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8 out of 10 companies will scale up their 5G and Edge initiatives

5G and edge initiatives are typically part of broader enterprise-wide digital transformation efforts.

Edge and 5G have become top investment areas across industries and are seen as powerful ways to propel businesses to the next level of digital transformation. These 5G and edge initiatives are particularly visible in the manufacturing and healthcare sectors.

This is one of the main lessons of a study from Google Cloud and Omdia. Although this report is intended for cloud service providers, it also offers valuable insights for enterprise users. “Manufacturing clearly sees the leading opportunity, but others are following close behind,” the study authors point out. Edge is also emerging strongly in healthcare and retail. Overall, 70% of all enterprises expect to spend $100,000 or more on the edge in the first 24 months of deployment. Nearly a quarter of all industries are willing to spend $1 million or more.

5G networks are an important part of this picture. According to the survey, eight out of ten companies believe that the availability of 5G is very important to benefit from edge computing. Additionally, seven out of 10 companies plan to invest in edge over the next 12 months.

See also: 5G and the Edge: Top Trends Shaping Computing in 2022

Real-time insights from cognitive analytics drive 5G edge adoption, survey finds. Business intelligence and automation deployments will more than double over the next 12 months, and transaction monitoring and cognitive analytics are the most widely deployed and planned. Additionally, edge initiatives will play a role in data storage and site mirroring, which continue to grow.

Edge computing doesn’t happen in a vacuum, of course — it’s part of a larger transformation. Nearly 50% say edge computing is part of a network and connectivity transformation initiative, and a third say edge computing is part of an enterprise-wide digital transformation initiative business. Only a fifth say edge computing is part of a standalone project for a specific industry. Among manufacturers, 46% are already using a cutting-edge shape, while a further 25% plan to invest within a year, according to the survey. While many variations are used or considered, 42% are considering locally hosted edge services. The most sought-after transformations are customers designing their own products and experiences.

Key challenges for manufacturers looking to implement edge and 5G include operational efficiency, employee productivity, security, and skills. At least 40% have only one site at the edge, but 61% will expand, most likely to five sites or less. Nearly 40% believe a private 5G network is essential for using the edge.

Of healthcare providers, 46% are using some form of benefit, and another fifth plan to invest within a year. More than a third are using or planning a locally hosted edge solution. The most wanted transformations give customers control, seamless access to sites and collection of medicines and data. Edge is most likely under the network budget; a third say it is part of digital transformation; less than a fifth say their budget falls short of the cloud. Additionally, 44% say 5G is critical to the success of the edge; 81% say a campus network upgrade is essential. A third are considering a private network.