Business Growth Opportunities at the Edge
If businesses want to see immediate value from edge data, it must be acted upon quickly. But doing so is not simple. Gartner predicts, by 2025, 75% of the world’s data will be produced and consumed outside of a public cloud or data center. With the right strategy in place, organizations can identify a multitude of innovation opportunities at the edge and speed decision-making in real-time.
Every Industry Can Benefit from Real-time Computing
Edge is the next frontier of business transformation.
While the number of use cases at the edge continues to grow, so do the complexities of edge operations. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for the edge, and every industry is required to take a tailored, strategic approach to effectively manage and secure their edge technologies.
For example, Kraft Group, a holding company with diverse business interests that include Gillette Stadium, the sports arena home to U.S. national football and soccer teams, is capturing data at the edge. The company is using real-time analytics to meet sports fans where they are — at their seats, on their mobile devices and in parking lots. Edge computing is helping the stadium deliver compelling game-day experiences and adopt a proactive approach to physical security.
Edge computing is helping the stadium deliver compelling game-day experiences and adopt a proactive approach to physical security.
Visitors can use their mobile devices to get directions to open parking spaces and their seats as soon as they arrive at the venue. As fans are seated, they can use their mobile devices to connect with games and social media, rapidly access fan-cam views and order concessions without missing a single second of the game. To offer a flawless stadium experience, the Wi-Fi network is regularly assessed to optimize connectivity and deploy resources where necessary. With real-time notifications that identify low inventory and expedite replenishment, rapid analytics at the edge let concession stands run more effectively.
In another example, manufacturers use sensors and cameras to keep an eye on the efficiency of all the production floor machinery as well as the standard of goods from the assembly line. Edge computing examines the data from many sources to look for broad trends. To maximize system efficiency, factories can use data insights to speed up the system, enhance output quality, and address breakdowns in real time – something that is critical and cannot be addressed as quickly if data otherwise needs to travel back and forth from a data center or public cloud. Data is processed on the shop floor, giving manufacturers improved data insights and accuracy, so they can act more quickly and increase efficiency.
Additionally, retailers can offer better shopping experiences by tracking product movement to better manage inventory and supply or by assisting consumers more promptly. Edge technology is also helping to unify the physical and online shopping experiences, from automatic checkout in grocery shops to inventory analytics that guarantee shelves are always stocked (and shelf inventories are accurately reflected online.
"Edge technology is also helping to unify the physical and online shopping experiences, from automatic checkout in grocery shops to inventory analytics that guarantee shelves are always stocked (and shelf inventories are accurately reflected online."
Understanding Challenges at the Edge
Many enterprises want to manage and safeguard data at the source but have limited IT assistance to do so. This has led to an increase in the complexity of edge deployments and often involves unclear objectives and conflicting processes between IT and operational technology (OT). With the amount of data generated growing nine times annually and expected to reach 221 zettabytes by 2026 (according to IDC), organizations need a simple and effective way to manage and secure the diverse ecosystem of edge technologies.
Focusing on the end goal is the foundation of effective edge projects. Prior to discussing technology, make sure your intended business objectives are agreed upon and aligned. For instance, if you work in manufacturing, you can consider if you want to minimize costs or increase production yields by proactively avoiding machine failure and the ensuing downtime.
To help your business save money on edge computing, look for chances to combine apps onto a single infrastructure. Think of your edge as a system that permits effective operations rather than a collection of disconnected devices and apps. Key components of a system that can support consolidation include virtualization, containerized applications and software-defined infrastructure. Edge consolidation offers more flexibility while also being more effective.
These are just some of the challenges to consider as you plan for growth and develop agile processes at the edge.
Planning Your Edge
It is important to choose a partner who can assist you in defining your edge, consolidating your edge computing operations and developing a growth strategy. The data collected and processed at the edge can change both businesses and our everyday lives. Adopting technology that secures and streamlines the edge can lead to outstanding business outcomes.