All of the pieces needed to realize these visions appear to be falling into place. Computation is cheap, powerful, and small. Sensors are ubiquitous. Networks are becoming faster and more specialized. Artificial intelligence (AI) has moved beyond hype into broad application, powered by specialized semiconductors.
As these components mature and converge, another big shift in technology is underway. The intelligent edge combines computing power, AI technology, data analytics, and advanced connectivity to quickly act on data much closer to where it is captured. Cloud capabilities—led by hyperscale cloud companies, IT companies, and telecoms—are expanding from data centers out to the edge of networks where more use cases benefit from rapid and intelligent responses to incoming data.
And the edge is becoming central, as businesses across all industries face ever-greater amounts of data, more complex operations, and more dynamic markets. Whether from customers, products, or embedded sensors, real-time data places more demands on businesses to be sensing and responsive. The ability to leverage data quickly and effectively can drive operational efficiencies and competitive advantages. Hyperscalers, IT companies, and connectivity providers are moving to meet business needs with edge computing and intelligence.
Businesses can enable greater efficiencies and valuable new use cases by leveraging the key capabilities of the intelligent edge:1
Reducing the distance between where data is captured and processed not only alleviates internet traffic and associated transit costs—it can improve latency, bandwidth utilization, and infrastructure costs. The intelligent edge can also deliver greater visibility into network conditions and an awareness of the operating environment. If connectivity to the core is lost, or if wide area networks (WANs) are unreliable, edge operations can continue and then reconnect when resources are available, without losing data consistency.