Edge computing supports innovation and new ways to do business. With the ability to collect and analyze data in real time, organizations can flourish through data-driven decision making. As edge computing grows in capabilities and adoption, more organizations are looking at how to integrate the edge with their existing architectures. For edge success, this integration needs to be done thoughtfully.
Get Started on your Edge Integration Journey by Following These Five Steps:
Step One: Virtualization and Modernization
In order to modernize your current infrastructure, virtualization is a key factor. Technology embedded with virtualization enables multiple operations to happen simultaneously, all on a single piece of hardware. Modernizing your infrastructure with virtualized machines will deliver tremendous benefits in terms of reliability, manageability, and creating a solid future-ready platform in time for your edge integration.
Step Two: OT/IT Convergence
Breaking down OT and IT silos will provide greater performance, productivity, agility and cost efficiency. To manage this organizational change, many companies are hiring a new type of specialist. Taking the name of a Hybrid OT or Industrial IT, these technologists have experience and knowledge in OT applications. However, they also understand IT language and possess an IT skillset and act as a bridge between the two specialties.
Step Three: Choosing a Solution for Edge Integration
Total cost of ownership, deployment, management, downtime risk, and operational efficiency are all key factors when selecting an edge computing solution. In addition, consider the location in which the platform will be installed. Will the platform be in a more ruggedized environment, such as a plant floor? Or maybe a cleaner, organized environment like a control room? How close will the computing take place related to the physical location where data is being collected and analyzed?
For all instances, some common requirements for an edge integration solution include:
- Integrated redundancy
- Predictive analytics
Step Four: Integrating IIoT
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices enhance industrial and manufacturing processes through the use of smart sensors to collect and analyze data in real time. The data captured by intelligent sensors enables industrial devices to produce business insights and perform specific actions with little human interaction. This helps to optimize process quality, workforce engagement and promotes uptime.
Step Five: Strong Security
The rise of smart devices within edge computing architectures is accompanied by the rise of security vulnerabilities. Security risks include software vulnerabilities and system manipulation, which can lead to possible breaches in customer data and/or the shutdown of operations. Invest in cybersecurity and select IIoT systems that provide regular monitoring and detection in the event of malware infection.
The Time to Start your Edge Integration is Now
While it may seem overwhelming to integrate edge computing technology with legacy systems, with edge integration comes the much-needed benefits of increased capacity, reliability and cost efficiency. To be successful, use virtualized machines to modernize your infrastructure. Integrate IIoT with strong security and encourage OT/IT convergence. And once you select the edge computing solution that’s right for you it will reduce some of the complexity of collecting and analyzing data and allow more proactive processes.
To learn how to create an effective edge architecture, view our on-demand webinar IIoT & Edge Computing Architectures based on Application – Use Cases & Lessons from the Field.