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IDC expects investments in edge computing to reach $176 billion in 2022

The International Data Corp. (IDC) sees that there will be double-digit growth in edge computing spending this year reaching $176 billion in 2022, an increase of 14.8% over 2021.

Enterprise and service provider spending on hardware, software, and services for edge solutions is forecast to sustain this pace of growth through 2025 when spending will reach nearly $274 billion, based on the data from IDC Worldwide Edge Spending Guide.

IDC defines edge as the technology-related actions that are performed outside of the centralized data center, where the edge is the intermediary between the connected endpoints and the core IT environment. Characteristically, edge is distributed, software-defined, and flexible.

IDC forecasts worldwide ‘whole cloud’ spending to reach $1.3 trillion by 2025
Worldwide public cloud services market revenue totaled $312 billion in 2020

“Edge computing continues to gain momentum as digital-first organizations seek to innovate outside of the data center,” said Dave McCarthy, research vice president, Cloud and Edge Infrastructure Services at IDC. “The diverse needs of edge deployments have created a tremendous market opportunity for technology suppliers as they bring new solutions to market, increasingly through partnerships and alliances.”

IDC has identified more than 150 use cases for edge computing across various industries and domains. The two edge use cases that will see the largest investments in 2022 — content delivery networks and virtual network functions — are both foundational to service providers’ edge services offerings. Combined, these two use cases will generate nearly $26 billion in spending this year. In total, service providers will invest more than $38 billion in enabling edge offerings this year.

edge use cases

For enterprise adopters, the edge use cases with the largest investments in 2022 include manufacturing operations, production asset management, smart grids, omnichannel operations, public safety and emergency response, freight monitoring, and intelligent transportation systems. Use cases that will see the fastest spending growth over the 2020-2025 forecast include public infrastructure maintenance, network maintenance, anatomy diagnostics, and AR-assisted surgery.

Across enterprise end-user industries, discrete and process manufacturing combined will invest $33.6 billion in edge solutions this year. Retail and professional services will also see spending of more than $10 billion on edge computing in 2022 while all 19 industries profiled in the Spending Guide will experience double-digit spending growth over the five-year forecast period.

“In the service provider segment, a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.6% reflects the edge infrastructure buildout underway to deliver edge cloud services,” said Marcus Torchia, research vice president, Customer Insights & Analysis group.
“For enterprise edge technology buyers, growing at a 14.1% CAGR, provisioned services such as IaaS will grow significantly and capture an increasing share of total expenditures over the forecast period.”


IDC expects hardware and services spending will account for 85% of all edge spending in 2022 with the remainder going to software. Hardware spending will be led by investments in edge gateways, which feature low-power components designed for running limited or single functions in environments where power and cooling availability is limited.

Investments in compute and storage assets adapted for edge locations or deployment will grow at a faster rate and will nearly equal spending on edge gateways by the end of the forecast period. Services spending, comprised of professional and provisioned services, will grow at a faster rate than the other two groups with a five-year CAGR of 19.6%. By 2025, services will account for nearly 50% of all edge spending led by investments in provisioned services, including connectivity and edge-related infrastructure, platform, and software as a service (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS). Software spending will primarily be allocated toward system infrastructure and security software with analytics & AI software seeing faster growth within the group.

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