Why edge computing is a game changer for business
Cloud computing has taken workplace operations to a whole new level, which is why most UK businesses are now migrating to the cloud. When it started out, cloud computing used a centralised data centre running thousands of servers – but increasingly a distributed cloud infrastructure known as ‘edge computing’ is transforming the way data is handled.
To put it simply, edge computing brings some aspects of data processing and storage closer to devices rather than relying on a central location far away. This is handled smartly, so tasks that need to be processed quickly may be managed on the device itself, while less immediate tasks are dealt with on cloud servers.
Here are five key benefits edge computing could bring for your business.
Greater speed and reduced latency
Data analysed at the ‘edge’ of the network is processed close to its source or in micro data centres – this information doesn’t have to travel anywhere near as far as it would with the cloud, so latency is reduced, which means faster response times. This makes data more relevant and useful to the end user – faster travel means higher speeds. Edge computing also reduces overall network traffic which improves performance of all your business’ applications and software.
Edge computing can help you secure your networks and improve data privacy. Because the data is decentralised, it is distributed among the devices where it is produced. This makes it difficult for hackers to access the whole network or compromise all data with a single attack. In the event of a cyberattack the affected area of the network can be shut off or contained so only one device is compromised. This reduces the vulnerability of other devices in the network.
Reliability and efficiency
Edge computing is designed to stay connected in any environment – even in the most remote places, so you don’t have to worry about disruptions. With edge computing devices and data centers positioned close to end users, there is less chance of a network problem in a distant location affecting your business or any one failure shutting down a whole network. In the event of an issue, data can be rerouted through multiple pathways to ensure you still have access to important information, so business carries on as normal.
As edge computing collects data and distributes it, you don’t need tons of cloud storage. This greatly reduces operational expenses for your business. You can also filter unnecessary data and only backup what’s relevant. You might think that using this will require smart new equipment, but you can connect modern devices with your existing technology so there’s no need to dramatically increase your IT expenses.
IoT (Internet of Things) devices produce large volumes of data and having one centralised system in the cloud can be problematic if you need to add more devices to the network – it not only slows things down but can cause a system breakdown. With edge computing, when required, you can increase the number of devices, data centres and processors in your business’ network, so that as your business grows your network can cater for the growing volume of data. This is going to become more and more important given the amount of data we expect to be generated from IoT devices linked by 5G connections.
By 2022, 75% of business data will be processed outside of the cloud, according to Gartner – and as a result the global edge computing market will reach $13billion. In addition, the speed at which data is generated shows no signs of slowing down – so edge computing could become a necessity for business in the near future.
If you are planning to invest in IoT development or want to improve your current IT infrastructure, contact us to see how we could help your business.