In a recent note on edge computing, consultancy firm, Bain & Company said that the shift to remote work, which was accelerated by the global pandemic, would bring forward the use of edge computing by enterprises. Edge computing, which is a distributed computing framework enabling enterprise applications to get closer to data sources, comes with immense benefits for businesses, including quicker insights, better response times and improved bandwidth availability. The shift in traffic patterns has exposed how weak our network infrastructure is and highlighted the importance of investing in technology to reduce bottlenecks. In order to make that commitment, business leaders have to understand how they can benefit from edge computing. Let’s look at some use cases.
Edge computing has become really popular in sectors where there are huge costs incurred when high-value assets go down. For instance, in oil and gas, disruptions to supply chains can have an immense impact not only on the industries themselves, but on entire economies. The industry has responded by coupling edge data and analytics expertise to its digitized pipelines, allowing the industry to predictively carry out maintenance sessions on its pipelines, deal with defects and prevent failures.
Edge computing has dramatically reduced feedback times, so that reports can be delivered in seconds, where they once took weeks. This has benefits to a broader constituency than the oil and gas industry. For example, pipelines issues related to drilling rigs, can have tragic environmental costs. Long-term corrosion can have environmental consequences.
Field data taken from cameras, as well as historical data, allows edge computing based systems to warn operators of impending failures.
Supporting Remote Workers
Remote work has distributed teams across geographies, often at a global scale. Edge computing has come in to make this transition to remote work. Remote work is one of the most visible success stories for remote work. Companies initially resisted remote work, partly because of fears that it would cause issues with regard to access to data and corporate systems and worries that there would be a decline in productivity. Edge computing has allowed companies to shift to remote work, while also increasing productivity and improving resiliency.
Companies have been in a process of re-evaluating their initial hostility and many have found that because of edge computing, their fears have proved unfounded. Edge computing is not part of network architecture, and has been used to support the distributed teams that have emerged as a result of the global pandemic. It has been able to leverage the plethora of devices and sensors that exist on the edge of networks, to improve deliverables.
Edge computing comes with unbeatable advantages when it comes to supporting distributed teams, such as driving down the amount of data that has to circulate throughout the network, raising the flexibility and density of computing solutions, reducing the latency of data, and tackling the regulatory demands regarding data’s geolocation.
With the rise of telehealth, for instance, elderly home care can be supported with distributed teams, reducing the health risks from in-person care. The applications of edge computing are truly immense.