Innovation explained: Edge Computing

Looking back on the last years of the IT landscape, one of the most important trends was the emergence of cloud computing. Many companies, but also private users, have outsourced their data and services to the cloud, but what comes after the decentralized solution? The next big trend in technology could be edge computing. Simply put, it aims to bring the computing power needed close to IoT sensors, smartphones, autonomous vehicles or similar innovations.

At first, it sounds like a contradiction. We’ve been working on decentralizing data and processes for years, and in the future they’ll be centralized again, but Edge Computing goes much further than that.

The new type of computing has enormous potential that will not end the cloud trend, but support it. Together with innovation technologies, such as robotics or the Internet of Things, the performance of the new technologies will be optimized. Edge computing shifts the computing power needed from the cloud and closer to the application.

It can be imagined as a kind of distributed network architecture that ensures efficient real-time processing without latency and it extremely minimizes network storage requirements.

What is Edge Computing? (Source: Schneider Electric)


Benefits of Edge Computing

Especially when an increasing number of devices in the IoT are interlinked, autonomous vehicles populate the streets and robots become part of our everyday lives, low latency is crucial for their success. Gartner Inc predicts that by 2022, 50 percent of the data produced across the enterprise will be collected and processed by Edge Computing.

Edge Computing’s on-device processing approach ensures that only non-critical data is sent over the network and that critical or sensitive data can be processed immediately. With this approach, future technologies can work faster and be better deployed.

In general, edge computing optimizes bandwidths and latencies through sophisticated and efficient processes, making network load scalable.

The biggest advantage of the trend, however, is that while it brings computing power back to the application, it does not eliminate cloud solutions, but rather deploys them efficiently. The most important data is transferred to the cloud at the end of the application process, for example after a trip in an autonomous vehicle, where it can be viewed by the manufacturer or user.

Cloud computing and edge computing will complement each other in the long term and create an optimal synergy that paves the way for future technologies.

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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