Is Edge Computing the Next Major Computing Revolution? Part II

In our previous article, we discussed some of the market dynamics influencing the raise of edge computing. Today, I would like to focus on providing some market perspectives about the potential evolutionary path as well as the key characteristics of edge computing platforms

The evolution of trends such as IOT, drones and self-driving vehicles is drastically influencing the evolution of edge computing capabilities. Logically, the growth of edge computing requirements is likely to evolve onto a new generation of platforms that enable the implementation of edge computing solutions by mainstream developers. Trying to understand the core capabilities of edge computing platforms and predicting the potential evolution of the market, is a challenge for venture capitalists and startups entering the space. Below, I’ve summarized some of my thoughts about the capabilities of the first generation of mainstream edge computing platforms to get the debate started ;)

Key Characteristics of Edge Computing Platforms

Edge computing solutions are notoriously technologically complex and require fairly large implementation cycles. The role of an edge computing platform would be to provide the fundamental building blocks of edge computing solutions. From that perspective, the first generation of edge computing platforms is likely to enable capabilities such as in-device storage, application containers, data security, in-device messaging, device discovery, cloud services integration, analytics-monitoring and other components required to simplify the mainstream adoption of edge computing solutions.

Having an understanding of the potential feature set of edge computing platforms, the next important aspect is to forecast what segments of the market will produce those capabilities.

The Competitive Landscape of Edge Computing Platform

The market for edge computing platforms promises to be a super competitive one. In my opinion, there are several segments of the technology market that are likely to produce relevant edge computing platforms.

1 — Cloud Computing Platform Vendors: Companies such as Amazon and Microsoft are position edge computing as an extension of their cloud platform capabilities. AWS Greegrass is a great example of edge computing technologies that naturally complements existing cloud platform services (AWS Lambda).

2 — Self-Driving Vehicle Platforms: As self-driving vehicle companies continue gaining relevance , we should see some of their edge computing technologies delivered as open source distributions.

3 — IOT Platform Vendors: Edge computing is an important aspect of industrial IOT solutions. IOT platforms such as ThingWorx, C3IOT or GE Predix already provide interesting edge computing capabilities. Those efforts are likely to evolve into full-blown edge computing platforms focused on the industrial enterprise.

4 — IOT Device Manufacturers: Device manufacturers focused on industrial IOT devices are another sectors able to produce relevant edge computing platform components. As many things in this sector, we might see different vendors partner and create consortium organizations to drive innovation and the creation of edge computing platforms.

5 — Telcos: Telecommunication companies have, arguably, more experience than any other industry deploying mission critical edge computing solutions. Consequently. we might see some interesting platforms coming out of forward thinking telcos that factor in some of the best practices learned throughout the years.

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