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Industry Transformation Highlights the Need for APJ Firms to Focus on the Edge

As organizations across Asia Pacific and Japan continue to digitally transform their operations and adopt transformative technologies such as machine learning and automation, they need to ensure that their IT infrastructure remains resilient and able to support workloads across different platforms.  

This is especially critical in the region, where manufacturing and other industries are looking to tap automation to enhance on-site safety, improve equipment uptime and reduce failure rates.

In fact, use of industrial digital platforms in Asia Pacific is projected to climb by 30% this year, with manufacturing, construction, utilities and other industrial organizations leading the adoption of cloud, according to Forrester.1 In particular, the research firm predicts strong adoption among businesses in Australia, China, Japan and South Korea, noting that companies will implement digital platforms to connect and analyze industrial data as well as deliver stronger customer value.

In addition, to counter labor shortages, 35% of businesses across Asia Pacific will integrate physical robotics with their mainstream technology infrastructure, according to Forrester. Verticals such as food and beverage, home delivery, healthcare and manufacturing will want to tap autonomous mobile robots and drones to support their service delivery and operations, it says. 

These transformative technologies not only can improve a company’s time to market and service delivery but also help maintain and optimize operational efficiencies. To achieve such efficiencies, organizations are turning to edge computing to monitor and predict potential equipment failures, analyzing data sent back and forth over the cloud to facilitate decision-making.

Manufacturers, for instance, can tap data sensors installed on site to monitor hazardous areas and mitigate work safety risks as well as ensure critical systems are running smoothly. Often, real-time data will need to be collected and analyzed so companies can quickly respond to incidents. This requires robust IT infrastructure and low network latency. A data lag can delay critical alerts, leading to system failures that can impact service delivery and damage customer confidence.

Further, with hybrid work practices seeing high adoption alongside edge technologies, workloads are becoming highly decentralized and not necessarily confined to or originating from data centers.

“Data volumes have grown exponentially worldwide, including in Asia Pacific, with data sources increasingly varied,” says Andrew Underwood, field chief technology officer at Dell Technologies in Asia Pacific and Japan. “Information can be created on personal devices as well as internet of things devices, including both consumer devices and industrial machines, that are interconnected to facilitate automation.”

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He adds, “Next-generation technology architectures, hence, must be designed to support and accelerate these workloads, whether they run on premises in data centers or at the edge on a rugged device.”

Servers built for powerful computing at edge locations
Servers, for one, should be built to meet key requirements for deployment at the edge, especially around emerging workloads that require high bandwidth and low latency closer to the data source. Businesses want to create value from the data they have by acting on it faster and more efficiently, enabling them to deliver enhanced services and richer customer engagement. Organizations that do so will have greater success in the fourth industrial era. 

“The digital era requires an IT foundation that is fit for purpose and optimized to support both core data center and edge platforms,” Underwood says. “For Dell Technologies, it means focusing on solutions that are data-first and tailored for the customer’s environment. Dell’s software-defined architecture also removes the complexity of running these environments and enables customers to manage their workloads at scale, outside their data centers.”

Edge environments can be harsh and can place great environmental stress on the electrical and physical operation of IT. Dell’s PowerEdge XR series servers are built to withstand the extreme heat, dust, shock and vibration of factory floors, construction sites, mobile command centers and other extreme environments. The data-first approach in the design philosophy of the Dell PowerEdge XR family is what provides a foundation for businesses to harness, analyze and respond to data no matter where it lives—quickly, cost effectively and securely.

To lead at the edge, organizations will need to take a data-first approach, defining where their digital and physical worlds intersect. The Dell PowerEdge XR family of servers is the perfect foundation to unlock data value wherever business outcomes depend on it.

1 “APAC Predictions 2023: Technology,” by Dannu Mu, Forrester, November 1, 2022 https://www.forrester.com/blogs/apac-predictions-2023-technlogy/

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