As is so often the case, technological success can often result in unintended consequences that, left unremedied, could negate the benefits.
As my latest Industry Week column I looked at one of those issues — the explosion of real-time sensor data collected by the IoT — and the solution to the problem that adds many other benefits in the process, shifting at least part of the data processing from the cloud to the “edge” of the system, preferably at the point of collection.
As I pointed out, if the data must be moved to the cloud first for processing (no mean feat, BTW, because it can also overwhelm the transmission networks) and then back to the collection point for action, it negates the IoT’s major benefit, being able to collect and then act on data in near-real time, allowing precise regulation of things.
Of course edge processing adds additional costs for distributed processing hardware and software, and can add risk if the device is easily tampered with, but, overall, it seems to me the edge should not replace, but definitely supplement the cloud in robust IoT systems.
I based the column on a comprehensive, short-of-over-promotion report, Data at the Edge, created by an industry consortium, State of the Edge. It’s a quick read, and I recommend it!
Read it and let me know what you think.