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ZEDEDA 2021 Predictions: Seven Edge Computing Predictions

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

Seven Edge Computing Predictions for 2021

By Jason Shepherd, VP of Ecosystem at ZEDEDA

ZEDEDA is a simple and scalable cloud-based IoT edge orchestration solution that delivers visibility, control and security for the distributed edge with the freedom of deploying and managing any app on any hardware at scale and connecting to any cloud or on-premises systems. With ZEDEDA customers can now seamlessly deploy and manage any edge compute node to instantly unlock the value of IoT data and make real-time decisions.

As we head into 2021, we can expect some major developments in edge computing. The industry is shaking out and we're seeing some interesting trends unfolding in the coming months. Here's a few:

Edge and AI facilitate the new normal. Despite the availability of COVID vaccines, remote work will be a new normal for many. In 2021 we will see not only more transformation in the cloud but also acceleration of edge computing due to the need to offload networks. New AI-driven innovations will emerge to enhance productivity for remote workers and help them better balance between work and home life. 

Private 5G shakes up business models. In 2021 we will see Private 5G lead the way in terms of real-world 5G deployments and this will open doors for non-traditional players including startups to offer new innovations and services at the edge such as AI marketplaces and edge-as-a-service.  

Kubernetes heads south.  With K3S and the recent introduction of K0S, the Kubernetes wave will continue to flow "southbound" towards more constrained edge computing devices. This will spin up more focus on the right security models for deployments outside of physically-secure data centers.

New partnerships between IT and OT.  Data science does not equal domain knowledge and we'll see an increasing trend in 2021 of IT-centric players partnering up with OT leaders that understand the unique contexts of industrial environments. Similarly, more industrial players will stop investing in building out their own cloud platforms, instead adopting platforms from the cloud scalers and focusing on their domain-specific knowledge and products. 

AI gets skinnier. The TinyML conversation that started heating up in late 2019 will reach full-on buzz in 2021. This means more on-device processing including in smart cameras, and further realization by the telcos and traditional IT players that not all edge processing will happen in a data center. 

Learning gets federated.  The concept of federated learning has shown promise for several years but is a challenging prospect. This space will evolve in 2021 out of necessity in order to provide the benefits of decentralization for reasons of privacy, autonomy, data sovereignty and bandwidth savings, while centralizing results from distributed data zones to eliminate regional bias.

AI vs. AI.  Data trust will be an increasingly hot topic in 2021 due to the rapidly growing challenge of dealing with the proliferation of deep fakes that can skew business results, drive false sentiments on social media, or worse. The industry will respond with leveraging AI to combat rogue AI and further exploring the concept of data confidence fabrics. 


About the Author

jason shepherd 

Jason Shepherd is VP of Ecosystem at edge orchestration company ZEDEDA and was recognized as one of the Top 100 Industrial IoT influencers in both 2018 and 2019. Prior to joining ZEDEDA, Jason was CTO for the Dell Technologies Edge and IoT Solutions Division. His proven track record as a thought leader in the market is evidenced through his leadership building up the award-winning Dell IoT Solutions Partner Program and establishing the vendor-neutral, open source EdgeX Foundry project to facilitate greater interoperability at the IoT edge. Jason is an LF Edge board member and is active in other key industry efforts focused on IoT and edge computing. He holds 14 granted and 25 pending U.S. patents.

Published Friday, December 11, 2020 7:49 AM by David Marshall
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