RAINBOW Platform Stakeholder Analysis: The 3 Categories of Stakeholders

Below you can read a blog post authored by K3Y and originally published at the RAINBOW website.

Stakeholders are divided into three categories which are based on their role in edge/fog ecosystem.

The 3 Categories of Stakeholders

The benefits that edge/fog computing offers are broadening the range of
potential stakeholders. These stakeholders can benefit from this technology from three different positions: (i) use services deployed at the edge, (ii) develop services deployed at the edge or (iii) design and operate edge infrastructure [1]. These positions form the three categories of stakeholders:

  • The first category includes the end users of a service. They could be individuals or groups of users who are interested in using edge/fog technology to enhance their approaches, to solve a problem in their market etc.
  • The second category includes the service developers/providers. They could be individuals or companies that possess the technical knowledge to develop and support edge/fog applications. The main motivation for this layer of stakeholders, is to expand their expertise and operations to new markets using state of the art tools and technologies, having revenue as their final goal.
  • The third category includes providers of edge/fog computing infrastructure. This category of stakeholders includes large companies operating in Information Technology market, who produce devices throughout the (IT) ecosystem (e.g. IoT devices etc.) or who provide their infrastructure for communication establishment (e.g. Internet Service Providers etc.).

Interests & Relations between Stakeholder Categories

In order to provide an accurate and comprehensive reflection of the RAINBOW stakeholder landscape, all the interests, dependencies and relations have to be elucidated.

Users – Service Developers
Users have certain expectations on the quality of service delivered by the application they use. Service developers have to establish new strategies that will help them to identify the forthcoming user needs and provide an effective training strategy for the utilization of their products. Furthermore, in order to meet the expectations of end users, service developers have to be at the forefront of edge/fog technology by expanding their knowledge, gaining experience and extending their development toolkit.

Users – Infrastructure Providers
If one user expectation shall be taken for granted, this is the high availability of a service. Infrastructure providers are responsible for ensuring service availability under most of the circumstances. Edge/fog computing can be seen as a great opportunity for infrastructure providers, in order to generate additional revenue. This for example can be achieved by either offering resources at the access network or renting out space for server colocation at those access gateways.

Service Developer – Infrastructure Providers
Service developers are closely related to the infrastructure providers since usually they build on top of their infrastructures. What they expect to receive from infrastructure providers are products of high quality along with rich documentation and technical support. On the other hand, infrastructure providers are expecting the feedback of service developers regarding testing and reporting of the underlying product.

Figure 2: The different stakeholders in edge/fog computing and their respective interests

[1] J. Gedeon, M. Stein, J. Krisztinkovics, P. Felka, K. Keller, C. Meurisch, L. Wang and a. M. Mühlhäuser, “From cell towers to smart street lamps: Placing cloudlets on existing urban infrastructures,” IEEE/ACM Symposium on Edge Computing (SEC), p. pp. 187–202, Oct. 2018

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