It’s been nearly 10 years since Gartner initiated the discussion around IT and OT convergence. Since then, there has been progress, but a lot of work remains ahead for Enterprises – and at the same time, IoT has emerged as a critical business enabler. How does all of this fit in together? And what should Enterprises consider? Here is some food for thought, but before we get to that, let’s start with clearing out the industry jargon:
- IT: Information Technology – meaning the Enterprise IT team, often led by the CIO
- OT: Operational Technology – everything on the operational side that IT isn’t often or very much involved in
- IoT: Internet of Things – connecting devices and assets to provide data and business value.
So, with some crude examples, IT could be the workplace infrastructure with computers, mobiles, unified communication, networks, security, and Enterprise software, while OT represents the machines on the factory floor, from basic CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines to robotic automation or other operational assets.
The convergence of these areas means utilizing knowledge and resources from both, in order optimize the overall performance and result for the Enterprise. The most common challenge is that IT and OT often have separate organizational setups, competing for attention and resources. Convergence also sets higher demands on both leaders and staff to be knowledgeable within both fields.
Then we have IoT, which could be both connecting devices in the office building for optimal utilization of, say elevators or rooms, but also connecting the products your Enterprise is manufacturing to provide additional value for your end-customers.