Simply the Edge

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5G and The Fog expand the edges of IT infrastructure further into the real world, making the digital twins of ‘things’ more realistic and smarter than ever

5G and The Fog expand the edges of IT infrastructure further into the real world, making the digital twins of ‘things’ more realistic and smarter than ever

5G and fog computing are pushing storage, processing and connectivity power deeper into the physical world and further away from corporate data centers. With potentially every ‘thing’ at the edge of infrastructure in connected real-time to the network, the vision of digital twins evolves. They become even more precise, trustworthy models of their physical equivalents. Add (artificial) intelligence, and they turn out to be much ‘smarter’ than their real-life twins. This brings radically different perspectives on how to orchestrate and manage so many more physical assets – and the data it generates – as part of the IT infrastructure. But once the edge is unleashed, it’s better than all the rest.


  • The internet of things (IoT) brings a rich infrastructure that connects physical assets to IT systems, often in real time, enabling the assets to be built in virtual models reflecting their current situation, whilst also leveraging AI to predict their future state and drive their interactions with other assets.
  • Digital twins pop up in all major industries, but more notably in manufacturing, where the Industry 4.0 initiative envisions the merge of operational technology and information technology.
  • Producers of physical assets look to create software and AI platforms, to model and develop using digital twins.
  • 5G, fog and edge computing are pushing the speed envelope, allowing for data transaction close to where the end user sits.



  • GE Aviation created a real-time dissemination and integration of digital twin configuration data in their Configure Data Exchange, enabling the exchange of essential operations, maintenance, environmental and event information.
  • Auckland, New Zealand increases its ‘Smart City’ IQ by using sensors in streetlights to monitor traffic flow and easing congestion by analyzing data collected.
  • Equinor builds digital twins for four of its oil field projects allowing for a virtual, real-time representation of the physical installations.
  • To tackle the problem of lost sales due to out of stock products, US-based grocery chain, Giant Eagle deployed smart shelves in its stores to reduce stock replenishment time by two-thirds and cut the number of out of stocks on any given day by 50%.
  • India’s largest airline, IndiGo has deployed a Fortinet Secure software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) solution across its branch offices to secure its WAN edge.
  • UK leading auto parts distributor, Andrew Page used telematics to reduce speeding by 97%, with a 47% reduction in crashes, and a circa 7% improvement in fuel economy and reduced maintenance costs. (Capgemini Research Institute)


  • Optimizing the management and servicing of physical assets through predictive analytics has many advantages, for example, to improve business processes and activities that could benefit from a real-time connection to physical assets, for route optimization, or for customer experience.
  • It adds value to physical products through the provision of usage analytics to customers.
  • Creates new business models through the monetization of the IoTand develop a fully immersive experience through a blend of augmented and virtual reality.