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It’s a Matter of Proximity: Go Beyond the Edge Directly to the Digital Touchpoint in Support of Digital Business

by Rene Buest  |  October 15, 2018  |  Submit a Comment

Digital business initiatives mandate that enterprises interact much closer and in real-time with their customers to help reduce cost and customer effort, and improve customer experience. Creating a business moment at the edge for customers — at the digital touchpoint — is the new scalable way of engagement. Infrastructure service providers must establish a presence at the digital touchpoint to provide proximity, and enabling services and devices for enterprises.

By 2021, 65% of global infrastructure service providers will generate 55% of their revenue through edge-related services helping their customers create business moments at digital touchpoints.

Gartner research shows that the edge has become the next fast-growing hot spot. However, the majority of infrastructure service providers still miss to address:

  • Digital business blurs the digital and physical worlds, and it pushes services from the cloud above the edge to the digital touchpoint. Here, the interaction of people, business, data and things dynamically create value through transient business moments that must be enabled immediately with infrastructure services.
  • Modern digital business initiatives require infrastructure service providers to expand their offerings beyond edge computing technologies to deliver digital touchpoint services. Not serving this area leaves a big gap in infrastructure capabilities.
  • Public cloud infrastructure service providers are already capturing more market share by delivering services, devices and even software to support digital touchpoints.

Although the cloud provides the foundation for agile infrastructures as an enabler and technology back-end for digital business, digital initiative demands at the digital touchpoint are different. While latency and processing requirements can be addressed by cloud infrastructure in some cases, digital businesses seek more real-time business moments and interactions. As part of digital business initiatives, the explosion of connected things and immersion human-machine interfaces are pushing more compute and services closer to the edge in support of digital touchpoints. In addition, an enormous amount of data is being generated at digital touchpoints by devices.

The Digital Touchpoint
The digital touchpoint is defined by the environment where end consumers directly interact with the services of a digital business. The digital touchpoint is everything a digital business can exploit to create a business moment for and together with its customers.

Extending services to the edge is the new “sweet spot” for infrastructure service providers to exploit growth opportunities beyond cloud computing. Gartner estimates that by 2022, half of large enterprises will be integrating edge computing principles into their projects. This is partially because, by 2022, we anticipate $2.5 million will be spent every minute in the Internet of Things (IoT) and 1 million new IoT devices will be sold every hour. This enormous growth must be backed by reliable end-to-end infrastructure environments that support proximity, and ensure low latency, high bandwidth, autonomy and privacy.

Even though the edge is set to become the next fast-growing market, looking beyond the edge directly at the digital touchpoint offers the biggest growth opportunities for infrastructure service providers by extending the service delivery value chain and directly supporting customers’ business moments.

Learn how to extend infrastructure services to the digital touchpoint by reading the full research note “Market Insight: Deliver Infrastructure Services Beyond the Edge Directly to the Digital Touchpoint”. (paywall)

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If you want to engage with me, feel free to schedule an inquiry call (inquiry@gartner.com), follow me on Twitter (@ReneBuest) or connect with me on LinkedIn.

I am looking forward to talking to you!

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Rene Buest
Research Director
1 years at Gartner
20 years IT Industry

Rene Buest is a Research Director in Gartner's Managed Business and Technology Services team. Primary research coverage is infrastructure services and digital operations.. Read Full Bio




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