cases. Those are:

  • Business intelligence/data analytics
  • Content delivery
  • Text and image analytics
  • Networking and security

Turning to enterprise workloads that are “primarily located at, and managed from, the edge,” IDC said business intelligence and analytics will have a major role in most edge deployments.

“The rapid deployment of edge computing is significantly shaping workload evolution,” said Max Pepper, senior research analyst with IDC said in a statement.

“As edge technology continues to expand in usage in a variety of workplace environments, we are seeing growing interest in expected concurrent workload growth in areas such as business intelligence and analytics, AI/ML-related workloads, and content workloads, he said.

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