5 Key Benefits of Edge Computing for Your Business in 2024

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Edge computing offers numerous benefits to businesses that want to operate more efficiently and remain competitive in today’s digital world.

Edge computing involves processing data near where it’s generated on the network rather than in centralized data centers. This decreases latency, boosts efficiency, and facilitates real-time processing of a variety of applications.

So, what benefits can edge computing bring to your business?

Key Takeaways

  • Edge computing offers numerous benefits to businesses that want to operate more efficiently and remain competitive.
  • Edge computing improves data processing and analysis.
  • The reduced latency of edge computing lets companies in critical industries, such as healthcare, make decisions much more quickly.
  • Another benefit of edge computing is enhanced security and reduced risk.
  • Edge computing enables companies to use network resources more efficiently, reducing congestion and lowering networking costs.

Examples of Edge Computing

Businesses are increasingly leveraging data to improve operations and enhance customer experience, says Ally Adnan, cyber advanced connectivity leader at Deloitte.

“As many sectors, such as retail, have decentralized in-store operations, data-driven and AI-powered decisions can become more efficient and effective when processed at the network edge,” he says. “This is where edge computing adds business value. It improves operations and enhances customer experience by enabling use cases that require intensive data processing.”

Some edge computing examples include:

Autonomous Vehicles

Edge computing enables autonomous vehicles to process sensor data in real time to make quick decisions, such as interpreting traffic signals, detecting obstacles, and navigating routes.

In addition, edge computing, combined with edge processing, allows autonomous vehicles to make split-second decisions by analyzing sensor data in real-time directly on board the vehicle, enhancing safety and efficiency on the road.

Healthcare

In healthcare, edge computing can support remote patient monitoring, real-time analysis of medical data, and the operation of medical devices, improving patient care and operational efficiency.

Take Sonde Health, for example, which has developed vocal biomarker technology that can screen for respiratory and mental health conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, anxiety, and depression, using just 30 seconds of speech.

“Edge computing is critical to our ability to deliver this vocal health monitoring technology, which we do through [application programming interfaces] and [software development kits] integrated into third-party apps and devices,” says Yogendra Jain, chief technology officer at Sonde Health Inc.

Edge computing lets Sonde Health perform vocal analysis directly on the devices themselves, whether they’re smartphones, smart speakers, headphones, wearables, or even hearing aids, he says.

Retail
Edge computing lets retailers analyze customer data in real time so they can personalize marketing messages, manage their inventory better, and improve the overall shopping experience.

Five Benefits of Edge Computing for Your Business

So, what are the benefits of edge computing? The key advantages of edge computing include:

1. Improving Data Processing, Analysis

Edge computing provides numerous benefits for businesses, including improving the performance of processing and analyzing data, says Brandon Leiker, principal solutions architect, security at 11:11 Systems, a managed infrastructure solutions provider.

“Data doesn’t have to be transmitted to and from an organization’s data center [for companies] to perform those functions,” he says. “[Edge compute] reduces how far that data needs to travel and eliminates potential bottlenecks between the endpoints and resources within the data center.”

Additionally, edge computing distributes data processing and reduces single points of failure, according to Leiker. As such, communication with the data center and the availability of the systems within it don’t always have to be available to process data.

“Data that is necessary to be maintained in the data center can be transmitted to the systems in the data center when they are available again,” he adds. “If an edge device fails, the impact is limited to only that device, and all other edge devices continue to function.”

2. Driving Timely Decisions

“Since data generated at the edge can lose value quickly, the ability to process and analyze data at the edge leads to more agility and responsiveness,” says Saurabh Mishra, global director of IoT product management at data and AI provider SAS. “Edge computing transforms time-sensitive IoT sensor data into insights that improve worker safety, optimize performance, and boost quality.”

Nigel Gibbons, director and partner at security consultancy NCC Group, says that the reduced latency of edge computing lets companies in critical industries, such as healthcare, make decisions much more quickly.

And Aviad Almagor, vice president of technology Innovation at technology company Trimble Inc., says that his company’s customers depend on edge computing to help them make better, more timely decisions.

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“Our customers span some of the world’s most critical industries from construction to agriculture to transportation,” he says. “Many of them work in remote, outdoor locations where immediate access to information is essential for continuous operation and adjusting to changing conditions instantaneously.

“By enabling real-time data processing closer to where the data is generated, edge computing enhances decision making, operational efficiency, and safety.”

3. Enhancing Security

An additional benefit of edge computing is enhanced security and reduced risk, Leiker says. This is a result of keeping the data closer to its origin versus being required to transmit and store as much potentially sensitive data in the data center.

“The less data being transmitted and stored in the data center, the less data an organization is responsible for protecting in transit and at rest,” he says. “This also results in lower operational costs for organizations related to the necessary bandwidth required to transmit data to and from the data center.”

Gibbons says processing and storing data locally improves security by minimizing data transmission to central servers, which reduces the risk that data will be intercepted and helps ensure ensure companies are in compliance with data privacy laws, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

4. Reducing Costs

Edge computing helps companies reduce costs by minimizing the need for data to move back and forth between devices and centralized servers, thereby reducing bandwidth use and the associated expenses. Additionally, edge computing enables companies to use network resources more efficiently, which decreases congestion and lowers networking costs.

“Edge computing helps businesses reduce cloud-computing costs for data transport and storage,” says Mishra. “Because of its local processing, only a fraction of the data has to be sent to the cloud.”

Yogendra Jain says that edge computing lets Sonde Health reduce latency and deliver results faster – in a matter of seconds – since the results are generated in real-time on the device, which means they don’t have to wait for the server to process the information.

“The cost is lower too, without the need for backend servers and cloud computing resources,” he adds.

“Overall, edge computing allows us to deliver voice-based health screening in a faster, more secure, more accessible way while reaching broad populations, particularly those in areas with limited (or pricey) Internet connectivity.”

5. Increasing Reliability

Edge computing enables applications to be more reliable by reducing their dependence on centralized data centers and internet connectivity. And even if the connection to the cloud is lost, edge devices are still able to operate.

“By decentralizing our data processing, we avoid the risk of a single point of failure,” says Tony Mariotti, CEO of RubyHome, which specializes in luxury real estate.

“If one node experiences issues, the system as a whole continues to operate smoothly. This ensures that our service is always available to our clients, which is crucial in the fast-paced real estate market.”

Mishra says that edge computing can improve reliability by allowing businesses “to avoid extra hops in their architectures, leading to simpler, more robust applications.”

How Companies Can Use Edge as a Service to Operate More Efficiently

Edge as a service (EaaS) is a cloud-computing model that reduces latency by moving computing closer to where it’s needed, crucial for real-time tasks, such as IoT and gaming. This also improves performance, even in places with slow internet. EaaS lets companies adjust resources as needed without having to purchase and manage their own edge hardware thanks to its pay-as-you-go model.

EaaS enhances security and supports new technologies, such as artificial intelligence. Overall, EaaS helps businesses operate more efficiently and remain competitive.

Companies can use edge as a service as a managed platform to deploy and operate edge computing capabilities without needing to build and maintain the entire infrastructure themselves, according to Gibbons. He says:

“An EaaS model can significantly enhance operational efficiency and cybersecurity posture while capitalizing on the agility and scalability provided by edge computing.”

Almagor concurs saying that EaaS offers a flexible, efficient, and scalable way for businesses to deploy applications more quickly as well as manage their operations, particularly when real-time response and data security are key.

The lack of standard tooling, such as that available in the cloud, has been one of the biggest challenges to adopting edge computing, says Mishra.

Edge as a service can overcome this challenge by providing an experience that’s similar to that of cloud computing.

“Edge as a service leads to improved productivity and faster adoption for edge capabilities,” he says. “And it delivers substantial business benefits as organizations quickly experiment and implement applications and approaches that drive efficiency.”

For example, a manufacturer can use edge as a service to more quickly deploy predictive maintenance applications, which can significantly improve the uptime of its equipment, leading to improved operations and bottom-line results, according to Mishra.

Integrating Edge Computing Into Business Operations

When companies integrate edge computing into business operations, Gibbons says that it’s important to:

How to Integrate Edge Computing Into Your Business

  • Conduct a Thorough Needs Assessment: You should first identify the specific business needs and challenges that edge computing can address and ensure that they align with your business’s overall strategies.
  • Plan for a Smooth Integration: You have to ensure that the edge solution integrates smoothly with your existing IT infrastructure and workflows. That way, you can maximize the benefits of edge computing while minimizing the disruption of the integration.
  • Assess and Address Specific Risks: Because each edge node introduces new surfaces and potential vulnerabilities, you need to implement the right security measures to address these risks.
  • Implement Robust Encryption: Given the increased number of access points, it’s critical that you encrypt data-in-transit and data-at-rest.
  • Perform Regular Updates and Maintenance: Be sure you update and maintain your systems regularly to protect against the latest threats and ensure all your edge devices are secure.
  • Choose the Right EaaS Provider: Select a provider that not only offers you the technological capabilities you need but also aligns with your industry’s specific security and compliance requirements.

The Bottom Line

Judging from the comments of these experts, it’s clear that implementing edge computing can truly transform the way your business operates. By bringing data processing closer to the action, you’re not just streamlining operations but also unlocking a world of possibilities.

From making split-second decisions to delivering personalized experiences, the advantages of edge computing are game-changing. So, as you look to the future, remember that adopting edge computing isn’t just about staying ahead – it’s about reevaluating what’s possible for your business. And with edge computing, the possibilities are virtually endless.

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Linda Rosencrance
Technology journalist
Linda Rosencrance
Technology journalist

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer and editor based in the Boston area, with expertise ranging from AI and machine learning to cybersecurity and DevOps. She has been covering IT topics since 1999 as an investigative reporter working for several newspapers in the Boston metro area. Before joining Techopedia in 2022, her articles have appeared in TechTarget, MSDynamicsworld.com, TechBeacon, IoT World Today, Computerworld, CIO magazine, and many other publications. She also writes white papers, case studies, ebooks, and blog posts for many corporate clients, interviewing key players, including CIOs, CISOs, and other C-suite execs.