Blockchain and Edge Computing: Supercharging the Supply Chain

Blockchain and Edge Computing: Supercharging the Supply Chain


Source: Bloomberg Emerging technologies like predictive analytics, augmented reality and blockchain have the potential to transform supply-chain operations. Leading the charge for businesses in the digital age: edge computing.

At its simplest, edge computing is the processing and analyzing of data along a network edge, closest to the point of its collection. Combining this with distributed networks, which are at the very heart of how blockchain operates, allows for data to be processed faster, and the end-user experience improved.

Edge computing has emerged with the proliferation of internet of things (IoT) devices, at a time when existing network architecture is coping with a spike in the amount of data being produced, processed and distributed. Even with the advent of edge computing, and its ability to bring the workload closer to the consumer, networks cannot properly scale to accommodate much more.

In essence, edge computing distributes the power of a cloud data center among a number of mini data centers, which are run locally and in turn serve devices within their proximity. Consider the example of an oil rig at sea, making use of dozens of IoT sensors to collect operational data. In a cloud network, each of those devices would ordinarily “phone home” to a data center on the mainland, resulting in considerable delay and poor coverage. It would also result in the consumption of excessive bandwidth and computational power, due to the transfer of superfluous information.

It makes far more sense for the rig to run its own node, capable of collecting, […]