On the Edge of Tech: How Edge Computing is Changing Business Intelligence
Here’s a fact: over 90% of ALL data ever created was generated in the last two years alone. Every time someone searches Google (almost 70,000 per second), receives an email (over 2.7 million per second), or shares a social media post, exponential amounts of data continue to stockpile. 2021 will see over 6.6 Trillion digital payment transactions – a 40% jump in 2 years!
With the proliferation of IoT devices and systems, it’s no wonder that this constant surge of data chokes legacy systems and networks. Thankfully, the incorporation of edge computing enables organizations to accelerate their processing speeds and more efficiently analyze meaningful data. Everything from operations analytics, remote asset and process monitoring, employee monitoring, and workplace safety can benefit from edge computing’s reduced latency and improved bandwidth and security.
The marketplace is hungry for more and more data to power the AI and models that are becoming more central to success. Edge computing promises to deliver more of the needed raw material faster, even in the face of growing web outages like last week’s Fastly mega web outage.
Edge technology is a shift in architecture, pushing intelligence from the cloud to the Edge, thereby enabling localized analysis and decision-making. Edge technology is ideal for numerous reasons. For one, analytics and data gathering occur at the data source, thus significantly reducing latency. Data is analyzed in near-real-time instead of traveling long routes to data centers or the cloud for processing. By immediately analyzing the data at its source, edge networks ensure that only valuable data travels over the network. In addition, the reduced bandwidth frees up network capacity, prevents bottlenecks, and ultimately saves time and money.
Initially, developers created Edge computing to consume, store, filter, and send data to cloud systems. As Edge technology evolves, edge networks are beginning to pack more storage, processing, and analytic power. This gives them the ability to act on data at the machine site.
The Impact of Edge Technology on Business Transformation
Edge computing is critical to the development of new technologies that rely on immediate and relevant data. More and more companies will capitalize on data and analytics to drive the growth of their organization. The auto industry is a prime example. While still in the developmental stages, some autonomous vehicles became available to the consumer market in 2020. These cars create immense amounts of location and movement data that must be processed and shared with neighboring vehicles in real-time. Edge technology makes self-driving cars more capable of analyzing and finding patterns in sensor data while simultaneously increasing the speed at which data is available. The result enables autonomous vehicles to make faster, more accurate decisions on the road.
Similarly, the development of 5G and its ability to improve speed and latency means the potential for increased processing power for various IoT devices, not just smartphones and tablets. As 5G infrastructure continues to roll out, IoT devices and edge data centers will create processing areas. Developers then generate, collect, and analyze data with minimal latency. A ring Edge connected 5G networks provide easy data management and prioritization of information that needs to be transmitted back to centralized servers.
As the use of edge computing rises, so does the debate on a few critical aspects of the technology. For instance, edge computing offers opportunities for data processing and storage at a local level. However, some geographical regions can be at a disadvantage. In areas with fewer people, financial resources, and technical resources, there is a possibility of fewer edge devices and local servers on the network. Many in the community are also torn about whether or not Edge is secure.
Another controversial element to edge computing is that only a subset of data is processed and analyzed. Much of the raw data is discarded, potentially resulting in missing insights. While developers can access the “most important” data from other locations, the perceived less critical information is kept onsite at the edge location.
How Edge Technology is Changing Business Intelligence
The future of Edge computing is bright. Entire industries are evolving around the ability to streamline data and quickly convert it into actionable insights. As the amount of daily data generated continues to grow, it’s evident that edge computing will be a critical component in business transformation, the future of analytics, and the growth of data-driven industries. Edge computing can help companies take advantage of the growing number of IoT edge devices, enhance customer experiences, and improve overall network speed. This is especially ideal for agile companies using data centers and cloud infrastructure. Edge offers many advantages that continue to play a crucial role in businesses going forward.
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