The Edge Economy – Getting a Return on Investment from the Edge

Robert Linsdell • January 22, 2018

Welcome to my final article on the edge of the network. We’ve drilled down into the detail of almost all things edge, but one area we have yet to touch on is: how can this benefit my bottom line?

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Firstly, the good news is that it can. Edge technology has the power to bring both direct and indirect savings to any business in Australia and New Zealand.

We conducted research around using our edge solutions versus a traditional data center set-up and found that businesses could save upwards of more than 50 per cent across total data center spend over five years.

So, let’s look at some of the ways your business could boost its bottom line by taking it to the edge.

Saving room

The most clear-cut cost benefit to edge technology such as modular data centers is that they don’t require a purpose-built room to live in. They are a room themselves already.

Traditional data centers can host hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars to design and build, all dependent on a variety of factors such as size and type of industry. But in any case, it comes with a hefty price tag.

Smarter and smaller data centers can slot in wherever they fit on-site with an absolute minimum footprint in their smallest format. This is no more than a regular filing cabinet and can be ordered with next-day delivery and deployed in less than a day.

Reducing power and increasing PUE

If you’re in Australia and own or operate a business, or even if you’ve paid attention to your last home electricity bill or two, you may have noticed a pretty sizeable increase in what you’re paying.

Since July 2017, energy providers across Australia have implemented price hikes for electricity and gas. In South Australia, the average increase has been almost 20 per cent, with other states not far behind it.

Data centers consume a lot of power. Any savings you can make here have now an even greater impact than before since the price hikes and edge infrastructure can go a long way to reducing these bills.

Unfortunately, brick-and-mortar data centers are often energy inefficient and while there are many ways to improve their efficiency, it’s hard to beat a modular data center for bringing your footprint down.

Our SmartCabinet™, a fully integrated single rack data center that contains power protection, power distribution, cooling, monitoring and infrastructure management, uses best-of-breed UPS and cooling technology to give you a power usage effectiveness (PUE) number of less than 1.6. A typical data center – again dependent on size, industry and a number of other factors – would be at least 2.5.

Savings might not stop there either – if you’re a NSW business and eligible for the Government’s energy savings certificate (ESC), you could be in for a big payout for real and projected energy savings under the scheme by showcasing how your business is reducing energy over a long period of time.

The most important number is one

Power savings, as well as removing the need for a purpose-built data center room are the first savings businesses are likely to realise when moving to the edge, but it doesn’t stop there.

Data centers usually contain a healthy mix of different vendors’ solutions. Dealing with multiple vendors means dealing with multiple quote requests, multiple purchasing agreements, multiple payment terms, and multiple vendor relationships, not all of which are likely to be easy-going – all of which adds up to a lot more time and energy spent at the expense of your business.

Moreover, CFOs and procurement departments are very fond of vendor consolidation, particularly if that vendor can also supply a best-of-breed solution. Edge technology simplifies the purchasing process and there is only ‘one throat to choke’ if something goes wrong.

The edge is ripe for deployment in Australia. Businesses that go down this road will understand the ROI the edge can bring, along with a simplified and more agile IT environment to boot. CIOs and IT departments are already being told to become more reactive and are tasked with adopting ‘third platform’ technologies such as mobile, social, cloud and big data.

Changing the way you think about the edge and your company’s entire IT environment can save you time and money and help you turn IT into a center of profit and hub for generating new digital services that meet business objectives.

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