Connectivity across operational platforms, communications and disparate devices is essential as increasing volumes of data are processed at the Edge. Gartner estimates that 75 per cent of data will soon be generated at the Edge suggesting that companies will need to invest in connectivity or they will fall behind the competition.
“Organisations now expect fast connections and instant access to cloud-based productivity tools anywhere and at any time,” said Ian Jeffs, UK ISG country manager at Lenovo. “This level of connectivity, availability and performance is expected across all applications. Some organisations, mainly larger ones, have understood this trend and invested in new infrastructure. But it’s not the case for all businesses as other priorities have taken precedence.”
With so much data now being stored at the Edge, this presents new challenges. There is growing demand for the processing power, storage and network to be closer to where data is generated, and for that analysis to take place more quickly.
A key example of this is in the retail space, Jeffs explained. “Businesses can use AI and edge computing to manage a store, surveillance, and theft protection. This tech can help retailers be more connected to customers, sending them bespoke and personalised offers. Manufacturers can also use these interconnected technologies to improve the quality of the production line, which saves them money and ensures that products are not sent out with defects.
“In recent years, we’ve seen a shift to hybrid working, which has increased the importance of interconnectivity. Many businesses and employees now want and expect to be able to deliver more video rich and immersive content. This has resulted in a need for increased data connections that provide faster speeds that are highly reliable.
“To successfully implement new technology such as the metaverse, businesses will need to be able to transmit more data. New efficient protocols will also need to be developed so that employees can access content rich solutions, without impacting bandwidth or connectivity.”
Interconnected technology is going to be at the forefront of tacking some of our greatest challenges. As data proliferation continues we will see innovations, empowered by AI with Edge computing, enabling even faster data processing, transforming our city streets, precision medicine and shopping markets. The IoT has already changed the way we live with connected homes and industrial machinery appliances, and this is accelerating.
“IoT will change the way businesses operate, boosting productivity, increasing smarter working and reducing costs for large scale system and information sharing,” Feffs believes. “As businesses look to leverage the capabilities of IoT, they will need to hire smart engineers and developers, and consider how their products and service offerings might fit in the connected IoT world.
“Data security is paramount and should always be the first consideration. Data is the new gold and it’s essential that businesses do not let their data get into the wrong hands. While fast, reliable and readily available connectivity is a must, the security of the data transported over these links is even more important.”