Top Three Edge Computing Trends to Watch in 2021

You may have observed a cycle in the history of computing where it hops from becoming centralized to distributed and to becoming centralized again and so on. In the last decade, the centralized model in the form of cloud computing was a leading/dominant trend but with the exponential growth of edge computing market in recent times, it is safe to say that computing is circling back to a distributed model.

According to a market report on edge computing by Mordor Intelligence, Edge Computing reached a market value of USD 2281.8 million in 2020, and it is likely to reach a value of USD 10,971.54 million by 2026, registering a CAGR of 29.4% over the forecast period.

What is Edge Computing:

Connected devices generate massive volumes of data which is further utilized by organizations across all industries to make insight-driven business decisions and respond to dynamic work environments and customer engagements. Cloud Computing cannot solely handle such massive amounts of data. This is where edge computing comes in and offers plentiful advantages.

In plain words, edge computing enables data processing at a location closer to where data is created; this makes the devices faster by reducing data processing and receiving time, helps reduce latency and cuts costs related to data transmission. In Edge Computing, data processing happens at the edge of the network rather than in a centralized hub that implies that the devices at the edge of the network are required to have processing and storage capabilities.

We have shortlisted three trends that are making these benefits particularly attractive to enterprises right now and are accelerating edge computing.

Key Trends Driving the Edge Computing in 2021

COVID-19 drives innovation at the edge

The trends that will continue to enable the influx of the edge computing model are the increased use of consumer mobile devices, especially the consumption of video and virtual reality content, and the growth of sensors as part of the Internet of Things (IoT). Another example is that of a computer vision enabled by edge computing: “From social distancing to thermal imaging, safety device assurance and operational changes such as daily cleaning and sanitation activities, computer vision is an essential technology to accelerate solutions that turn raw IoT data (from video/cameras) into actionable insights,” says Jason Mann, vice president of IoT at SAS.

Enterprises to the edge - private 5G adoption increases

Many enterprises will likely take business to the edge in 2021 because serious applications are starting to materialize. Forrester notices a great potential in private 5G – a network dedicated to a specific businesses or infrastructures like warehouses, or factories and expects it to fuel edge computing in 2021. Factory robots and machine tools backed by the internet of things require local processing and low-latency networks and edge computing and 5G are deemed to serve these benefits respectively. 5G, which promises lower latency and enhanced coverage and responsiveness may further increase edge computing’s efficiency.

AI/ML will shift to edge computing

Edge computing is not expected to completely substitute the use of cloud resources, but enterprises will be putting more AI and machine learning capabilities as close as they can to endpoint devices to make sure these smart processes can work at the speed and reliability required. According to Forrester, "Edge application intelligence will blossom in 2021 to accelerate digital transformation, especially in industries that must bridge the physical and digital worlds in real time." As an alternative to machine learning models being trained in the data center, learning will take place at the edge as new power intensive and specialized hardware will be deployed on the edge. Edge computing is expected to increase operational reliability, enable real-time predictions, and improve data security.

The year 2021 will prove to be the real inflection for edge computing. After 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic companies will put the focus on serverless solutions, performance and security.


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