The essential edge to leveraging IoT data


The Internet of Things (IoT) is creating unprecedented amounts of digital data that enterprises can use to learn more about customers, monitor network and equipment performance, optimize processes, and enable machine-to-machine communications.

But that treasure trove of digital data also creates huge management, security, and cost concerns for enterprise IT professionals, whether their organizations are using an on-premises data center, cloud platforms, or some combination.

To help manage IoT-related data, a growing number of enterprises are turning to edge computing, in which computing resources are located in the furthest reaches of a network. As Network World‘s Brandon Butler explains:

Edge computing allows data produced by IoT devices to be processed closer to where it is created instead of sending it across long routes to data centers or clouds. Doing this computing closer to the edge of the network lets organizations analyze important data in near real-time – a need of organizations across many industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, telecommunications and finance.

Indeed, a new research report on edge computing by Business Insider makes that very case! Business Insider identifies these “key takeaways” from its report:

  • Healthcare companies and organizations are using edge computing to improve telemedicine and remote monitoring capabilities.
  • Edge computing is helping telecommunications companies to reduce network congestion, enabling a shift toward the IoT platform market.
  • Automotive companies are using edge computing to increase the capabilities of connected cars and trucks and approach autonomy.

The benefits of edge computing, however, can be realized by enterprises in any industry faced with IoT-related data challenges. As Business Insider notes, edge computing can limit the risk of transmitting IoT data because it doesn’t have to travel as far on a network.

Edge also helps avoid problems that arise when resources located across the country or world can’t be accessed in the event of a network outage. And by processing data near where it’s created, edge solutions reduce storage requirements and transmission costs because less data has to be sent.

Edge computing used to process IoT data also is called “fog computing,” as I wrote last November. Whatever you call it, the use of these solutions to manage IoT data is expected to be an $18 billion market by 2022 as enterprises look for that IoT edge.

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