How edge computing and 5G allow you to make real-time, data-based decisions
Faster response times help you increase productivity, mitigate risks, and lower IT operational costs

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Information is the life blood of every business. You could be leveraging this data to improve your sales, increase your performance, and reduce your costs. But even if you store all your data in the cloud, that information held in a faraway data center may not allow you to make real-time decisions that can help in your day-to-day processes.

The issue is latency – and it can be very costly.

Latency and data gravity

5G and edge computing complement each other in solving slow response times. Organizations may be unaware of just how much traffic runs on their networks. Consider all the data coming from various IoT devices, multiplied by the analytics, performance, and artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) applications working to bring value. This can lead to transmission delays if bandwidth requirements exceed capacity.

Lacking visibility into your application performance can force reactive decision making. If your business is leveraging Wi-Fi, multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), or public internet as your wide area network (WAN) architecture, you’re not moving fast enough.

Living on the edge

Latency can be prevented when data processing and storage occur at or near edge devices, internet of things (IoT) devices, and mobile endpoints. Edge/multi-access edge computing (MEC) moves computing services from the data center/cloud closer to where the work is being done, which allows for local processing – and enables you to provide field employees with actionable intelligence.

Near instantaneous response times for critical workloads can’t be achieved with 50+ millisecond access times, but they are possible with edge computing. For environments that require an immediate response to their input, connectivity to a data center can be too slow.

Using data on the edge allows your organization to:

  • Analyze, learn, and predict from time-series data
  • Improve IT visibility – and in turn, efficiencies – by managing production environments live
  • Increase monitoring capabilities by adding intelligence at edge locations to help identify possible failures
  • Enhance performance at the edge and drive greater value by mining newly collected data points
  • Save time and money by aggregating and reducing data at its source – keeping and sending only the important data

Now is the time for 5G

5G is the next evolution of cellular technology that transforms inexpensive broadband internet into an enterprise-grade, secure WAN. A slow wireless connection diminishes the processing speed from edge computing. Organizations that need to make rapid decisions on data or require a large amount of data on-site need reliable connectivity for devices and users that covers campus, factory, or city-wide deployments. 5G also provides an added layer of security for locally processed data because IoT devices are SIM-based rather than password protected.

5G, edge computing, and data intelligence at work

There are several use cases in which an industry would benefit from increased processing speeds and connectivity, including:

  • More efficient management of industry resources
  • Remote monitoring of patient health and wellness
  • Transformation of transportation with connected and autonomous vehicles
  • Increased profitability in farming and healthier crops by remote monitoring
  • Enabling smart technologies to improve user experience and efficiency in homes, buildings, and entire cities

For example, manufacturing companies need end-to-end visibility into production conditions to improve predictability and responsiveness. A 5G, ultra-wideband, edge computing solution powering AI and augmented reality (AR) technologies improves supply chain efficiencies by providing end-to-end, near real-time logistic controls. By coupling this technology with a data intelligence program, manufacturers can predict needed maintenance and infrastructure breakdowns to avoid unscheduled downtime on their factory floors. They can also track inventory, manage supply chain operations, and align production and delivery schedules.

And that’s just the beginning. Future-facing organizations enjoy improved labor efficiency, reduced turnaround times for trucks and pallets, and automated ordering and delivery. Safety can also be enhanced, with technology to identify bad actors attempting to access networks or facilities.

Putting all the pieces together

SHI can help in all these areas. We have a long history of assisting our customers on their technology journeys, and with the addition of Stratascale, we have expanded those capabilities to include consulting and solutioning.

We not only provide the hardware and software to enable edge computing and 5G rollouts, but we also have robust practices in cloud, automation, and digital intelligence. This allows our customers to rapidly adapt and take advantage of the challenges brought on by these technology changes.

Our approach to all of this, including paradigm shifts such as composable business, is our transformative services. Our team of experts will align with your business and technology executives to bring the vision to fruition.

It’s time to start predicting and responding in real-time. Edge computing and 5G could be your organization’s key to improved performance and productivity, enhanced safety, and increased profitability. Let SHI help you start proactively addressing your business needs.