Digital Transformation at the Edge

Edge Infrastructure Continues to Evolve

Industrial IoT EdgeAfter a solid decade of pursuing industrial IoT-enabled business process improvement and innovation, the value of the edge tier within digitally transformed architectures is now widely recognized.  Originally viewed as the point where IT and cloud-based applications intersect with the OT environment, the edge functional definition continues to evolve in important areas such as edge-to-cloud integration, edge compute, and the convergence of IT, OT, and security.

As this evolution continues, the role of the various edge components also evolves.  This includes expanding compute and store capabilities in what ARC calls “thick edge” devices, as well as ongoing convergence of IT, OT, and security at the network-centric “thin edge.”  Combined with the expanding capabilities of high-end endpoint devices, including increasingly mobile and autonomous devices enabled by 5G and private wireless, the choices of where to do what at the industrial IoT edge continue to expand.

Enterprise Cloud Providers Target the Digital Transformation at the Edge 

Digitally transformed enterprises now have more opportunities to distribute functionality throughout the architecture as cloud-native technologies, IT, and IP-based networking are descending closer to the edge. Cloud solutions are extending to the edge to access their source data and fulfill their digital transformation value proposition.  This is particularly evident in AI, ML, and video analytics applications, where edge capabilities promise significant value in both data preprocessing and local execution of cloud-trained models.  Cloud providers are likewise adding edge functionality and associated services that are a natural extension of their core capabilities in areas such as device management and security. 

Differing Dynamics at the Thick vs. Thin Edge

ARC Market Intelligence on Digital Transformation at the Edge

Digital Transformation at the EdgeFounded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group is the leading technology research and advisory firm for industry, infrastructure, and cities. We provide extensive market coverage of all aspects of the industrial IoT edge, ranging from edge and cloud software platforms to network infrastructure and endpoint devices. Strategic issues covered include:

  • What is and will be the role of the edge in the digital transformation of industry and cities?
  • How do the roles and market trends associated with thick versus thin edge devices compare, and how does that impact selection requirements?
  • What impact will the descent of enterprise cloud players to the edge have on the competitive landscape?
  • How should hardware and software suppliers differentiate themselves?

Industrial IoT Research Topics

ARC covers a broad spectrum of topics related to the Industrial Internet of Things.  Global Market Research Reports are available for each of the topics below.  Technology Selection Guides are also available for several of the topics below.

Industrial IoT Edge Software Platforms

IIoT Gateways and Routers

IIoT Endpoint Devices - Total Available Market

  • Market data and scope:  logic, motion, and process controllers; drives; sensors; I/O
  • Market Research Report

IIoT Network Edge Infrastructure - Total Available Market

Industrial Cellular Routers

Fixed Industrial Routers

  • Market data and scope:  Ethernet and cellular, cloud integration, edge computing
  • Market Research Report  

Industrial Ethernet Switches

Industrial and IIoT Network Gateways


    Edge Controllers

    • Market Data and Scope:  region, hardware vs. software vs services, hardware type (PLC-based, IPC-based, motion controller, CNC, other controller)
    • Market Research Report

    Industrial Ethernet Endpoint Devices

    Wireless Devices in Process Automation

    Industrial and Outdoor Wireless Access Points

    • Market data and scope:  new vs. retrofit, fixed vs. mobile, form factor, Wi-Fi standard, environmental
    • Market Research Report 

    IoT Cloud Application Platforms

    Industrial/OT Cybersecurity

    Industrial PCs

    Industrial Private Networks (5G & 4G)

    • Market Data and Scope:  region, network type, hardware vs. software vs. services, network deployment
    • Market Research Report