IoT data at the edge set to grow sixfold in four years, new report claims

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The amount of data captured at the edge of the network by IoT devices is set to grow nearly sixfold in the next four years as the number of devices and the intelligence of devices increases, analysts have predicted.

A new report from ABI Research estimated that the volume of data captured at the edge of the network by devices will reach 2 zettabytes, or 2 trillion gigabytes, per year in 2021.

This unlocks a range of possibilities for analytics to be applied to the data at the edge of the network rather than in the cloud, it said.

Ryan Martin, Senior Analyst at ABI Research, said: “In the early days of IoT, the focus was on the connectivity of the devices rather than their intelligence.

“With edge analytics, organisations have access to a more granular degree of insight-generating data, which facilitates a system-level approach to improve operations and create new services.

"Analytics produced at the edge, and in the cloud, offer value across the enterprise, as well as the supply chain, from product operations to OEM suppliers to R&D.”

Research projects into this topic are already underway, with the RISELab at UC Berkeley, co-sponsored by Ericsson, Huawei, Google and Intel launching in January to improve how intelligent devices deal with data.

Meanwhile, a separate report from IHS Markit predicts that there will be over 20 billion connected IoT devices this year.

The proliferation of the IoT is set to throw up challenges as well as opportunities, however, with IHS Markit saying that the global market for IoT security will grow beyond $1.8 billion by 2020.