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Exploring what’s next in tech – Insights, information, and ideas for today’s IT and business leaders

Edge computing yields deeper insights, faster

Transformational opportunities powered by edge computing are almost limitless. Real-time analytical power for things like automation, prediction, and control means more agility and business value. Here’s a quick guide on why you must expand your digital foundation to the edge and where to start.

There are many different kinds of edges: a manufacturing floor, a building, a campus, a city, a crop field, a wind farm, a power plant, an oil rig, a sports arena, and more. Massive amounts of data are created and can be collected and analyzed at every edge.

When used in context, and in a timely manner, this real-time data can yield all sorts of interesting insights. Edge computing use cases include:

  • Improving safety in industrial settings, such as air quality in mining through wearables
  • Preventive and predictive maintenance for machinery through sensors in production facilities
  • Precision agriculture to monitor data in the field to improve crops
  • Enhancing citizen safety through real-time video monitoring and analytics of traffic, public transit, special events, etc.
  • Creating engaging experiences at entertainment venues through services that improve fan experience and operations
  • Enhancing patient experiences with connected care via mobile and wearables, offering better ways to monitor (and self-monitor) patient health and empowering and connecting patients to real-time care when needed

Edge computing is a game-changer

Analysts predict that by 2022, 75 percent of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside the traditional centralized data center or cloud. 

Companies new to edge computing won’t arrive at a fully developed program overnight. There are many possibilities to explore and capabilities to consider. You need to build knowledge and relationships with operations technology and line-of-business teams, modernize infrastructure, find a pilot project, and then when all of that is done, learn how to scale. 

Fortunately, many use cases serve as inspiration for your own edge computing blueprint. We assembled a few to help you build a compelling case for leveraging edge computing in your organization. 

Among the subjects addressed in this edge computing report...

Where edge computing excels: Handling high-volume data formats such as video for facial and object recognition and quality control are excellent edge use cases. Also, predictive analytics in industrial settings require data center-class edge computing power for maintenance and autonomous operations.

Architectural decisions required: Different use cases need different levels of compute and bandwidth at the edge. Expect vendors to package basic architectures that IT needs to customize.

New partnerships to build: Operations technology (OT) teams often buy technology but IT is tasked with maintenance. IT pros also benefit from deeper understanding of OT.

Key challenges ahead: Developing the edge security framework, applying data management at vast scale and in new contexts, learning new skills, and working well with OT are just a few hurdles between you and the edge.

It’s time to expand your digital foundation to the edge, where all of the interesting things happen. Are you ready?