As we move toward 2019 and a new decade, the horizon of technology continues to expand in new and exciting ways. A vast majority of business today is — if not fully centered around the Internet of Things (IoT) — at very the least, featuring digital capabilities as integral to their operations. This is doubly true for startups and newly emerging, innovative ventures.
Taking a reflective step back, we can easily appreciate how the cloud and related technologies enabled viable competition for companies that did not have the massive capital at hand needed for the maintenance and operation of the computing (and communication) power required for daily operations and long-term success. It enabled the innovative startup with a brilliant idea to compete with the established giants. While there is no doubt that many companies will continue to utilize the power of the cloud for a great range of services, a relatively ‘new’ (or at the least, increasingly recognized) application is proving its value in real terms.
Welcome to the Edge
In brief, the cloud and its vast utility, is based upon shared public networks. For the majority of businesses (such as those focusing on app development or product marketing, for instance), this open-source architecture is more than sufficient. However, some companies have realized the potential concerns of operating within an open-access arena. Fundamental security concerns notwithstanding, there are also certain issues of latency in cloud computing with exceptionally high traffic of data. We can see where this would be a matter of great concern for, say, a water-utilities company operating across vast geographical territories, which relies on digital sensors and feedback to address and correct pressure variance before they reach critical levels. In such a scenario, latency of vital data is an unacceptable problem. Edge computing goes a long way toward addressing the issues larger companies face when dealing with massive amounts of system data, analysis, or high-frequency transmissions, all without putting overwhelming strain on central databases or private (and therefore limited, however vast) servers.
Edge networking essentially takes the wide-spread power of the cloud, but cuts a private slice of it off, secured and slaved to the specific needs of the operations in question. This brings the utility of cloud computing closer to the ‘edge’ of the company’s geographical periphery, and dramatically reduces the most prevalent concerns over time lost in transmission (latency) and security breaches down to the null levels one would expect of a closed network, easily mitigating potential attacks (such as the common distributed denial of service attacks—DDoS).
What about Devices?
As is becoming increasingly common in the digital workspace—and this goes double for those who primarily work remotely—many companies develop or license apps for mobile devices and/or tablets, so that their workforce can utilize their own devices in company service. This is colloquially coined as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and has gained an incredible degree of traction. This, of course, makes perfect sense because it cuts a tremendous burden from the organizational budget. Not having to procure and program devices for every worker who needs one; associates can just download the app, and off they go being productive on their own tools. As noted above with the cloud, one of the more contentious issues surrounding this practice concerns companies that deal in highly sensitive information, and that is the matter of security. The edge method circumvents this concern for individual workers and executives in the same manner as it addresses the picture-at-large. All the devices working within the secure network of the company’s edge space are equally protected from outside intrusion; at least for the applications in question. This is the macro solution to the micro issues.
The Future of Cloud and Edge
So the question stands: what’s around the corner? We at Stewart Cooper & Coon have long held it as our primary goal to help our clients and partners, the world over, not only adjust to market forces and disruption, but to be prepared to take that innovative step forward in your own business.
As it stands now, we can strongly recommend that if your venture deals in collecting mass or metadata, if it relies upon accurate sensors from the wide periphery of the public-facing IoT cloud, if you find yourself spending countless hours sifting extraneous data, or are having issues delivering your end-users the results they want at the speed they expect, then — without a doubt — exploring the potential that edge computing offers may be just the solution you’re looking for, even if you weren’t even aware of the need beforehand. And if by chance that is the case, we’d love for you to reach out and share your success with us!
Remember, nothing in business is guaranteed, but the clever executive never overlooks potential solutions.
Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200