SCHNEIDER Electric is expecting companies to expand their use of edge computing technology, which speeds up processes by bringing data storage closer to users.

The company’s survey of 100 information technology professionals in the Philippines found that firms have a median of five sites for edge technology, which Schneider said could go up to nine sites over the next two years as 34% more adopt the technology.

Only 17% of the professionals, however, listed edge computing as the most urgent priority of their organization. Less than half said they are familiar with the technology and have multiple edge sites.

Top industries using edge computing in the Philippines include banking and finance, education, business process outsourcing, healthcare, and retail, the company said in a press release on Wednesday.

Edge computing allows firms to roll out applications that make use of the Internet of Things (IoT) — electronics connected over the Internet to exchange data — to improve customer experience and their operations, the company said.

“Business spending on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotic process automation technologies will see explosive growth over the next few years,” Schneider Electric Director of Edge Computing Steven Cheng said.

“We know that the use of cloud computing by enterprises will continue to grow, but we also see greater dependence to remain on-premise, at the ‘edge.’”

Edge computing, the company added, plays a role in retail self-checkout and provides real-time data for manufacturers managing robots in production.

The company has not yet shared the timeline of survey data collection. — Jenina P. Ibañez