Exploring the Real Value of Edge & IoT: An Interview with Bask Iyer

When the Mars Rover communicates with NASA engineers on Earth, it can’t wait the 13 minutes (approximately) it takes for a signal to go from Mars to Earth (and back again) for every task. Instead, NASA needs computing power at the edge to keep the Rover on task in real time. Autonomy and speed of decision making is critical. That’s the essence of edge computing.

With edge computing and the internet of things (IoT), devices and computers work together unsupervised, connecting to the storage and processing power of the cloud as and when required. And while the tech industry calls it the edge, companies simply call it “making businesses better, faster, more competitive,” says Bask Iyer, VMware CIO and GM of Edge Computing and IoT for Dell Technologies. “Edge is important, because people are trying to make decisions in real time,” he says.

1. Edge Computing and IoT Accelerates Innovation in Real Time

Companies are under extreme pressure to modernize and innovate their technology environments. They are expected, if not required, to offer immediacy with their solutions, operations and customers. With edge and IoT solutions, companies can accelerate innovations with real-time problem-solving.

“The main benefit you get with edge technologies is speed or reduction of latency. The world is getting faster and faster,” says Iyer. People also look at doing more on the edge for data privacy concerns, regulation or costs.

For companies looking to digitally transform with rapid automation, smarter operations and quick response times, edge and IoT offer real-time insight and intelligence.

2. Edge and IoT Enables Intelligence

Edge and IoT captures data from the physical world instantaneously. Yet, as Iyer points out, “You have to handle this data intelligently. You can call it artificial intelligence or machine learning, but the application of those technologies to interpreting all this data at the edge is another use case.”

“A real-world example would be things like oil rigs. They’re in the middle of nowhere, and they have to function alone. There’s no data center nearby. There’re no IT folks there. It has to work all the time, be resilient, have the intelligence, but it also has to be connected to the private and public clouds,” Iyer says.

The data generated by edge and IoT helps enterprises improve business agility, create efficiencies and deliver better customer experiences. The edge is where compute acts on data in real time. Edge and IoT allow companies to analyze the physical world to be more innovative, successful and proactive for their customers.

3. Edge and IoT Enables Flexibility and Agility

Edge and IoT solutions can enable companies to remotely manage, monitor and secure thousands of locations and millions of devices. These services enable business continuity with the ability to run applications and analytics at every point in a company’s digital journey.

“We used to start with mainframes, and everybody thought everything would be done only in centralized mainframes. Then, the pendulum swung to mini computers, then came PCs, then again centralized clouds. We thought everything would be done only on the cloud, and it’s coming back,” says Iyer.

The truth is, it will be done on both sides. There will be a lot of compute done on the edge and a lot of compute done on the private cloud and the public cloud.

Edge and IoT bridge the worlds of operational technology and IT. Done right, it enables broader management, predictive decision-making and remediation of threats and anomalies. 

With consistent infrastructure and operations that integrate edge and hybrid clouds, companies can become:

  1. Faster
  2. Cost effective
  3. Secure

Edge and IoT give companies the power to modernize and innovate to deal with tomorrow’s problems today.