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Back to Blog To Succeed In The Digital Age, You Need To Work At The Edge

In 2010, the IoT device ratio to person globally was 1.84. By 2020 it will be up to 10 web-connected devices per every person. In short, and in the digital age, people have moved beyond the cloud to the edge.

What do I mean when I talk about moving beyond the cloud and being at the edge? Simply, it means using data at the point of capture as opposed to pushing it through to the cloud – which is what most IoT devices are doing today using virtually no on-device capabilities.

Data Beyond The Cloud

Digital transformation and the cloud – be it a public or private cloud or for that matter even on the ground, are synonymous one with the other. Unfortunately, this ubiquity in perception can itself become an obstacle to digital transformation.

Besides concerns regarding data security, cloud infrastructure costs, and wastefulness tied to bandwidth limitations and the absence of measurable returns – which has in certain instances led to the repatriation of workloads from the cloud to on-premise platforms; the fact is that moving from the cloud to work on the edge is where you need to be. Specifically, leveraging the data at the collection point at the IoT device level provides your organization with real-time agility to advance the business by being able to respond to important insights and events where and when they happen. Or to put it another way, processing, analyzing and realizing occurs best at the point of data capture versus automatically and arbitrarily pushing data back to the cloud.

A Holistic Digital Strategy

As you read the above, I want to be clear that I am not suggesting wholesale cloud abdication. What I am saying is that we need to take a more holistic approach to develop a digital transformation strategy basing the infrastructure on the following:

1.     Effectively leveraging the cloud where it is most beneficial from the standpoint of cost, security management, and timely accessibility based on situational capacity and requirements;

2.     Optimization of the opportunities that point of capture or IoT devices provide, i.e., collect and reapply data intelligence at the edge;

3.     Creating a digital foundation from the edge to the cloud versus from the cloud to the edge.

According to IDC’s Global IoT Decision-Maker Survey, 43% of IoT decision makers want to build on edge computing.

Given the proliferation of IoT devices, and the fact that the forecasts predict that by the end of 2022 the global edge computing market will be worth US $13.3 billion, isn’t it time that you start to develop your strategy to work more on “the edge?”

Join my team and me at Activate Digital 2019 to gain additional insight into the benefits of working beyond the cloud at the edge and how it will enable you to achieve your business objectives faster and on a more cost-effective basis.

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