Jamie Scott, Chief Technology Officer, Tarsus Technologies
With IoT, the intelligent edge uses edge computing to reduce response times, bandwidth needs and security risks. Since all the actions are taken on-premise, the data does not need to be sent to the cloud or a data centre to be processed.
In the modern workplace, edge computing brings data processing as close to an Internet of Things (IoT) device as possible. That can mean latency, performance, cost, and security advantages for companies.
The devices that bring computing and analytics close to the edge accelerate the speed of decision-making by bringing computing power physically closer to where data is generated – at the IoT device.
These devices include notebooks, printers, power sources, voice and data security solutions, cameras, interactive televisions and whiteboards, and modular data centres – all of which enable the intelligent edge. Think of it as the computing we use in our day-to-day work lives at the office – whether we are working in the campus café, in the gardens, or in a meeting room.
It’s about improving employee productivity and satisfaction and creating seamless communication and collaboration across locations and platforms while maintaining the security and integrity of systems and data.
One example is smart cameras, which are becoming increasingly popular in South Africa, and in a post-Covid world generally. Smart cameras provide computing power, ease of connectivity and the packaging of additional sensors on cameras to measure everything from abnormally high body temperature to facial and number plate recognition and more. They can aid monitoring and counting, search, and warning based on real-time data, with analytics performed at the edge.
IoT can radically improve the modern office by removing routine tasks and automating maintenance schedules. Workflow is faster and more efficient when printers, scanners, copiers and fax machines work all the time. Intelligent IoT means devices can warn before something goes wrong, not when it goes wrong. Removing the burden of operational IT from the enterprise frees up systems and staff so they can take a longer-term, analytical and strategic view of systems.
When it comes to printing, for example, Lexmark printers come with more than 100 IoT sensors, used as part of the managed print service. For each printer, these sensors monitor hundreds of data points including alerts, internal diagnostics and the device’s inner workings.
This has enabled Lexmark to optimise the performance of its printer ecosystem and achieve great results for customers. Applying targeted fixes to device components before they break down and need replacement works by combining real-time and historical data from many sources to create machine learning (ML) models. The result is minimising downtime and extending the device’s lifetime.
"Recognising the multiple advantages of combining sophisticated technology devices with an intelligent edge, Tarsus Distribution has become the country’s leading distributor of all products designed to create these leading-edge ecosystems."
Edge allows businesses to bring the digital world into the physical, designing smart environments that look out for our safety, enabling companies to run applications with real-time data requirements directly on-site.
What makes this environment so exciting is the potential it has for transforming business across every industry and function, revolutionising how modern work is done.