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Fastcoworks Created for and commissioned by Adobe
Fastcoworks Created for and commissioned by Adobe
Why Marketers Should Care About ’The Fog’

If you’re weary of references to the cloud, you could be forgiven for rolling your eyes at another technology that alludes to sublimated water. But "the fog," a next-generation server paradigm, is no joke, as the Adobe Summit crowd learned last week in Las Vegas.

"When you’re offering services, you need somewhere to collect your data and process it," said Travis Sabin, product manager of mobile app analytics at Adobe.

With the emergence of the Internet of Things, the volume and velocity of data is going to explode in unimaginable ways.

Accelerating the avalanche will be user-generated content, which is expected to continue its rapid growth. The way that marketers currently collect and manage data—pooling in buckets, building audience segments, setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and creating campaigns—would be hopelessly slow.

Whereas the cloud is based on centralizing data, the fog is about "re-decentralization." That is, a return to a concept from the early days of the Internet. Instead of all of your company’s information residing in a handful of mega-data centers thousands of miles away, your primary data, which now includes reams of sensor readings, will be stored at smaller and closer data centers.

"That brings the servers closer to the devices, making the response time faster and making the devices more secure," Sabin said.

In a world where millisecond response times matter, there’s no time to manually plan local campaigns and digest reporting. Marketers will set their goals in cloud software and let the network of devices dictate programmatic ad buys.

"The last and biggest part of this ecosystem is analytics," Sabin said. "If you can’t get insights out of this data, then the whole network is worthless."

This article was created for and commissioned by Adobe, and the views expressed are their own.