5G has been on the horizon for some time now, and many organizations have been experimenting and exploring various applications that can revolutionize the consumer experience.
This article does not argue if 5G will have an exponential boom on related apps, but rather it focuses on what the impact will be for application development when it happens. Companies must be prepared and stay on track with the patterns, processes, and engineering practices needed to handle applications expansion at scale.
Edge computing is a distributed computing paradigm that brings computation and data storage closer to the sources of data. Consumers using mobile edge devices, such as connected cars or static edge applications, like smart aisles in a retail shop, generate a huge amount of data.
With a traditional architecture, we would collect all this data, package it and send it back to the centralized application (or even distribute it to local data centers) for processing, which causes delays. When a user decision leading to action happens in a split of a second, the computing cannot happen at a centralized location. This is where edge computing comes to the rescue, empowering devices to process critical data on the edge while sending the rest of the data to the central applications.
Data Science and Mobile apps waited on the fence for many years and decades when suddenly, the market forces and technological advancements accelerated the adoption. Next in line are Edge Computing and Crypto, which will probably be followed by Quantum. The biggest boost that Edge computing will get will be through 5G, with an exponential rise in innovative applications that will exploit Edge computing.
5G networks are not only about speed. Along with Multi Edge Computing (MEC), 5G will transform the world, with an increasing number of connected devices that can communicate and make decisions autonomously.
As computing technologies have evolved, the application architecture has also followed through, and applications have become richer in providing an enhanced digital experience to consumers. The picture below shows a macro-level view of how evolution has happened in the last few decades.
Cloud computing has powered application developers to create apps that led to a boom in applications suited for web and mobile form factors. With support from cloud providers and open-source communities, the engineering tools required for such application developments have matured.
Applications developers have leveraged technologies such as containerization, architecture patterns like MSA, and cloud services such as MSK to develop highly distributed reactive applications to cater to consumers around the world.
Edge computing provides unparalleled opportunities to solve next-generation applications. However, a few questions still need answering:
– How do we manage these environments?
– How to deploy the right workloads in a highly distributive setup?
– How do you provide ubiquitous experience to consumers across the world?
– What are the management techniques that would be required to administer such a massive scale?
– How to build applications that can cater to different form factors and operating systems?
– It took a while before organizations and consumers started to feel comfortable with data on the cloud. Edge computing takes it to next level, how will security and adherence to guidelines from frameworks such as GDPR be handled?
At Brillio we have been helping our clients in answering these questions. Our clients in the Healthcare industry are leveraging some of these apps for clinical trials and floor safety. These apps generate data using IoT devices generate a huge amount of data which is processed on the edge, as well as on the hybrid cloud.
One manufacturing client has been leveraging edge computing for floor safety. For companies that are using massive machines, employee safety is paramount. We have created an ecosystem of video analytics and sensors to preempt and prevent accidents. There are many applications that we are working on for our clients in the retail, telco, energy, and logistics sectors.
Along with cloud providers, application developers have jointly worked as a community to handle and mature some of these engineering practices that have made consumers comfortable. Now, it’s time to extend the partnership with network providers to take engineering practices to the next level and provide the backbone for connected devices.
Head of Technology & Consulting, PPE, Brillio
Global experience in leading digital strategy, building high-performance global teams and building cutting-edge solutions. Has collaborated with C-suite decision-makers to define and execute their digital business transformation charter, both in developed and emerging markets. In his, over 23 years of experience, he has led engagements which include Digital Business Transformation, IT Modernization, Cloud and Marketing Transformation. His technical background includes experience in designing, developing, enhancing, and integrating high volume external and internal facing marketing, experience, e-commerce systems, travel and hospitality systems, online banking, insurance systems, and education applications.
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