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Intelligent Connectivity – Making Critical Decisions

Renee Johnson
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What is the key to intelligent connectivity in a world awash in IoT data? Making critical decisions. Faster data at more significant amounts.

These are trying times for connectivity, grappling with concerns ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to the reality of climate change. Critical social processes are under stress almost everywhere, from government budgets to food supply. There is, however, enough data and it’s flowing faster and in more significant amounts across organizations and society.

But connectivity may not exist for much longer, as countries like Russia shut down platforms like Twitter and Facebook. So say some pundits. But the numbers tell a different tale.

According to the IDC, the quantity of data generated or duplicated worldwide will soon be measured in billions of gigabytes. If you think that’s a lot, you may want to reconsider what’s on the horizon.

The world is still in the early stages of exponential growth. Data quantities are expected to almost triple to over 180 zettabytes by 2025.


And Then There Are Sensors

The primary motivator, as you’ve undoubtedly surmised, is the Internet of Things (IoT). Even omitting video surveillance, IoT will be the fastest-growing data category by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 47%. Consequently, the quantity of digital data produced will be twice the amount generated since the beginning of digital storage.

Take a look at the tremendous increase in sensor technology to learn why. IoT-connected data collection points are spreading at a breakneck speed across a wide range of industries. Moreover, automotive to oil storage, industrial to in-home security, and power grid controls to wearables.

According to Cisco, the number of internet-connected gadgets will reach 29.3 billion by 2023. This will outnumber people by almost four to one. Keep in mind this is with just a fraction of the world’s population having access to the internet.

How will we access all of the data collected by these sensors? Connectivity technologies such as 5G (followed by 6G, which is already on the horizon) will be crucial. The cloud will do the same.

In the second quarter of 2020, business expenditure on cloud infrastructure surpassed that of conventional data centers. According to the IDC, by 2025, approximately a quarter of the global DataSphere will be in cloud settings.


Taking on the Time Gap

Firms seeking to become adaptable digital enterprises will lead to a rising storm of IoT data pouring into cloud platforms. To a point, this enormous influx of data will be an invaluable source of knowledge for decision-making.

The issue is that companies need an intelligent connection to fully appreciate the value of data. The difficulty in doing this is not just the sheer amount of data, but the processing and interpreting. It’s also important to do this at the appropriate point in the value chain and network.

The problem is that businesses move from the cloud to another location. The location where data is kept and processed is frequently far from where IT implements the choices that arise. This typically results in a time lag between data analysis and reaction actions, which may be too long to succeed.


Connectivity, Artificial Intelligence, and Edge Computing

To close this gap, businesses need a speedy decision-making engine fueled by three factors. The first is a high-speed data connection, whether via 5G, 6G, or other means. Data is the engine’s fuel and will need to be processed and sent at a faster rate in the future.

Second, it requires artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA). These will take the data, extract intelligence, and drive and implement choices.

The third critical component is achieving real-time execution. The decision-making process must occur near the action, at the edge, and beyond the cloud. The connotation is unmistakable, no matter how fast available bandwidth and processors go — even to quantum speeds.

The ability to optimize networks and exploit new technologies is dependent on making confident choices at the proper network layer. This entails using the central cloud while relocating an increasing amount of intelligence to the edge.


IoT Data

Furthermore, judgments based on IoT data at the edge will become increasingly mission-critical in many businesses. More accurate future technologies, such as 6G, will be quicker than those we have now. But what if the network goes down and the data shows a power grid becomes unstable when rebalancing right away?

The grid may become overwhelmed if no one takes action in real-time, with potentially fatal consequences. The only choice is to process and act at the edge, with real-time learnings relayed back to the business cloud.

According to research, corporate executives are getting the message. The edge is now the fastest-growing for duplicated data, with a projected 33.5 percent CAGR through 2025. This is because analytics and computing power are electronically out from the core.

The closer to the site of data production, the closer you are to providing real-time insights at the point of demand. This is how connectedness evolves into actual intelligence.


What Happens Next – Developing Trust

As a final thought, consider the following situation in the not-too-distant future: You’ve accomplished your vision of intelligent connection. You are building a sophisticated network ecosystem that ingests data, makes judgments at the edge. Then you put those decisions into action at breakneck speed.

In a nutshell, you’ve evolved into the adaptable digital business you envisioned. What are the drawbacks? You may have also established several possible cyberattack entry points, without a suitable strategy and built-in controls and responses.

How can you guarantee that you can trust your adaptable digital company in such a future? How can you ensure attackers won’t seize control by locating and infiltrating an access point? These questions remain unanswered.


Image Credit: AlphaTradeZone; Pexels; Thank you!

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