The growth of edge computing is about to take a huge leap. Right now, companies are generating about 10% of their data outside a traditional data center or cloud. But within the next six years, that will increase to 75%, according to Gartner.
That’s largely down to the need to process data emanating from devices, such as Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. Early adopters include:
- Manufacturers: Devices and sensors seem endemic to this industry, so it’s no surprise to see the need to find faster processing methods for the data produced. A recent Automation World survey found that 43% of manufacturers have deployed edge projects. Most popular use cases have included production/manufacturing data analysis and equipment data analytics.
- Retailers: Like most industries deeply affected by the need to digitize operations, retailers are being forced to innovate their customer experiences. To that end, these organizations are “investing aggressively in compute power located closer to the buyer,” writes Dave Johnson, executive vice president of the IT division at Schneider Electric. He cites examples such as augmented-reality mirrors in fitting rooms that offer different clothing options without the consumer having to try on the items, and beacon-based heat maps that show in-store traffic.
- Healthcare organizations: As healthcare costs continue to escalate, this industry is ripe for innovation that improves productivity and cost efficiencies. Management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. has identified at least 11 healthcare use cases that benefit patients, the facility, or both. Two examples: tracking mobile medical devices for nursing efficiency as well as optimization of equipment, and wearable devices that track user exercise and offer wellness advice.
While these are strong use cases, as the edge computing market grows, so too will the number of industries adopting it.