Sometimes, it’s hard to admit that you’ve reached your limit and need to take a break, especially when working in a virtual environment. Maybe you frantically do more and more in an attempt to keep up, until a big mistake brings your efforts screeching to a halt. Or perhaps you stop only when you get sick. Or maybe you just give up.
Of the many complementary technologies that enable IoT (internet of things) deployments, there are none quite as critical as the distributed architecture commonly known as edge computing. Technically, edge computing and its concepts are nothing new. In the 1960s, the Apollo missions that brought humanity to the moon relied on a distributed network of mainframes (see Figure 1). One was located in Houston and powered the console displays in the Apollo Mission Control Center. The others were positioned at antenna sites in California, Spain, and Australia. Even in those early days of computing there was a need to position compute resources closer to the source of the data, which is, essentially, the definition of edge computing.
Companies for years have been dealing with an aging workforce, losing talent and know-how to retirement. Now the pandemic has accelerated this, in all industries, and at all levels. How do you replace the 20-year service or maintenance veterans and the know-how that is in their heads? Right now, your best techs are super busy supporting customers and newer techs. One of them calls you tomorrow and says they are suddenly retiring. How can you make up for their knowledge once they walk out the door?
There are no “normal” workdays anymore thanks to COVID-19, disrupted supply chains, newly emerged customers, and vanished historical customers. Businesses, employees, customers, and suppliers are in a daily struggle to adapt, to adjust, and to continue to have their businesses exist. The one item that every business group needs more of are new, innovative ideas.
The COVID-19 crisis sent shockwaves through global supply chains. As a report from Deloitte lays out, the disruptions created by curtailed transportation, volume stalls, and delivery delays “exposed the vulnerabilities of many organizations.” Lots of businesses, it transpires, lack business resiliency. As the Deloitte report correctly concludes, into the future, businesses need technologies that “dramatically improve visibility across the end-to-end supply chain, and support companies’ ability to resist such shocks.”
Noone can accurately predict the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but by combining economic scenarios with datasets and prior experience, we can assess its impact on the engineering, manufacturing, and industrial (‘technical applications’) software markets in general, and IIoT (industrial Internet of Things) in particular.