How Can Hardware-Based Businesses Benefit from Edge Computing?

How Can Hardware-Based Businesses Benefit from Edge Computing?

The rapid growth of internet-connected devices has engulfed the entire world. In IoT, to resolve latency-related issues, enhance real-time processing and response times, and optimize bandwidth, edge computing has emerged as a game-changer. It massively reduces dependence on cloud and takes matters in its own hands. So, what makes edge computing so vital to IoT?
IoT is a different ballgame; it is vastly dissimilar to the highly managed environments of factories and offices. For example, suppose you have a military drone which is being deployed for a surveillance operation in a sensitive combat region. Due to the accuracy requirements, it is integral for the device to record, compute, and transmit real-time data properly. However, unlike the office and factory environments, you have to address multiple variables such as environmental conditions, limited connectivity, and remote location.
Theoretically, your drone can leverage mobile satellite connectivity for acquiring access to the shielded military cloud. However, edge computing can allow it to achieve higher speed by provisioning onboard processing capacity with lightweight compute and data storage capacity. With this processing and connectivity game plan, the drone can synchronize with the ground troops and command center - where it does not have to contend with the latency complications that generally plague cloud-based architectures.
After completing its objective, the drone can fly back to the base and establish a connection with the primary system – all the stored data is sent to the cloud for data analysis, AI and machine learning related computations.

 

Rising Investments

McKinsey, the leading management consulting firm in the world, has listed down over 100 edge computing use cases that can change the hardware infrastructure of businesses in the next 5-7 years. It is estimated that by 2025, the amount of edge computing investments in hardware may touch $215 billion. The hardware here includes the processor, storage, on-device firmware, sensors, edge computers, and other aspects of IoT. Let’s see which industries rely the most on edge computing.

Estimation Table

Edge computing provides convenience to the hardware companies on two fronts:

  • Edge computing functions well in areas that might restrict or need intermittent cloud connectivity for analytics, backup, storage, computing, and other similar services.
  • As explained in the beginning, they can process data on an immediate basis, such as for guiding self-driving cars. The idea is to perform local analytics without transferring data to the cloud for decision-making purposes.

 

The Future

We often compare edge computing directly with cloud computing.
While a few industries only realized the impact of the growing cloud industry, the effects of edge computing are a lot more widespread, and it can expand to all the major industries around the world.
Today, the IT infrastructure is predominantly sector-agnostic, which means that the same cloud application is usable in two different industries, like retail and finance. On the other hand, edge technologies require more specialization. For instance, you may need different computing power and data storage for precision agriculture than you may require for running long-lasting and mobile safety equipment. It is expected that in the future, edge computers become more readily available where they can perform distributed computing on different devices in factories, farms, and homes.