Cloud computing has presented businesses with a new way to store and access unmeasurable amounts of data, all the while removing the need to house bulky and expensive premise-based servers and hardware. Smartphones are continually delivering and receiving data, however, they are restricted to the limitations of cellular networks – and so are the businesses that transmit data to smartphones and mobile devices. The challenge here is that transmitting data to and from the cloud all comes down to bandwidth availability. Mobile apps have become the preferred method to carry out activities and tasks online because they allow users to work directly from their smartphone and the mobile device handles a portion of the data and processing.

Since a growing number of devices are becoming ‘smart’, and are able to connect directly to the Internet, the amount of data being generated on a daily basis is quickly surpassing the processing capabilities of 3G and 4G networks. As the world becomes more connected, and smart technology integrates with more and more devices, this challenge will only persist.

Why does the US have so much data?

According to the World Economic Forum, American’s rank 35th in the world in terms of bandwidth use per person. And, we continue to invent and develop new products that can not only connect to the Internet, but also send and receive data from the cloud. Interestingly, according to  GE, a single engine from a Boeing 747 generate half of a terabyte of data in just one flight – consider the amount of data generated in a year of flights!

Now, what about fog computing?

Unlike cloud computing, that houses data in a network of powerful servers, fog computing stores data at the edge of a network of smaller computers. The primary objective is to house the information on the objects that are gaining traction as ‘smart technology enabled’ items. This includes things like cars, household appliances, and anything else used in the day-to-day world that are gaining smart status. Practically anything that can easily be monitored or measured will eventually become Internet-ready.

Once these items become Internet capable, they will make up the network of smaller computers, or the ‘edge’ of the network. At the core of this network is a series of data centers, and the edge is comprised of things like home computers and smartphones. This will present us with invaluable and viable solutions for future data storage and will reduce some of the load restrictions from conventional cloud services.

Currently, the future of business computing remains in the cloud, however, as connectivity and demands for smart technology grows, fog computing is becoming more and more relevant. This is a technology to watch for.