When Amazon made its first steps to creating a cloud company AWS, it was impossible to predict what has occurred since. The innovative use cases for public cloud and the potential for disruption of existing IT ways of working were unknown. In the beginning, Amazon was a bookshop that gave access to compute and storage over the web. However, even at this early stage it was possible to identify business drivers that would take existing and new applications to the public cloud.

Public cloud points the way for edge cloud

Edge Cloud we believe is at a similar point in its evolution. It has huge future potential. However, the small set of current use cases hide the unknown opportunities for innovation and disruption. We believe it is possible to identify business drivers for edge cloud and the economics that need to be in place for it to be successful. Economics, that just like in public cloud, are based on maximizing multi-tenancy of infrastructure and optimizing the cost of acquiring and running that infrastructure.

Moving beyond use cases to business demand drivers

Much of the current analysis in network edge remains focused at known consumer or enterprise use cases. The danger is that, these overstate the immediate use case opportunity, but also miss the potentially the much larger longer term sector opportunity. Appledore have identified 8 edge cloud demand drivers that we believe will create a vibrant edge cloud marketplace. In our new Network Edge Cloud Opportunity forecast, we use these to predict the immediate 5 year market for network edge cloud, as well as the much bigger longer term opportunity.

“The distribution of computing and data to the edge will happen, it’s just a matter of when”

We believe that the edge cloud marketplace will happen. The ultimate winners in this market will be those that proactively invest carefully in creating this market. The losers in this market will be those that wait for compelling use cases or standardization. With our market forecast we hope to encourage all players to create a vibrant market at the network edge, with strong ecosystems and partnerships.