Edge computing technology has emer­ged as a promising alternative to tra­di­tional cloud computing. As telcos stand at the cusp of 5G roll-out, it is time for them to own the edge and reimagine edge network architecture. Further, edge computing is opening up a new world of revenue opportunities across manufacturing, transport, gaming and more. The use of edge computing in the enterprise do­main is dramatically expanding, as companies and consumers connect more devices to the internet.

A look at some of the use cases of edge computing for enterprises across segments:

Manufacturing and industrial processes

Industrial internet of things has added millions of connected devices in manufacturing plants and other such industries in order to gather data on production lines, equipment performance and finished pro­ducts. Sometimes, moving data to centra­lised servers, whether in the cloud or on premises, could be prohibitively expensive or impossible because of a facility’s remote location. In such cases, edge computing brings the necessary processing power, and these edge devices can be program­m­ed to either transfer aggregate data back to the central systems and/or initiate the re­quired actions at the endpoint. More­over, edge computing delivers the speed requir­ed for manufacturing and industrial operations, where automated assembly lin­es move rapidly and require real-time interventions to address problems.

Smart cities

Civic authorities are using edge computing to create smart communities and en­han­ce their roadways with capabilities such as intelligent traffic controls. Edge su­pports a host of areas within this broad category. It helps civic authorities such as traffic agencies, public transformation departments and private transportation companies better manage their vehicle fleets and the ov­er­all traffic flow, as edge computing en­ab­les rapid adjustments based on real-time and on-the-ground conditions. Addi­ti­o­nally, civic authorities such as city workers and regional planners can deploy edge de­vices to process data coming from sensors on power grids, public infrastructure, public facilities, private buildings and other locations, allowing them to instantly assess needs and respond quickly.


Retail stores are increasingly using interactive digital media to encourage custo­mers. To this end, edge computing can be used to run certain applications that ne­ed real-time human interaction, such as mixed reality mirrors in changing rooms, while also enabling retailers to innovate on, test and change applications. Further­more, an edge compute solution is more scalable than traditional on-premise solutions, and running such applications on a device would be relatively constrained in terms of compute capacity. Edge compute also enables retailers to innovate and chan­ge their applications easily. Moreover, the edge architecture enables retailers to maximise space, particularly if space is limited and rent is expensive.


Edge computing offers a new, cost-effective solution for healthcare informatics. Instead of sending data to the cloud, processing is completed at the place where data is generated, be it in devices or networks at the clinic, hospital or even directly on patients’ devices outside of clinical se­ttings. As a result, care providers can di­a­g­­nose and begin treating conditions fas­ter, thereby improving patient outco­mes. In addition, the edge could support advan­ced remote-patient monitoring by processing data from medical devices such as glucose monitors and blood pressure cuffs and then alerting clinicians to problematic readings. It could also enable real-time ma­nagement of medical equipment as the various pieces move through hospital facilities. Moreover, edge technology can play a critical role in medical care de­livery, such as robot-assisted surgery, whe­re real-time data analysis is essential.


With edge architecture in place, farmers using precision agriculture technology can track the factors responsible for crop gro­wth such as temperature, humidity, soil mo­is­ture levels, nutrient levels and other me­trics. This could be crucial in guiding decision-making regarding watering, fertiliser application and other activities. Whi­le edge computing is useful across vast acres of farm fields, it is also a boon in gr­eenhouses and hydroponic growing facilities, where sensors enable operators to tra­ck inputs precisely. Additionally, aquaculture (fish farming) is another industry where edge computing can play a vital role, as it requires on-site data processing. Pre­cise monitoring of complex environmental variables is essential in ensuring the health of fish, as well as proper feeding and auto­mation. Edge computing takes the guesswork out of these processes, im­proving vi­tality and growth while reducing costs.

Security and worker safety

Through the use of edge computing, data from on-site cameras, employee safety de­vi­ces and sensors can be utilised to help bu­sinesses prevent unauthorised physical access to a site, as well as oversee workpla­ce conditions to ensure employees are following established safety policies. This is especially important for workplaces that operate in hazardous or remote locations, such as a construction site or an oil platform at sea. Further, edge computing devi­ces can be used in conjunction with video mo­nitoring and biometric scanning to ensure that only authorised individuals en­ter restricted areas. Meanwhile, surveillan­ce systems can benefit from the low latency and reliability of edge computing, be­ca­u­se it is often necessary to respond to se­cu­rity threats within seconds.


Similar to other use cases, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) both require the real-time processing of large data sets, because any lag in analysis would delay subsequent actions. This would mean delayed images and instructions in the case of VR and AR, creating a poor (and, in some cases, even unsafe) user ex­pe­­­rience at a time when use of these technologies is greatly expanding. While wor­ke­rs use these technologies to guide them through their tasks and to learn new pro­cesses, other individuals use them for en­tertainment and skill enhancement. Busi­ne­sses may also apply edge computing te­ch­nology to enable unique and customised AR/VR experiences, such as personalised shopping displays.

Autonomous vehicles and traffic management

Autonomous vehicles are a prime edge com­puting use case, as they can only operate safely and reliably when they’re able to analyse all the data required to drive in re­al time. Autonomous vehicles can be conn­ec­ted to the edge in order to improve safesty, enhance efficiency, reduce accidents and de­crease traffic congestion. Mean­while, ed­ge computing can enable more effective city traffic management – for example, op­ti­mising bus frequency accor­ding to fluctuations in demand, managing the opening and closing of extra lanes, and, in future, ma­naging autonomous car flows. With ed­ge computing, the need to transport lar­ge vol­umes of traffic data to the centralised clo­ud is done away with, thereby reducing the cost of bandwidth and latency.

Predictive maintenance

Edge computing solutions have been very popular in industries where the malfunctioning of high-value assets can lead to massive losses. The speed of edge computing makes it possible for businesses to deli­ver reports in seconds. Examples of working enterprise computing for predictive ma­intenance can be seen in the oil and gas in­dustry, where edge computing helps wi­th proactively managing pipelines, identifying defects and preventing failures.

Smart grid

Edge computing will become a core technology in the power sector with the widespread adoption of smart grids. It can help enterprises better manage their energy consumption. Sensors and internet of things devices connected to edge platfor­ms are al­ready being used in factories, pl­an­ts and of­fices to monitor energy use and analyse consumption in real-time. With real-time visibility, enterprises and energy companies will be able to strike new deals, especially in cases where high-powered machinery is run during off-peak electricity demand hours. This can increase the amount of green energy an enterprise consumes.

The bottom line

Edge computing is all about processing data closer to where it is being generated, thereby enabling processing at greater speeds and volumes, leading to better ac­tion-led results in real time. According to Pre­cedence Research, the global edge computing market size is projected to surpass around $116.5 billion by 2030, at a compound annual growth rate of 12.46 per cent during 2022-2030. The advent of 5G has made edge computing even more compelling, enabling significantly improved net­work capacity, lower latency, higher speeds and increased efficiency.

Net net, edge computing seems to be a good bet and can prove to be a boon for enterprises given its versatile uses cases ac­ross segments. Edge computing also hel­ps businesses unlock the potential of the vast, untapped reserves of data created by connected devices. This can help un­cover new business opportunities, increase operational efficiency and provide faster and more reliable and consistent experiences for customers.