Edge Computing – The link to converge Physical Operations and Digital Businesses

Customers are obsessed about connecting everything on their devices – Be it upcoming meeting, or taking next-turn while driving or about maintaining room temperatures. As mentioned in one of the articles in Forbes – A Simple Explanation Of ‘The Internet of Things’. Simply put, IoT is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from phones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices, machinery and almost anything else you can think of1. This gives new rule to digital businesses to connect everything that can be connected. Edge Computing is the safest bet for building an IoT app or optimize current products. Read on to know the advantages of Edge Computing and it enables Business 4.0 –

IoT and Edge Computing

IoT is connecting everything and provide highly immersive, personalized and real-time responses to consumers. The success of IoT implementation depends on how hurriedly data processes, analysis happens, and results appear without any lags.

Edge Computing architecture is an ideal choice for three reasons – Speed, Optimization and Outage Reduction.

Applications working with Edge Computing push data away from the centralized network to locations closer to the user. Edge Computing layer helps application in removing latency experienced in data processing by removing round trip of data and processing to cloud. This results in location and process optimization of data collection and processing to deliver results at speed. The Edge Computing facilitates processing of tons of data generated at the device level and provide quick insights to customers and businesses to act on them supercharging customer experience.

According to a study conducted by Uptime Institute

Global data center outages have increased by 6% since 2017.

The average duration of an outage ranged between 95 and 97 minutes.

The cost of unplanned outages has risen to of $8,851 per minute.

Aside from improved customer experience, Edge Computing reduces outage reduction. Cloud solutions are open to downtimes due to power outages or ISP failures, which is why leaving everything on cloud adds latency. Edge Computing makes application less susceptible to outages by doing the critical computations near the device or on the edge while leaving the non-critical ones for the cloud.

An Enabler for Business 4.0

Businesses are laying down their plans for unlocking deeper digital experience for their customers. While working with some of these clients, we developed a deep understanding of their business models and how Edge Computing helps in building futuristic IoT applications. There are successful use-cases of Edge Computing used for IoT platforms in industries like Healthcare, Manufacturing, Automobiles, Retail, Construction, etc. While the focused business cases vary from predictive maintenance, monitoring solutions to smart wearables etc, each of these business cases primarily take three forms–

Mobile – for phones, cars, wearables, drones, etc
Static – for POS in retail stores, machinery, smart homes, cities, etc.
Mobile+Static – Healthcare is a suitable example here where medical records are static while the medical personnel move within the facility.

Each of this business case when implemented correctly, gives rise to Business 4.0. We, at Qentelli develop IoT applications with Edge Computing architecture brining applications and analytics closer to devices using a combination of IoT sensors, RFID technologies, Micro Data Centers, Hybrid clouds, new Wireless technologies and devices. This supports workloads and data to compute, store and analyse data at the edge. The architecture varies on a project basis and brings the end goals of control, visibility across the business chain and analytics.

Plow back into your Infrastructure Strategy

IoT applications and Edge Computing architecture need organizations to alter their old IT infrastructure with hybrid cloud to house ever-growing data and provide computing, storage and analysis hardware to IT teams. Businesses must look to integrate various FPGA or ASIC-enabled specialized chips for different devices they want to integrate into their IoT platforms or new edge architecture-based applications. Businesses need to analyse a lot of vendors around a network and wireless technologies based on their requirements. These new hardware systems have to work with existing and emerging business technology systems. This requires new investments in infrastructure for preparing them to work for applications built on Edge Computing.

Challenges Ahead

We see a lot of possibilities around IoT applications, but this does not spare the challenges coming along. Altering infrastructure is the first and foremost challenge but there’s no way out apart from putting investments in the new age storing and computing devices. The second challenge is implementing Edge Computing without or minimum alteration to current technology stack. Amidst all these challenges, there lies a bright opportunity to converge physical assets into digital operations and enhancing current business products and services. Organizations should include Edge computing in their next IoT projects.

We talk to a lot of clients assessing their current technologies stack and powering their business transformation using new technologies. We recently interacted with two clients- one in Energy Spaces and the other Logistics. They talked about their business plans to get massive technology up-gradation. Both the clients wanted to optimize their transportation routes and automate financial processes, eliminating human inputs and to remove wastage associated. We assessed their technologies and proposed an IoT platform with Edge Computing architecture to make the future business ready. At Qentelli, we believe agile practices and the best engineering approach can help in building IoT applications that work as desired. To work with Qentelli on your next IoT project, write to us at info@qentelli.com

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