December 9, 2021

IT, OT & IoT: Where We See Convergence

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.

So, how do all of these fit together? I would argue that together with IT/OT, there is another value coming in with IoT convergence, and that IoT is inherently a part the whole thing.

Mirza Kotorcic Commercial Segment Manager B2B Large Enterprise Tele2

For instance, connecting your (old) CNC machine (OT) to extract data might require that you either utilize the company network (IT) or a separate connectivity (IoT) method to ensure availability and security. And with the entrance of 5G and Private Mobile Networks, we really see how all the three fields above are interconnected. This might sound like something unique for Industry 4.0, but this trend extends over any number of industries, from utilities and smart buildings to construction sites.

Sounds interesting, but how do you know this is true? Well, ‘know’ is a strong word, but the trend is clear – and there is one more proof point to talk about. I’ve been privileged to have worked within Tele2 IoT before moving to Tele2 B2B, which covers the entire Tele2 Enterprise portfolio – from Mobile and Communication solutions to Networking solutions and Consulting. When I’ve met with Enterprise customers on both ends, the questions they ask are for all of the above fields. They want to know which communications solutions is best for their employees, how should they go from on-premise solutions to software-defined and cloud based solutions, and can we provide not only the products, but also integrator skills and resources to ensure the products function according to plan? And finally, they want to know how to connect everything. It’s almost like a ball of yarn: customers start on one end and unwind it more and more. If the partner they are speaking with is lacking in one or any of these key areas or is referred somewhere else – the fun stops. Questions remain unanswered, problems continue unresolved, and the relationship suffers.

This is what is unique with Tele2: all of this knowledge and all of these skillsets are in one company, under one roof. Our experts know each other and work together, all on the same mission: to be our customers’ friendly expert. That’s why we’re here and this is what we do.

If you would like to learn more or discuss how we can enable your business, please get in touch.

Mirza Kotorcic
Commercial Segment Manager, B2B Large Enterprise

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