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The Role of Edge Computing in the Future of Software Development

Edge computing brings a new era in software development ― one of decentralized, reliable, and fast data processing. Here, we look closer at this technology and its current and future roles in software development and our technology-driven world. Let's dive in!
Daniel Zacharias

Ygor Ribeiro

April 24, 2023
edge computing

According to recent statistics, the global edge computing market will reach $274 billion by 2025. That’s hardly surprising, considering the increase in the number of data and IoT-connected devices requiring greater network capacity closer to endpoints. 

Simply put, businesses are constantly striving to improve the reliability and efficiency of their infrastructures ― an area in which edge computing thrives. Therefore, this technology is already in use in numerous industries, taking part in various software development projects and contributing to the success of many companies.

What is edge computing?

It refers to networks, devices, and algorithms that facilitate data processing at the “edge,” AKA as near to its originating source as possible. It’s about processing data locally rather than transferring it to a centralized data center with all the delays and potential issues that might cause.

Although other approaches, like cloud computing, have great benefits, edge computing takes things further, *literally*. It provides decentralized data processing, quicker responses, and better bandwidth availability, making this technology ideal for time-sensitive processes and the Internet of Things.

For example, the oil and gas industry uses IoT sensors as edge devices that monitor pipe pressure, providing valuable insights into crucial metrics. This way, data processing occurs locally so personnel can quickly respond to any changes or issues.

However, it’s important to note that edge devices (e.g., smartphones, smart watches, IoT sensors, etc.) still need to connect with data centers. But, centers receive only the most critical data, thus reducing latency and increasing response times.

Thus, edge computing provides numerous advantages to software developers, allowing them to build solutions with:

  • Decreased latency and response time
  • Low demands on network bandwidth
  • Increased efficiencies and reliability

Edge computing use cases: a new era in software development

Edge computing plays a significant role in software development, opening the doors for new inventions and better solutions. It integrates with various processes, services, and products that are and will be essential to society.

Here are some of the current and future use cases of edge computing in various software development solutions.

Autonomous vehicles

Autonomous vehicles gather information about traffic lights, street signs, speed, road conditions, pedestrians, and other parts of the driving environment. And, as their primary goal is to maintain safety, self-driving vehicles must analyze vast amounts of incoming data.

Edge computing plays a vital role in controlling autonomous vehicles ― it enables fast data processing and provides drivers with real-time information as the vehicle is moving. Therefore, we can only expect even more significant software innovations based on edge computing in this field.

Manufacturing industries

In manufacturing industries, it’s crucial to detect changes in production lines before they become failures. Edge computing allows IoT sensors to monitor assets remotely, provide real-time data, and conduct predictive maintenance in advance.

This way, sensors can track machine performance, interact with one another, and provide reliable information about predictive maintenance and other manufacturing processes like energy usage and automation. 

Game streaming

Technology is advancing in all sectors, including the gaming industry. As games become more resource-intensive, there will be a greater need to minimize latency and ensure a flawless user experience.

Therefore, many gaming companies see edge computing as a must-have solution for the future. The approach will allow them to process data locally, speed-up data processing, and gain higher customer satisfaction and, hence, higher profits.

Security solutions

The development of security systems is another area where edge computing may see an increased application in the future. Businesses can use this technology to advance video monitoring, which is especially beneficial in remote or dangerous workplaces. 

Furthermore, edge computing analyzes data in real time and makes a perfect duo with biometric scanning, allowing companies to respond to threats promptly. 

Healthcare industry

In recent years, the healthcare industry has drastically increased the data it collects through medical equipment and devices. That massive data requires edge computing so professionals can access and analyze information promptly.

We explicitly said “requires” because the reliance on the cloud implies slower data processing, which can be detrimental in the medical environment. Therefore, as a more dependable solution, edge computing will surely see more applications in developing next-generation medical software.

Bright future ahead

Whatever industry you are in, edge computing will most certainly find or has already found a place for itself! The technology allows companies and engineers to adhere to current software development trends, keep pace with new ones, and thrive with innovative solutions.

So, as a business owner, developer, or tech enthusiast, you can bet on this technology and the possibilities it brings! It will undoubtedly continue to pave the way for various new use cases, making present times a perfect opportunity to seize the momentum and make the most of it!

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