According to new market research published by Stratus Technologies, an edge platform provider, and Espalier, an edge computing strategy and market development firm, operational technology (OT) and IT workloads using edge computing technologies is expected to see sales grow 46% through 2026.
“For nearly 20 years, Espalier has studied the edge compute market worldwide, and there’s no question edge is approaching a key inflexion point, post-pandemic. Enterprises across verticals are looking to complement prior cloud deployments by transforming how they collect data and manage critical processes at the edge with the highest levels of reliability,” said Dr. Inder Thukral, CEO of Espalier.
In a comprehensive study of the edge computing industry, Espalier focused on settings such as industrial control systems (ICS), manufacturing execution systems (MES), asset performance management (APM), and access control systems. The firm is forecasting total market revenues of $13.6B in 2026 for edge computing in these use cases. The market is segmented into three key areas, including:
- OT workloads, defined as software running machine and equipment processes at edge locations in industrial environments. These are governed by OT teams with a focus on PLCs and safe operations. Revenue is projected to grow 46% from 2021 to 2026.
- Edge OT workloads. These are applications that monitor and control machines and equipment focused on analytics, maintenance, and AR; this segment is projected to grow up to 13%.
- Edge IT workloads. This is software running site-wide industrial applications such as distributed control systems (DCS), batch management, analytics and asset performance with significant oversight by IT. The segment isforecast to grow up to 28% during the reporting period.
This growth is driven by an increasing need for organizations to monitor and control critical equipment and processes in real-time and automate material handling and manufacturing, according to Thukral. Edge computing provides the ideal computing power, performance, and reliability to support these applications.
According to the study, some of the most immediate edge computing use cases gaining traction include:
- Monitoring and Controling with HMI SCADA: Edge computing platforms provide the performance and fault tolerance required to run HMI SCADA and historian applications for critical processes and equipment. Edge analytics helps organizations gain a competitive edge by enabling data acquisition, real-time processing, and data storage for analysis and decision making.
- Supply Chain Visibility and Automated Material Handling (AMH): Edge computing automates warehouse and material handling and tracks assets to prevent data blind spots in the supply chain.
- Manufacturing Execution and Batch Management: Manufacturers employ Batch, MES, and Quality solutions near production lines and essential equipment for real-time data collection and management. This supports operational resilience, manufacturing quality, and the flow of information across departments.
- Asset Performance Management (APM): Edge data from critical processes and equipment provides a foundation for APM solutions, capturing, organizing, and processing data sets locally. This data can then be delivered to the cloud for deeper analysis while providing remote operation and mobile access.
Key industries that benefit from this growth include oil & gas, discrete manufacturing, life sciences, and smart infrastructure. Edge computing enables better decision-making, operational resiliency, and process excellence in each industry.
For example, in the oil & gas industry, edge computing is being used to develop smart, connected oilfield equipment and enable terminal automation and pipeline assets.
In the life sciences industry, edge computing is being used to eliminate data loss and unplanned downtime. This ensures production execution, reliability, quality, and compliance.
In the smart infrastructure & renewables industry, edge computing is used to develop smart transportation systems, renewable power generation, building automation, and water and wastewater for smart cities.
The growth of edge computing is vital to meet the needs of oil & gas, discrete manufacturing, life sciences, and smart infrastructure. These are all highly data-driven industries, and edge computing provides the perfect solution for ensuring that data is collected, processed, and stored efficiently and effectively.
Edge computing enables better decision-making, operational resiliency, and process excellence in each industry. This growth will continue to increase as more data-driven organizations realize the benefits of using edge computing in their operations.
edge analytics | Espalier | IIoT | industrial automation | Industry 4.0 | manufacturing | Stratus Technologies