Features, Insight, Technology

The data era puts automation and sustainability in the hotseat

Murray Irvine, ‎Senior Director, Data Centre Compute and Solutions – MERAT, ‎Dell Technologies, outlines why sustainability is the key to a future-proof edge and how we can utilise edge to overcome data challenges.

As our lives become increasingly connected, there is more data to be processed than ever. We’re no longer talking about gigabytes or even terabytes–the new unit of scale is the Zettabyte, equivalent to a billion terabytes. Our growing reliance on this data makes the evolution of core cloud technologies critical. Keeping up and staying ahead of the curve as these demands increase is already business critical – and requires an infrastructural step-up.

This incoming data deluge requires automation and sustainable management. Edge computing is the answer to processing woes. Technology leaders know it is no longer a nice to have, it is essential for businesses looking to innovate with real-time insights in a digital-first era. We need to turbocharge compute power to feel the benefits of connected devices that provide real-time AI-powered insights, whether it’s in our factories, cars or shops.

There is much to be gained for society as a whole, as well as the businesses that serve them when it comes to ramping up infrastructure at the edge – to seize today’s opportunities and prepare for tomorrows. Setting the groundwork now will serve businesses well in the medium and long-term when 5G brings more innovative technologies online. Firing-up the edge – and putting automation in the hotseat is key.

Overcoming data challenges with Automated Edge computing

Today’s highly complex and distributed data landscape means many organisations struggle to manage workloads, applications, and data securely from edge to hybrid cloud. According to Gartner, 75 % of enterprise data will be processed outside a traditional centralised data centre or cloud by 2025. As these workloads grow there will be more demand on compute, speed and agility. So, it’s imperative that these issues are addressed swiftly, with IT infrastructure and modernised platforms that support data-driven goals to meet these challenges.

Additionally, in our rapidly evolving digital landscape, vectors for attack have grown exponentially. Businesses need to make the most of the resources they have on hand to enhance infrastructure security within every layer of the ecosystem, while meeting compliance requirements. Even the best security practices have a short shelf life when hackers are exposing these new attack surfaces faster than they can be fixed. Building proactive resilience and embedding trust into digital transformations with security by design is key. This will help secure interactions, providing the ability to anticipate potential threats.

These challenges can be met with edge solutions that combine the supercharged compute power to combat intense workloads at speed, with inbuilt automation to enhance productivity and seamless management. According to the Dell Technologies 2020 Digital Transformation Index, organisations in UAE and Saudi Arabia have high confidence in Edge computing’s capabilities, with edge application investment expected to be higher (51 %) among organisations in UAE and Saudi Arabia compared to the global average (28 %). Apart from keeping businesses competitive, getting to grips with edge solutions will crucially enhance the sustainability of data management too.

Sustainability is key to a future-proof edge

When we process data at the edge, we are actually reducing a lot of power consumption which is ultimately kinder to the environment – it also requires a smaller cooling footprint. At the same time, compute power is boosted, essentially doing more with less. The more we evolve edge computing to meet the needs of businesses and generate better outcomes, the more we accelerate inevitable adoption. The quicker businesses jump on board the edge computing bandwagon, the quicker we can minimise resource heavy data transfers between devices and data centers.

What’s more, as edge computing lays the groundwork for 5G connectivity, it forms the backbone of a core technology set to help bridge digital divides – connecting those in more remote areas. Paving the way for 5G means preparing for a world in which everyone has access to digital educations, healthcare and governments. Understanding the bigger picture and human impact from today’s infrastructural decisions should empower businesses as they embark on digital transformations.

Seizing future opportunities from the edge

Employing the edge technology solutions that enable businesses to focus on innovation, addressing real-world human-centric problems is key. But finding the solutions that help them to adapt and grow in the data era too, is gold. It is imperative that amid today’s many challenges and opportunities, businesses build their foundations with a long-term view, taking advantage of the immense compute power at the edge and turbocharging insights with automation. There really is no other way to stay on top of the complexities of future data management landscapes. Let’s put automation in the hotseat, paving the way for intelligent cities, homes and real-time services, and bringing a smarter, more intelligent world to life.

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