E-Handbook:

What the union of IoT and edge computing means for IT pros

BACKGROUND IMAGE: ikonacolor/iStock

Edge computing in IoT affects, but doesn't replace, cloud

Look out, cloud computing. A new trend is rolling into town.

Cloud computing may have revolutionized the enterprise, offering organizations a cheaper and more flexible, scalable and efficient way to process and store data than doing everything on premises. But as IoT applications become more prevalent in industries across the globe, enterprises are finding shortcomings in the cloud; it isn't the answer to all their computing woes. Plus, it's not allowing IoT projects to live up to their full potential, especially when it comes to real-time analytics, monitoring and management.

That’s why IoT and edge computing are joining forces.

It's exactly what it sounds like: computing at the edge. The processing and analyzing of data collected from IoT devices can be done at or near the source, rather than sending it to the cloud. And, according to MarketsandMarkets, the edge computing market will grow to $6.72 billion by 2022, up from $1.47 billion in 2017.

But don't worry, cloud. You aren't being replaced by edge. While time-sensitive analytics will be done at the IoT edge, the more resource-intensive processing will still be sent to the cloud. And the cloud will be where edge devices send exceptions and summaries for storage or further processing. Additionally, the cloud will be responsible for digesting IoT data and building machine learning models, which will then be sent down the edge to put into action.

There's much to explore in this new development combining IoT and edge computing -- its potential benefits, for a start. And consider how IoT edge systems ease the analytical burden, not to mention how using IoT and edge computing together actually works. Just when you thought IoT couldn't get more exciting.