Internet of things growth has been phenomenal in the last few years. From smart home devices to industrial automation, IOT has marked its footprint in all market segments. IOT products and application have found their presence in healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, retail, and consumer electronics. One of the most significant growth segments for IOT has been in enterprise and Industrial IOT. Gartner estimates the Internet of things market will grow to 5.8 billion endpoints by 2020.
Different factors are driving the expansion and adoption of the Internet of things. Edge computing is one key technology that is driving the adoption of IOT. IOT as we know if the build of millions of “things” sensors which is accruing all kinds of data – environmental data, traffic status, power information, every second. The data is immediately sent to the cloud for data storage, data processing, data analysis. Once meaningful information is derived from the data, an event is triggered if deemed necessary. Like for example if the traffic data is indicating overcrowded routes, then the data is to send information to divert the traffic through an alternate route. However, the question is, do we have to carry all the data to the cloud for processing. The data can remain closer to the edge of the storage, processing, and analytical capabilities are brought closer to the things. This is the definition of edge computing.
As the IOT grows, there is a rising need to move the data computation closer to the things. There are several benefits of moving the data closer to the edge and the prominent one being the ability to drive Realtime action. IOT data cannot be used for operational efficiency and improve ROI if the actions are not operated at the right time. By moving the data closer to the edge devices, the latency involved in running the data around is reduced, and instant actions can be driven. Edge computing also can help to bring down the workload on the cloud and significantly improve the network throughput.
Edge computing is shifting the focus from the cloud and making the things powerful. Edge computing also means data processing can be brought closer to the IOT devices. This process involves not all data has to be sent to the cloud, which can also help in bringing down the cost of the IOT implementation.
There is an increased interest among enterprises to adopt edge computing. This interest has fueled the growth of the IOT market. Global Edge computing is expected to reach a market size of $28.84 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 54% as per the report from Grand View Research Inc. This data means there is continued interest in the enterprise to move to edge computing.
One of the proof points of edge computing growth is the adoption of the technology by the big players in IOT This big company’s interest in the edge is further driving its growth. Most of the companies have new products, services, solutions customized for edge computing. Microsoft Azure, Amazon, Cisco, Intel, SAP, IBM, GE AMD, Nvidia all these players have either solutions or products for edge computing.
As IOT and edge computing grow, it’s just not the data storage or data processing at the edge, data analytics, ML, and AI are also brought closer to the edge. Each of the big players in the IOT market is offering custom solutions for edge market, like IBM providing Watson AI for the edge. Google has launched a cloud IOT edge and Tensor processing unit for the edge. This launch accelerates, bringing ML AI to edge computing. These high performing and compelling application customized for an edge are expected to anchor the edge adoption further. It is just not software application some the top hardware companies are providing computing devices for the edge, which is high computing and power-optimized.
Edge computing growth is also propelled by new technology and new application and market segment. This process addresses some of the issues that were present earlier, which made cloud adoption as the logical architecture before. One example is network requirements for these edge devices. Edge devices always were low power consumption and low bandwidth low-speed network. This network required to send the data to the cloud. However, with 5G edge computing got its boost. 5G offered the reliable, efficient, high speed, low power network, which is the backbone requirements for edge computing. 5G is making edge computing adoption easier and compelling.
Similarly, another factor driving the growth of edge computing in the Internet of things is the growth of the smart city. Smart city initiatives are growing across the globe. Smart city projects encapsulate a whole lot of IOT projects like smart building, smart streets and traffic management, and smart homes. Edge computing boosts these IOT projects deployment.