Editor’s note: Katherine Dupree is RIoT Marketing Specialist.RIoT is a rapidly growing internet of things users group based in Raleigh. 

RALEIGH – The cloud dominates business and analytics on the internet today. According to Nitin Ranjan, senior vice president for Edge Products of BLDG25, only 10% of enterprise-generated data is generated and processed outside of a central server or cloud. Tomorrow our mobile and IoT devices need new tools. It is predicted that by 2025, over 75% of enterprise-generated data will be generated and processed outside of a location – distributed computing at the edge. But what exactly is edge computing, what does it enable and why is it such a game changer?

[Edge computing is defined as a “distributed computing paradigm that brings computation and data storage closer to the location where it is needed, to improve response times and save bandwidth.”]

Earlier this week RIoT hosted 100 industry leaders and tech enthusiasts to discuss edge computing and the fourth generation of the internet. The discussion was led by experts John Cowan, CEO of EDJX, Christian Solomine, Board Advisor at IoTM and Nitin Ranjan, SVP Edge Products of BLDG25.

Enterprise recognizes the value of data and its ability to drive effective business decisions. Endless amounts of time and resources are poured into the acquisition and analysis of data. Not surprisingly, however, Ranjan explained that, today, 63-73% of data goes unused, because organizations do not have the money and bandwidth to utilize that data to make timely decisions. The cloud is a powerful computing tool, but it is much better suited to data at rest than real-time data in motion.

John Cowan, CEO of EDJX, believes that the IoT concept era will be bigger than anything we’ve seen before as a computer paradigm, envisioning a world computing happens “within 1000 ft of anything.” John explains that place matters. Waiting for data processed in the cloud can mean the difference between profit and loss, efficiency and inefficiency, even life and death. EDJX is one of the leaders paving a way for this future and their distributed computing vision has resonated in the investment community. The company recently raised $10.3M on top of the $6M they raised last fall.


This kind of edge computing technology, coupled with 5G, enables automated decisions to happen in real time, close to the source. “Humans will no longer be the main customer,” explains Cowan, because automated decisions will no longer need to be made by humans. Machines will be more efficient at making them in real time. Christian Solomine envisions a day when industrial machines will predict their own component failures and order new parts in advance of their next service.

Cowan shared other exciting use cases for edge computing including some already in the works. For instance, EDJX is working in the DoD sector on an internet of military things project, that will deploy computing technology all the way to the warfighter edge. This will allow the many advanced algorithms and data info to be useful immediately to boots on the ground, offering information like gunshot detection.

Other exciting use cases lie in the arena of urban IoT. Sensors placed at the edge can act as real-time pedestrian detectors for autonomous vehicles or enable predictive analytics for traffic control or even identify street repairs needed in dense urban environments. Increasingly, cameras will be used as sensors, feeding immediate and automated decisions, rather than data capture devices for future video review.

While the cloud remains a crucial and useful tool in the IT solution stack, the use cases for distributed edge computing are endless.  The next few years will be exciting as decisions and business intelligence become truly real-time, everywhere.