The sixth Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020 – empowered edge – is one of the most important to understand. Gartner defines edge computing as a topology where information processing and content collection and delivery are placed closer to the sources of the information, with the idea that keeping traffic local and distributed will reduce latency. This includes all the technology on the Internet of Things (IoT). Empowered edge looks at how these devices are increasing and forming the foundations for smart spaces, and moves key applications and services closer to the people and devices that use them.
According to Gartner, IoT systems must deliver disconnected or distributed capabilities into the embedded IoT world for certain industries, including manufacturing or retail. But as edge computing becomes more advanced, it will become present in nearly all industries.
A transformation of edge-oriented IoT architectures is on the horizon, but according to Gartner, modern-day edge architectures have a hierarchical structure, “with information flowing through well-defined layers of endpoints to the near edge, sometimes the far edge and, eventually, centralized cloud and enterprise systems.” Eventually, the layers become less defined, “consisting of a wide range of ‘things’ and services connected in a dynamic flexible mesh linked by a set of distributed cloud services.”
So what are some of the other things we will see in edge computing?
The distributed cloud will evolve to the point where it can provide a common set of services that can be centrally managed but executed in the edge environment.
Mesh architectures will make IoT systems more flexible, intelligent and responsive, but perhaps more complex. Mesh standards are fairly new, and will have a profound effect on product development, and cloud and edge design skills.
Furthermore, mesh architecture will gain popularity as it advances, adding complexity to IoT systems and certain tasks (designing, testing, etc.). Gartner also adds that the mesh calls for more peer-to-peer activities, “which will involve partners and ecosystems stretching beyond individual products.”
Through the year 2028, Gartner expects to see a rise in the embedding of sensor, storage, compute and advanced AI capabilities in edge devices. But the wide-ranging aspects of the edge (from mobile phones to autonomous cars) will create some challenges, as the broad spectrum of edge devices used in different scenarios vary in life span (one year to 40 years).
Gartner says that intelligence will make its way to the edge across a wide range of endpoint devices, including simple embedded edge devices (appliances, industrial devices), edge input/output devices (speakers, screens), edge computing devices (smartphones, PCs), and complex embedded edge devices (automobiles, power generators).
Make sure your business is on the empowered edge. Get in front of technological advances by understanding how to keep traffic local, and making full use of the capabilities of the edge.
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