Applications of Edge Computing in the Business Landscape
While cloud computing was once a novel concept that was largely limited to the most accomplished IT professionals and business corporations, the rise of digital communication in the past 20 years has made cloud storage far more accessible to the general public. This being the case, the limitations of cloud computing have led many to seek an alternative, and many have found such an alternative through the use of edge computing. To this point, the benefits of edge computing, including improved response and latency times across applications and devices, among other things, have led many businesses to look to edge computing solutions as opposed to cloud computing systems. With all this being said, four common applications of edge computing amidst our current business environment include healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and transportation.
Due to the huge amounts of personal information that healthcare providers collect from their respective patients, edge computing is currently being used in the healthcare industry in a host of different ways. For example, edge computing can be used to help doctors identify problematic data in conjunction with machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence, allowing these healthcare professionals to identify which of their patients need immediate care and attention in a faster and more efficient manner. Alternatively, edge computing can also be utilized in medical monitoring systems, as the technology allows healthcare providers to respond to events in real time instead of having to rely on a cloud service provider to act.
On the other end of the spectrum, another common application of edge computing in the business world today is in the realm of retail business. Much like the healthcare industry, businesses that are operating within the retail industry will also be collecting large amounts of personal data pertaining to their customers, with the goal of increasing profits and revenue. To this end, retail businesses can use edge computing to analyze these huge amounts of data in a more cost-effective fashion. In turn, these retail businesses can then leverage their data to make more accurate sales predictions, optimize their vendor orders, and conduct targeted marketing and advertising campaigns, as well as engage in many other similar business opportunities.
Likewise, a third way in which businesses around the world are currently utilizing edge computing technologies is in the field of manufacturing. As the entire point of manufacturing is to create functional and relevant products and services, edge computing can be combined with AI and machine learning models to aid manufacturing businesses in improving the overall quality of their wide array of products, as well as detect any errors that may occur during the overall manufacturing process. On top of this, edge computing can also help manufacturers make more macro decisions, such as identifying which components will work best with a particular product, giving these professionals the ability to make more informed business decisions.
Finally, a fourth major application of edge computing in our current business landscape is in transportation. Subsequently, while many people do not think about data collection as it pertains to automobiles, the advent of autonomous vehicles, as well as less-traditional forms of transportation such as electric cars, have led many car manufacturers to collect data that can help them develop and implement the various features these vehicles need to adequately function. To illustrate this point further, while the slow response times that are often associated with cloud computing systems may be an inconvenience when it comes to online communication, an autonomous vehicle that fails to respond in time could place the lives of innocent citizens at risk, as the speed at which edge computing can process and transfer information can be a life safer.
In spite of the enormous costs that can sometimes be associated with edge computing solutions, this technology has proven to have a litany of benefits, especially as it concerns certain business applications. From reduced latency and bandwidth to the general level of flexibility that edge computing offers business organizations and everyday consumers alike, there are a number of advantages that come with using this technology. For these reasons, software developers and venture capitalists will continue to uncover new ways in which edge computing can be used to create new applications and products, in addition to those that are already prominent in our current world.