IDC Forecasts Double-Digit Growth for Enterprise Edge Spending in Europe, Driven by Demand to Reduce Time to Value and Enhance Customer Experience

LONDON — International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Edge Spending Guide estimates that spending on edge computing will reach $24 billion in 2021 in Europe. It expects spending to continue to experience solid growth through 2025, driven by its role in bringing computing resources closer to where the data is created, dramatically reducing time to value, and enabling business processes, decisions, and intelligence outside of the core IT environment. Edge is increasingly being recognized by enterprises aiming to deliver fast, secure, scalable, and reliable products and services to their customers.

In 2021, the largest share of European enterprise edge spending is expected to remain within the services category, driven by connectivity and professional services for IoT, robotics, drones, AI, and AR/VR deployments. Spending on hardware, driven by heavy edge platforms used to perform heavier computing tasks adapted for the edge location or deployment, is almost the same as the spending on software technologies, especially security software used to ensure integrity of data, end points, and infrastructure.

In the next few years, the bulk of European enterprise edge spending will continue to be linked to the IoT domain, even though the contribution of other domains, such as AI and AR/VR, will increase further. For example, automated threat intelligence and prevention use cases will leverage AI systems to connect the dots between different pieces of information and to identify possible threats to databases and systems in financial, government, or utilities industries, while AR/VR can help organizations from the manufacturing and utilities industries to improve maintenance, repair, and operations processes. Besides the IoT, AI, AR/VR, robotics, and drone domains, enterprise edge will remain strongly connected to other technology markets such as 3D printing, blockchain, autonomous, wearables, and implantables.

From a vertical perspective, the manufacturing industry will account for the largest share of European enterprise edge spending in 2021, with the majority of use cases related to the IoT and robotics domains. IoT technology can help factories to function autonomically on their own based on a multitude of data collected through sensors and analyzed through various cognitive computing systems as well as using IoT sensors to monitor production systems and equipment to automatically check final product quality and compliance or detect and anticipate possible failures in production. In this scenario, robots can help factories to achieve full automation by assisting in assembling, inspection, painting, or welding processes.

Retail is the second-largest and fastest-growing industry in the European enterprise edge market, with IoT supporting evolving multichannel retail strategies to provide an excellent consumer experience through any shopping channel and enabling interactive shopping by capturing continuous, real-time streams of data from various devices. Improving customer experience will be increasingly important for retailers, so they will leverage AI to understand customer needs and make shopping recommendations. Other use cases will focus on helping retailers to improve their in-shop losses and optimize restocking using real-time video analytics.

“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of ‘remote everything’ and of instant access to data and information to enable processes and workloads in locations that are different from the usual core datacenters,” said Alexandra Rotaru, research analyst at IDC Europe, Customer Insights & Analysis. “These trends will probably shape the future even after the pandemic ends. Edge computing is a tremendous opportunity to address these new demands, by going beyond traditional IT approaches and extending and innovating on the capabilities found in core datacenters.”

IDC’s Worldwide Edge Spending Guide provides guidance on technology opportunities across nine regions. Segmented by 19 industries, 102 use cases, and 17 technologies, it provides IT vendors with insight into how the market will evolve over the coming years.

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