Finding True Value at the Edge

You’d have to be living in a cave not to have heard the quote “data is the new oil” over the past twelve months or more and yes, there’s no denying that we do live in a data-centric age that’s overflowing with analytics yet to be made use of.

Matthias Rose, Chief Technology of Manufacturing, and IoT at Hewlett Packard Enterprise explains that “96% of all data captured is unused”. That’s an awful lot of data to go to waste and, in terms of the metaphor, is one heck of an oil spill.

When it comes to most sectors of industry, making decisions on the fly can be crucial to the smooth running of operations; ensuring that quality control hits the mark every time and delivers the very best to customers day in, day out.

Certainly, where safety is an issue, in autonomous vehicles for example, the cloud just isn’t fast enough to deliver those millisecond responses that could make the difference between life and death and that’s where a new hero steps in save the day – namely the Edge.

What I’ve discovered this year is just how powerful and prevalent the Edge has become. It’s no longer just a side-kick to the cloud, it’s become a celebrity in its own right and deservedly so.

Tom Bradicich, Vice president and general manager of servers and IoT systems at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, describes the Edge as being “where the action is. It’s a crop field, a wind farm, a power plant, an oil rig, a telecommunications outpost, a sports arena, a battlefield, in your car, in the sky, or under the sea. It’s everywhere everything is, and it’s where the “things” are in the Internet of Things (IoT).” 

With this in mind, it’s clear to see why the Edge has had its term upgraded to ‘Intelligent Edge’, due, in no small part, to its ability to reveal deep insights surrounding connected ‘things’ and their surrounding environments.

The near real-time speed and lack of latency is just one of the Edge’s ‘cape-worth’ superpowers. Its benefits stretch far beyond that to deliver true value across the entire Industry 4.0 stratosphere. Reduced bandwidth, improved security and continual reliability are just some of the reasons all sectors of industry are singing its praises and there’s no doubt that its potential is finally being fully embraced.

My husband, Dr Dean Anthony Gratton, often asks the question “with data, if we know the past and understand the present, can we predict the future?” With Edge technology’s ongoing evolution, for me the answer is a resounding YES! It’s ability to monitor behavioural and consumption patterns allows it to grow and develop increasingly diverse data sets, which give the Edge the intelligence needed to make the predictions that matter.

Originally published in @grattongirl

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