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Edge Computing: 7 Potential Sustainability Benefits, According to IT Decision Makers

August 24, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

IT decision makers (ITDMs) are seeking to align their edge computing strategies and sustainability strategies, according to a survey conducted by Team Lewis Research on behalf of Schneider Electric.

Simply defined, edge computing positions compute and data storage technologies close to where the data is generated. The edge architecture typically is designed to improve response times and reduce bandwidth needs. Examples include remote Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and associated storage placed closely to one another, thereby reducing the need to transmit all of that remote data back to a central cloud or data center for processing, storage and management.

How might edge computing assist organizations with their sustainability goals? Seeking answers, Team Lewis surveyed 1,150 IT decision makers across the United States. Participants represented the
manufacturing, healthcare and higher education industries. The survey was conducted May 31, 2023 to June 13, 2023 with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.

Edge Computing: Potential Sustainability Benefits

When asked how their organization’s edge computing strategy supports their organization’s ESG (environmental, social and governance) goals, respondents said:

  1. Enhance data privacy and security measures | 48%
  2. Sustainable products and services using edge computing | 45%
  3. Renewable energy sources for edge computing infrastructure | 45%
  4. Responsible sourcing practices for edge computing hardware materials | 45%
  5. Circular economy principles and cloud computing | 42%
  6. Energy-efficient edge computing | 42%
  7. Edge analytics for optimized operations | 42%

Still, IT decision makers see multiple challenges ahead -- including integration hurdles and lack of skilled or qualified staff, the survey found. Read between the lines, and technology partners could help end-customers to effectively align edge computing with sustainability goals, Sustainable Tech Partner believes.

Schneider Electric: Sustainability Partner Program, Data Center Initiatives

No doubt, Schneider Electric has bet the bulk of its business and partner ecosystem initiatives on sustainable IT opportunities.

Among the proof points from Schneider Electric's Q2 2023 earnings, the company noted:

  • Energy management revenues were €7.18 billion, a 15.6% organic growth rate.
  • Industrial automation revenues were €1.96 billion, an 11.9% organic growth rate.
  • Overall revenues were €9.14 billion, a 14.8% organic growth rate.
Related Podcast: Data Center Sustainability Strategies, featuring Robert Bunger, Office of the CTO, Schneider Electric

How can data center operators and their partners navigate a path toward sustainability? Robert Bunger, from Schneider Electric's Office of the CTO, offered perspectives in this Sustainable Tech Partner podcast from July 2023.

On a related note, global IT consulting firm HCLTech and Schneider Electric are partnering to develop energy- and carbon-efficient solutions for data center customers in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.

Sustainability: Online Education for Partners

Moreover, Schneider Electric in 2023 opened the Schneider Electric Sustainability School -- a free digital platform for the company's partner ecosystem. The free online training programs are designed to help partners "Strategize, Digitize and Decarbonize," the company said.

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