The future of ‘cloud computing’: decentralization and dissipation

El Economista

16 march 2021

El Economista - Luis del Barrio

5G, the Internet of Things, advances in artificial intelligence, are part of a wide range of digital innovations that, interacting with each other, or each one of them separately, generate and process a large volume of data, making one aspect clear: the greater the degree of digitization, the greater the volume and quality of data that needs to be managed.

The necessary availability of adequate infrastructures for the processing and / or storage of all this data leads us to wonder if cloud technology is sufficient for this. Is it possible that in the era of immediacy and the constant generation / processing of data, the current cloud computing can host all this information? The answer is a  no.

And this leads us to the next question: does this trend imply a breakdown of the cloud system and technology? That is where Edge Computing comes into play, a new technology that we will soon apply both in the industrial and business fields and that will provide more autonomy to both devices and management solutions, making the former “even smarter” , and the second most effective in the face of the huge torrent of data that is approaching.

How do you get it? In an apparently very simple way: redistributing and adapting the role of each element of the current infrastructure, which will allow the data produced by the devices and management solutions to be processed in the place where they were created. This saves shipping to soon-to-be-collapsed data centers and clouds.

This methodology implies a change in the paradigm. If we currently have real-time access to cloud data, Edge Computing goes one step further, since it involves analyzing the data almost in real time – we’re talking about microseconds! -. In certain sectors it is already a necessity. See for example the cryptocurrency market in the financial industry, or the health sector. In short, with this new method both generators and data capturers become “smarter”, since beyond collecting and sending the necessary information in each case to the cloud, they process it directly, which implies a leap in quality. and the efficiency exponentially with respect to previous models.

But the novelties in this direction do not end here, since there is already an evolution to this innovation: Fog Computing, which uses the concept of “fog” to visualize how this technology works expanding and diversifying the cloud.

Fog Computing platforms allow the decentralization of cloud computing technology, extending it and bringing it closer to connected devices and solutions, creating interconnection nodes and facilitating computing and storage capacity. And they do it in a more atomized way, bringing the immense cloud directly to the devices. In some ways, this approach allows large cloud data centers to delegate some of their responsibilities to edge computing devices.

According to IDC, by 2023 more than 50% of new enterprise infrastructure deployments will be located at the Edge rather than in traditional corporate data centers, which represents a significant increase from the current figure, which is located below 10%.

In short, the decentralization of both the data and its processing, in addition to storing and working the data locally to have a more immediate response time and greater efficiency, will be key in the times to come. Because in this new digital economy, the generation and especially the processing of data to convert it into information that in turn is translated into business intelligence will determine the competitiveness of companies regardless of their sector. Proof of this are the #ClouFM trends in the field of Facility Management.

In a technology company like The Mail Company, in which we process huge amounts of data every day, essential for the management of operations and that involve carrying out thousands of daily transactions for our clients -through the GIO platform- to be prepared for the the following scenario is a requirement, analyzing and studying how to integrate or develop new technologies that allow us to manage more and more data more quickly, with a clear objective of adaptation for survival.

Our solutions, such as NEOs -centralized management of the mandatory electronic notifications of Public Administrations-, Digital Mailroom or Digital Internal Mail facilitate the document logistics of organizations, transforming their processes, taking the leap from the physical to the digital world, which is generating large “torrent of data” to manage – it is estimated that we produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily-.

At the rate we are going, global data is expected to reach 175 zetabytes by 2025, which represents an annual growth of 61% – one ZB is equivalent to a trillion gigabytes- as recently explained by a digital medium specialized in digital transformation.

Businesses will be digital or they will disappear, and digitization will be cybersecurity or it will not be. And as the new digital era advances, ALL businesses, whatever their sector of activity, will be forced to handle more and better data to remain competitive.

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