The Business Drivers of Hyper-distributed Computing
It would be easy to say that the primary drivers behind hyper-distributed computing are social, mobile, analytics, cloud and security (SMACS). While it is true that these approaches are influencing or enabling hyper-distributed computing, they are not the business drivers. SMACS technologies are necessary but insufficient enablers of hyper-distributed computing. The premise of hyper-distributed computing is the ability to sense and react in context relative to people and systems– this is the domain of IoT and software automation-based platforms.
IoT technologies which are focused on data virtualization and edge analytics are of primary relevance because of the nature of how they support hyper-distributed computing and provide new capabilities to the IoT landscape.
Data virtualization is the idea that data can reside anywhere and be logically joined together for different purposes without creating new copies of the data. This kind of data integration software makes organizations more agile by increasing the value of your data, network and other IT assets, without the long delays of data replication and physical consolidation traditionally required to achieve your goal of a unified view of the business.
Edge analytics is the concept that we no longer have to bring data back to data centers, the cloud or a central location for analysis. In some cases centralized analysis is impossible to do because of network bandwidth constraints and the need for instant information. In edge analytics, data collection, filtering, pattern identification and automated action can take place at the point of interest.
Software Automation Platforms
The newest enabler in hyper-distributed computing is the area of software automation platforms. Software automation platforms are systems that provide the interconnection between businesses to support business process execution, micro-services integration, and data integration. The foundation of these platforms is to build from the idea of a business-to-business exchanges with a few key differences. The traditional concept of a business-to-business exchange is some version of commerce is done electronically between businesses. In general, business-to-business exchanges are focused on operational processes with minimal involvement of customers and the systems they are using. It is also based on pre-established and trusted connection between known organizations. Software automation platforms differ in that they have the customer at the center of process execution. Connectivity between organizations are sometimes known and sometimes discovered and established at the point of interaction or transaction. In addition, Software automation platforms fully embrace the computing paradigm of IoT. System interactions are not limited to business and IT systems but extend into devices and operational systems.
Is There an Ideal Scenario for Hyper-distributed Computing?
The reality is that time will tell. The ideal scenario at this stage might be the wrong question. The way to think about hyper-distributed computing is not that it is the silver bullet that will solve all the problems of next generation computing. It should rather be viewed from the lens of what levels of interaction and transaction will be required with other organizations and my customers to remain competitive and relevant. Those organizations that see the value and merits of data virtualization, edge analytics and software automation platforms will be the early adopters that will define the scenario and outcomes that can be truly utilized. Those that do nothing, well I think we have seen what happens to organizations that recognize trends and fail to act.