By Greg Hookings, Head of Business Development, Digitalisation, Greg Hookings
What Is the Edge Computing Maturity Model?
The Edge Computing Maturity Model is a roadmap that breaks down your Edge Computing progress into 5 categories: Isolated, Informed, Insightful, Intelligent, and Invisible. In each category, we evaluate your Capabilities, Processes, Human Effort, and Technology.
We previously published an article outlining how to take the steps to move from Isolated to Informed. In this article, we’ll discuss the next steps in the edge computing journey: Insightful and Intelligent edge computing.
Edge Computing Insights
For organizations that have made the leap from Informed to Insightful, connected assets are now in a predictive environment. This means that assets are providing data about performance and maintenance, allowing operators to move away from scheduled updates and maintenance to as-required updates, saving unnecessary work hours. Connected sites have multiple connected assets, supporting flexible operations, driven by AI and analytics.
At the plant level, we continue to see plaint-wide control, but the supply chain is now fully integrated. Data collection is semi-automated, and the use of real-time analytics allows for a focus on both plant productivity and quality, rather than just choosing one over the other.
Labor intensity is decreasing, and with fewer people managing more assets. OT is supported by IT, and systems are more open, with multiple vendors and systems managed by a central control. In addition, cloud computing comes into the mix, along with virtualization and containers.
Intelligent Edge Computing
At the Intelligent level we start to see advancements across the board. We now have enhanced Human to Machine semi-autonomous systems. And multiple sites or plants are connected, building on the connected assets and systems at each location that were optimized at the Insightful stage. This allows operations to be more flexible and dynamic, able to change in response to real-time conditions or changes in requirements. Enterprises are now able to maximize supply chains, plant productivity and quality.
In terms of labor resources, at this level we see increased collaboration between IT and OT teams, with each side understanding and supporting the needs of the other. The labor force is highly skilled, and each individual can manage many technical resources.
Technology at the Intelligent level features enterprise-level analytics and controls, with shared services. There is enterprise-wide connectivity with embedded cyber security. Machine learning is ramping up, and cloud, edge and enterprise systems are integrated.
Achieving the Invisible Enterprise
As we’ve moved through the first four stages of the Edge Computing Maturity Model, we’ve seen increasing levels of integration and connection, and seen how this decreases manual processes and hands-on maintenance. In our next post, we’ll explore the final stage in the maturity model and see how enterprises can achieve the invisible enterprise.