By 2022, the edge computing market will likely $13 billion worldwide, estimates Gartner. It is also expected that by 2025 nearly 75% of the data will be processed out of the cloud. At present, however, adoption of edge computing is limited as it is still in the nascent stages and businesses are evaluating the pros and cons of implementing this new technology.
Edge computing promises immense potential and is being considered as the next big thing in the IT world—something like the internet! However, the wide adoption of the technology is contingent to overcoming the challenges it faces today.
We take a look at some of the challenges—in random order—that edge computing is currently grappling with:
- Use cases: Businesses must correctly identify the functions they want performed at the edge and those in the cloud. This is critical as eventually, it will justify their return on investments.
- Cost: Edge computing devices that possess processing functions are costly. To operate the older versions that do not have such processing abilities, additional equipment is needed, which results in extra costs. Configuration, deployment, and maintenance of an edge computing framework is an equally expensive proposition.
- Data: Edge computing uses a subset of data for processing purposes, which means there’s a lot of raw data that gets ‘wasted’. This ‘waste’ may have some important data that was overlooked and could have provided additional insights. Therefore, businesses are challenged to segregate data in such a way that it is not only optimally categorized, but also improves efficiency and eliminates loss of critical data.
- Power: For multi-tenancy needs, businesses will need high-power processors to be able to provide their commercial customers with cloud-like remote services. To this end, businesses will need high-voltage, three phase electricity, which can be a difficult proposition, especially in remote areas.
- Security: Security is a burning topic surrounding edge computing. While the yay-sayers believe edge computing will localize security concerns, the nay-sayers argue that an increase in the number of data processing locations will proportionately increase the attack surface. In addition, standalone data processing equipment and devices risk becoming attack vectors.
Apart from cyber security, businesses will also need to physically protect their edge computing infrastructure from unauthorized access. However, in trying to make the infrastructure secure, it may not remain edge computing.
- Strategy: It may be remembered that edge computing requires multi-level changes across technology architectures and processes. It requires efficient management of both hardware and software during expansion and evolution through skilled resources. Therefore, businesses looking to deploy this technology must not only identify the correct use cases but also create a holistic strategy that covers all critical areas including devices, costs, security, scale, monitoring, and governance. Businesses must evaluate and select the solutions available on the market as per their individual business requirement.
Despite all the challenges, experts believe edge computing will transform the way humans live as a society. As more and more businesses adopt the technology, the challenges will be overcome, although it may take some time to reach that goal.
The article has been written by Neetu Katyal, Content and Marketing Consultant
She can be reached on LinkedIn.