Data at the edge is growing at an exponential rate. By 2022, 75% of enterprise-generated data is expected to live outside of the data centre and cloud. This is an increase of 10% since 2018 and it spans all sectors and business types.
Are you ready to take advantage of the edge? Your competitors will be planning to do so, and many will already have an edge computing plan.
Finding value in edge computing
The beauty of edge computing is it eliminates technology-induced latency. By keeping compute, storage, data management, and control at the edge, you can handle high-volume data formats for quick decision-making.
The biggest barrier to edge computing is not understanding how it can be applied. The simplest thing you need to know is edge computing means near instantaneous access to data. This enables three core functions:
Response: Such as quality inspections on manufacturing lines, real-time video feeds and location services for augmented reality headsets.
Prediction: Such as detecting changes in machinery performance, using predictive analytics to anticipate problems in cooling systems.
Autonomy: Such as warehouse robots automating picking lines, driverless vehicles and surgical robots performing medical tasks.
Putting edge computing into action
Different use cases need different levels of compute and bandwidth at the edge. Your IT department needs to have a deep understanding of edge technologies and security if your business is going to benefit from the edge.
There are four essential layers to edge computing: sensors, gateways, edge compute, and cloud. Your compute and bandwidth needs will determine the resources at each layer. This, in turn, will determine the role of your IT department.
Your IT and OT (Operational Technology) teams may be one in the same or separate. The two worlds are different, but they often intertwine. IT-OT collaboration is important so that your infrastructure is capable of supporting edge objectives.
These questions are a good starting point for your edge computing plan:
- How much data will you produce and consume?
- What are the connectivity demands of your data?
- What tasks can be performed at the gateway?
- What tasks require additional device processing/compute power?
- Can your network and data centre infrastructure support the edge?
- Can your network and data centre infrastructure scale with data-driven objectives?
Your organisation won’t arrive at a fully developed edge computing program in a week. It takes several months to bring everything together.
A sound edge computing plan requires a deep understanding of how you can use and benefit from edge computing, what resources are required, and IT-OT teams working together so that data-driven objectives can be achieved with no skill or technology barriers.