Each year around this time the world celebrates the summer solstice, that is, the beginning of summer and the longest day of the year where those of us in the Northern Hemisphere experience upwards of 15 hours of light! Perhaps not surprisingly, it’s been celebrated for thousands of years as a symbol of renewal, fertility, and harvest. I mean, think about it especially in a pre-enlightened era, who wouldn’t be excited for the time of year when days are longer, the weather is better, and more gets done?
Now, imagine if you had the tools to control daylight and weather and make it the equivalent of summer solstice all year long. No offense to my winter-loving friends, but I’m pretty sure most of the world would opt for more summer, more of the time.
But what does this have to do with the Internet of Things (IoT)? Well, as many of you know, we are in the middle an unprecedented shift in technology where it will no longer be just people with their smartphones staying connected easily but “things” too (clothes, appliances, machines, etc.). Processing power is increasing and connectivity costs are dropping, which makes for a world where previously offline “things” are becoming connected, sharing data, and operating more effectively.
However, all this data sharing and improved operational activity doesn’t just magically happen. Connectivity still isn’t free and neither is data storage or processing power. And while many environments don’t allow for consistent connectivity (think of an oil platform or other industrial-based locations), even that challenge is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how best to handle the sheer volume of IoT sensor data. The signal to noise ratio can get out of control if you don’t have some way to cleanse, filter, and enrich this data. Also, data security can be tricky with all the data transmission happening across sites.
And so if your business wants to take advantage of all that IoT has to offer, while operating with geographically dispersed locations or assets, you can’t simply assume that all these newly connected sensors and subsequent streams of data will provide value intrinsically. Some use cases even require real-time analysis and response where data being sent far away to be processed in HQ (and then returned at a later time with insight) is simply not tenable. That kind of latency could be detrimental if we’re talking about self-driving cars or crane collision detection scenarios.
Enter SAP Dynamic Edge Processing, SAP’s latest IoT solution just released to extend the “Digital Core” of your business to the “Edge.” SAP Dynamic Edge processing combines algorithms, syncing architecture, and customized database technology to allow businesses to process much of their IoT data locally, where it’s created and needing to be consumed, with syncing and central transmission occurring more securely, efficiently, and opportunistically. This reduces the amount of sensor data that has to be transmitted (and thus, the cost associated with data transmission) and allows for scenarios where data and insight is where you need it, when you need it.
Some studies suggest that more than one-third of IoT-created data will need to be stored, processed, analyzed, and acted upon locally rather than centrally. And SAP Dynamic Edge Processing works to give you the best of both worlds: enriched sensor data with business context that takes advantage of the centralized Digital Core but, at the same time, without the high cost of unnecessary volumes of data being transmitted, not to mention the costs associated with operational disruptions from a system requiring persistent connectivity back to the core.
So there you have it, think of the old IoT model as the night-and-day cycle that changes dramatically from season to season. Humanity has always found it to be more difficult to have the same operational efficiency during the winter months when light (power and connectivity) is scarce and weather (latency) more prohibitive. But if you had a tool or solution to optimize and/or maximize daylight and good weather? Think of the possibilities… Turns out you do have that solution available, maybe not for the whole earth, but at least for your business!
For more information about SAP Dynamic Edge Processing, talk with your SAP representative, and check out the SAP Solutions for the Internet of Things blog for more details coming soon.