Edge technology, also known as the internet of things (IoT), has a myriad of applications. For instance, the edge could be equipment sensors with AI to predict equipment failure. The edge could be video equipment with AI to monitor supplies. Today the information-gathering process begins at the edge. It’s a new form of automated data capture and entry. This new form of capture is continuously recording as data is being generated. The data captured is of higher quality compared to people capturing it. As you develop your tech strategy, prepare for technologies at the edge to improve speed, cost, and quality.
Let’s look at some real-world applications where the edge is bringing value today.
An example of smart farming is “see & spray” technology. AI continuously evaluates streaming video to discern weeds from crops. When a weed is located, it’s immediately sprayed. On the retail front, Amazon’s Go store is a cashier-less store. The store uses cameras and sensors to monitor shoppers. Shoppers can go in, grab
edge computing infrastructure market by 2028
– CB Insights
something from the shelf and leave. Smart grids in the energy sector will help manage power and distribute it as needed. With the recent power outages in the south and west leveraging the edge could be very helpful. Finally, for anyone who lives in or near big cities, traffic is a constant. Smart cities provide an opportunity to do real-time traffic management.
How can the government leverage the edge? Government employees have more work than they have time to accomplish it. And data entry for many organizations
remains a huge time suck. Let’s focus on one example, machines. Machines like HVAC units, bullet traps, backup generators, and many more can leverage edge technology.
Today, government maintainers travel to a location, read a sensor, and document it. They may take this information back, log it in, and analyze it. This process of information gathering is arduous. Tomorrow, edge technology will use improved sensors to perform these tasks automatically. Digital sensors execute calculations and provide continuous status updates.
Maintainers also do maintenance and repair at the edge. Today, they visit machines based on a set frequency or because a machine broke. This is an inefficient and reactive model of machine maintenance. Tomorrow, streaming updates from the edge will predict wear and tear based on many inputs. If there’s an issue predicted, dispatching a maintainer now ensures maintenance occurs well before machine breakage.
Fiscally, the lifecycle cost of edge technology will be lower. Upfront there will be developer costs to set up and use edge technology. Over the lifecycle, there will be maintenance costs for the machine learning model. But these costs pale compared to the savings over the lifecycle. For instance, traveling is no
longer necessary for maintainers to read a sensor. Manual data entry into a system is also no longer necessary by maintainers. See the table for how our edge example compares between today and tomorrow:
Edge computing lets you document less and spend more time doing the things that need to be done. The organization benefits by pivoting from being reactive to proactive… reactive maintenance to preventative maintenance… reactive needs to preventative care… reactive responding to preventing crime. To prepare for edge technology, ask yourself a few questions. What technology choices am I making today to prepare my organization for edge computing? What steps do I need to take considering the increased volume, velocity, and variety of data from IoT devices? Which skills will my people need to harness the value of edge technologies? Investing in the edge is an opportunity to improve speed, cost, and quality. The return on that investment improves mission outcomes.
What is edge computing? learn more at: https://app.cbinsights.com/research/what-is-edge-computing/
Deputy, Chief Technology Officer
As Definitive Logic’s Deputy Chief Technology Officer, Jim helps government leaders optimize mission outcomes by leveraging technology, thought leadership, and change management techniques. Jim ensures excellence in the delivery of full life-cycle digital transformation activities, long-term technology strategy and vision planning, and innovation project portfolio management. Jim establishes standards and best practices delivering repeatable results. He has a track record of success implementing agile processes, sharing intellectual capital, and embracing change through continual process improvement. Finally, he provides thought leadership and technical expertise in support of key business development & marketing campaigns, vendor partnerships, and staff development. Jim has 26 years of experience as an expert problem solver, change manager, and data-driven divergent thinker.