Computing strategies have changed dramatically over the decades. As more and more enterprises continue to push the limits of AI and machine learning capabilities and deploy complex devices, extended iot, edge computing is becoming increasingly popular, mainly because it dramatically reduces latency. It is projected that by 2025, 75% of enterprise data processing will take place at the edge due to performance advantages.
Meanwhile, cloud adoption remains a strong trend, which has been accelerated by the pandemic. The pandemic has doubled CIOs' interest in cloud computing. Enterprises move computing resources to the cloud and change the associated costs from a capital expense model to an operating expense. Businesses operating on the cloud do not need to buy storage and computing resources and can easily scale up and down.
Now there is an emerging option that could change computing strategy again in the coming years. Many companies are finding that they can have the best of both worlds by combining edge and cloud computing into a hybrid strategy. Here is a brief overview of four ways a hybrid computing strategy can give an enterprise a competitive advantage.
- Better performance
Hybrid environments with edge computing capabilities can significantly improve performance by bringing computing resources closer to where they are needed by users, iot devices, and so on.
We all know that response time is important. If website A users experience delays of 5 to 8 seconds while rival website B loads in less than a second, then the latter has a clear competitive advantage. Moreover, moving computing resources to the edge is critical for many applications, including autonomous vehicles, where near instantaneous response times are a must.
- Faster time to market
By leveraging cloud computing capabilities in a hybrid strategy, companies can bring products to market faster. They can rent computing resources from the cloud when they need them, which allows them to scale up or down as needed.
Flexibility is very important in today's economy as companies are accelerating their go-to-market strategies to beat their competitors. Access to easily scalable cloud resources dramatically reduces the time required to deploy new products.
- The flexibility
When executing projects that require significant additional computing power, such as deploying new applications, a mixed-strategy CIO does not need to estimate current requirements, factor in growth, and then purchase hardware and pay for external or internal resources to deploy new equipment.
Instead, they can buy what they need only when they need it, which will save potential costs. If the enterprise partners with a hosting service company or cloud provider that provides the service, it can let the internal technical team focus on other tasks.
Edge and cloud options each have their own unique advantages, and the ideal solution for a team will depend on factors relevant to their industry and enterprise.
- Support for mixed-mode office
The pandemic has shown that much work can be done efficiently and anywhere. While some businesses bring most or all of their employees back to the office, job seekers are demanding more flexibility, and many offer remote and mixed work arrangements. Edge computing strategies can improve the performance of local workers, but hybrid approaches combined with cloud computing can provide better support for mixed-mode workers.
Edge and cloud computing options each have their own unique advantages, and the ideal solution for the team will depend on industry-and enterprise-specific factors. The pros and cons must be carefully weighed and mindful of the impact of issues such as data security and legality, which can vary widely by industry and the operations supported.
Cios who have not previously been involved in the implementation of hybrid computing strategies may want to consider partnering with a consultant or hosting service provider with experience in such projects. People who have worked with similar implementations can provide insights and advice to help realize all the benefits and avoid the pitfalls.
A hybrid strategy allows companies to achieve performance levels that drive innovation, attract and retain customers, while bringing products to market faster, conserving resources and adapting to changing labor needs. For these reasons, it is worth considering whether the hybrid computing strategy can meet the needs of enterprises and give them an advantage over their competitors.