Driving IT Innovation and Connection With 5G and Edge Computing


The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the way agencies function, and forced many to redefine what it means to be connected and modernize for mission success.

Agencies have reprioritized automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and virtualization to continue delivering critical services and meeting mission requirements through recent disruptions, and to predict and navigate future disruptions more efficiently. These transformative technologies open the door to accelerated innovation and have the potential to help solve some of today’s most complex problems.

Still, there is work to be done. While nearly half of Federal agencies have experimented with AI, only 12 percent of AI in use is highly sophisticated.[1] Agencies must rely on a solid digital transformation strategy to leverage next-gen technology, including the fifth generation of wireless technology (5G) and edge computing, to drive these innovations in Federal IT – regardless of location or crisis.

Faster Connections, Better Outcomes

Building IT resiliency and a culture of innovation across the public sector requires greater connectivity and data accessibility to power emerging technologies that enable faster service and better-informed decisions. In a traditional 4G environment, users connect to the internet through a device at a given time. In contrast, 5G integrates devices into the environment, allowing them to connect and stay connected at all times.

This constant connectivity enables agencies to generate data in real-time – not just when they sync with the cloud. Imagine some of the real-life applications of this capability. Healthcare providers would have instant, continuous health data to use in patient care. Soldiers on the battlefield would have constant connectivity for more accurate intel and defense strategies. These insights not only drive efficiency and security, but they save on time and resources.

Dell Technologies’ John Roese recently shared the importance of the U.S. driving these innovations – and the positive implications for the Federal space. “By doing so, we can increase market competitiveness, prevent vendor lock-in, and lower costs at a time when governments globally need to prioritize spending. More importantly, we can set the stage for the next wave of wireless,” he explained.

As an open technology, 5G infrastructure is a high-speed, interconnected mesh provided by multiple vendors at the same time. This prevents challenges presented to agencies by vendor lock-in, and reduces costs associated with creating and maintaining individual access points.

However, with perpetual connectivity, devices require a connection point with low latency. As 5G technology progresses, edge computing becomes a powerful necessity. Gartner reported that by 2022, more than 50 percent of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside the data center or cloud.

Dell Technologies’ edge capabilities enable agencies to get the data they need and avoid data siloes by applying logic in the edge – immediately. Dell Technologies has also started to specialize in providing 5G-compatible devices built with edge computing in mind.

These capabilities allow data to be processed in real-time, closer to the source. Devices can intelligently communicate anomalies and changes back to the core data center, enabling a better, more capable edge.

As time progresses, the edge will become smarter in making decisions and reducing the amount of data that needs to be transferred back to the core, while also ensuring the core is updated more frequently to support AI and machine learning.

New Challenges Require New Strategies

As the technology landscape changes yet again, agencies face the challenge of investing in new technology – one that has to be built from the ground up. However, as next-gen technologies continue to develop, government has no choice but to keep up.

Whether providing critical services to the public or creating strategies for the battlefield, agencies need access to the best tools and most accurate insights to drive mission success.

Agencies should leverage support from industry partners like Dell Technologies to get the support they need to accelerate their efforts, drive efficiencies, and innovate. As Roese noted, “when the technology industry of the United States is fully present in a technical ecosystem, amazing innovation happens, and true progress occurs.”

At the end of the day, these efforts lead to better, stronger outcomes for all.

Learn more about how Awdata and Dell Technologies are driving Federal innovation and connection with next-gen tech.

[1] Government by Algorithm: Artificial Intelligence in Federal Administrative Agencies, 2020

About Christopher Weston
Christopher Weston is a Network Engineer at Awdata.