March 4, 2024

Edge computing will enable new business models in the next three years, according to a new report from Accenture

For the report, “Leading with cutting-edge computing: how to reinvent yourself with data and artificial intelligence”, Accenture surveyed 2,100 senior executives in 18 industries in 16 countries. The research surveyed cutting-edge adopters across industries and geographies with distinctive, industry-specific use cases to identify future cutting-edge developments.

The study revealed that edge computing will be essential to remain competitive in the future, according to 83% of respondents. Meanwhile, 81% believe that if they do not act quickly, they may be excluded from the full benefits of technology.


Accenture’s research comes as the edge offers a new capability to move computing to the edge of the network, where it is closer to users and devices and, most importantly, as close as possible to the sources of data. data. Edge computing takes advantage of the growing number of smart devices at the network edge by enabling greater data processing at the point of collection. Specifically, complex data analysis is being performed on vast areas, spanning factory machinery, train track signals, or store checkout hardware. Today’s consumers can instantly produce text, images and other media as the edge is powered by AI.

“Now is the time for all companies to embrace the advantage to drive innovation for business growth. Edge presents unique obstacles due to physical limits that require a new understanding of infrastructure, security, and user experience to overcome. But with the right approach, where the edge is aligned with business strategy, integrated with the digital core and supported by partners and people, the edge will lead to differentiated experiences for customers and employees,” said Andy Tay, global leader, Accenture Cloud First. .

Accenture research found that the use of the edge is not widespread and is applied with diverse approaches. Currently, only 65% ​​of companies use the edge to some extent. Of those, only half have a deeply integrated edge into their digital core, harnessing the power of cloud, data and artificial intelligence across a set of interoperable systems. The survey found four edge approaches, consisting of ad hoc, tactical, integrated, and super integrated. Key findings include:

  • Companies with tactical or ad hoc approaches struggle to achieve results. Companies that use ad hoc (30% of edge adopters) or tactical (20% of edge adopters) approaches are the least successful. Your edge deployments are not integrated with your systems. They struggle to scale the technology or integrate it with other technologies to get maximum value.
  • An integrated cloud approach adds exponential value. The integrated approach scales the edge and incorporates it as part of cloud-first infrastructure, data and AI. The research found that nearly 50% of edge adopters take this integrated approach, and 79% plan to fully integrate edge with the cloud in the next three years. Companies that take a cloud-based approach, use the edge as a key differentiator, and apply it to all parts of their business are seeing better results.
  • Those who apply the super-integrated approach are the ones who adopt it most transformationally and realize the most value. Compared to ad hoc, super-integrated companies are four times more likely to achieve accelerated innovation, nine times more likely to increase efficiency, and almost seven times more likely to reduce costs.

Additionally, Accenture research revealed that across industries, a high percentage of edge use cases related to the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices have been deployed in areas such as assembly line monitoring, quality control and worker safety. For many industries, IoT and data security/privacy are the most common type of use case. Other cutting-edge use cases are also underway, including:

  • In energy industries, such as oil and gas, coal, and renewables, nearly three-quarters of respondents indicated they are working on remote applications related to the sea edge.
  • In the retail industry, more than two-thirds are implementing benefits in point-of-sale use cases. A similar percentage also use edge-based robotic assistance to scan store shelves to manage inventory, detect areas that need cleaning, and provide security.
  • In the telecommunications, media and communications industries: Almost all companies (82%) have implemented edge-based content delivery applications.

Accenture recommends a three-step framework to get the most value from edge deployments:

  1. Develop strategies to achieve advantage – Consider advantage as a fundamental capability of your digital core, rather than an add-on feature. Accenture research shows that the most successful companies perceive advantage as a key element of their business strategy.
  2. Scale throughout the company – Build enterprise-wide advantage based on the cloud and integrate with enterprise data and AI applications, not just ad hoc projects. Instead of investing in isolated projects that produce fragmented results, the most successful early adopters take steps to scale implementation across companies. They look for ways to standardize successful use cases while also turning to partners for help.
  3. Strengthen capabilities – Ensure all employees and processes are prepared for the limit. Edge resides closer to users and data, where tangible actions translate into digital information. It impacts employee experiences, not just the IT department. Business leaders need to create a culture that fosters human creativity, flexibility, and insight to optimize their digital tools for accuracy, speed, and scale.

About the research
Accenture surveyed 2,100 C-level executives, 250 of whom were CEOs, in 16 countries across 18 industries. This survey was conducted in November and December 2022, with the goal of understanding the successes and challenges of enterprise adoption around the edge and building a roadmap for future edge adopters.

About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company that helps the world’s leading businesses, governments and other organizations build their digital core, optimize their operations, accelerate revenue growth and improve citizen services, creating tangible value to speed and scale. We are a company led by talent and innovation with 732,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Technology is at the center of today’s change and we are one of the global leaders in helping to drive that change, with strong relationships with the ecosystem. We combine our strength in technology with unparalleled industry experience, functional knowledge and global delivery capabilities. We are uniquely capable of delivering tangible results thanks to our wide range of services, solutions and assets in Strategy and Consulting, Technology, Operations, Industry X and Accenture Song. These capabilities, along with our culture of shared success and commitment to creating 360° value, allow us to help our clients succeed and build long-lasting, trusted relationships. We measure our success by the 360° value we create for our customers, each other, our shareholders, partners and communities. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

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