Edge computing is simply about pushing some of the cloud’s processing and storage out near to the devices that produce and consume the data.
The press is still having a field day with this relatively new tech term edge computing, and how it will soon displace cloud computing. I’ve seen more a half dozen articles in just the last two months that advancing the perception that edge computing will displace, not complement, cloud computing.
It’s sad to see such naive discussions continue around edge computing, which I’ve previously tried to debunk in my posts “Make sense of edge computing vs. cloud computing” and “Edge computing: What you need to know before you deploy.” But let me try again!
Any extreme positions on technology never come true. Even the predictions that cloud computing would replace all on-premises computing was far-fetched. Although a good deal of on-premises systems can be moved to the public cloud, a good portion of those systems cannot due to the fact that they have no platform analogs on the public cloud or, more likely, are just too expensive to relocate to the public cloud.
The reality is always somewhere between where the technology is now and the grandiose predictions. You need to understand how to take all the technology hype with a grain of salt.
Even cloud computing is still a murky term that describes way too many things. So it is understandable that the press, pundits, and analysts have run amuck with its redefinition based on new technology or approaches showing up, such as edge computing.
So, here is the skinny: Cloud computing is about centralization of processing and storage to provide a more efficient and scalable platform for computing. Edge computing is simply about pushing some of that processing and storage out near to the devices that produce and consume the data—that is, to the edge. Edge computing will be one of the approaches we use to deploy in the cloud to support specific use cases, with the internet of things being the most applicable.
But edge computing replacing cloud computing? That’s like a toe replacing a body. Cloud computing is a big, broad concept that spans all types of computing approaches and technology; you can consider it a macro technology pattern. Edge computing is simply a micro pattern, where you can do new tactical things with public and private clouds.
Edge computing is an approach within the large corpus of cloud computing. Enough said?
One cloud accounting dilemma will soon be fixed
New processes from the Financial Accounting Standards Board propose a reasonable way to deal with cloud computing costs.
You know cloud computing is here to stay when the accountants take notice. The Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Emerging Issues Task Force plans to propose new rules for how to deal with cloud computing service costs.
The updated guidance means that a customer under contract with a cloud computing provider would consider the current processes of leveraging internal-use software to determine how to recognize implementation costs as an asset. Moreover, the new guidance recognizes that implementation costs are an asset that may be expensed over the terms of the contract with the cloud computing provider, as long as the arrangement is not terminated at the time of the contract.
This is good news for both the enterprises that use cloud computing whose accountants need to figure out how to treat these costs, and for the cloud computing providers that now have a way to explain to enterprises how the costs should be treated. Enterprises have struggled to find best practices, as well as define legal issues, to determine how to treat cloud computing costs that are significant for many enterprises.
The reality is that, no matter if you use internal systems or public cloud systems, you’re getting the advantage of using systems. So the treatment of those costs should be aligned. Thanks to the FASB, they soon will be more aligned.
But not fully aligned. I’ve also been struggling with how cloud computing should be treated considering that enterprises must give up the depreciation of capital expenses in most cases. So holding onto old on-premises equipment to gain the benefit from the depreciation could outweigh any benefit an enterprise would get from cloud computing. Although this new FASB rule does not overcome that issue, the trend is that accounting groups are beginning to see better and fairer ways to deal with cloud computing costs. It’s about time.