Bringing IT and OT Together to Enable Digital Transformation
Written By: Greg Kaminsky
4/24/2019 Read Time : 4 min

As enterprises look toward transforming their business operations for a future driven by meaningful Internal of Things (IoT) insights, it’s becoming increasingly important for them to bring information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) closer together. But with different missions, technologies, and products keeping the worlds of IT and OT separate, there are several key challenges companies must overcome to achieve digital transformation.

Siloed organizational structures

The number of different IT and OT technologies that enterprises employ and manage typically results in organizational structures that are siloed and have difficulty communicating with each other.

WHY should you solve this challenge?

Today’s businesses are transforming their operations by collecting IoT data, contextualizing it, and integrating it across different areas of the enterprise. Because IoT data can unlock the value of data in other systems, this can provide additional cost benefits even beyond resource utilization. For example, by tracking delivery vehicles with contextualized IoT data, companies can quickly and easily optimize work schedules to better utilize employees’ time.

HOW you can solve this challenge

Companies can overcome siloed organizational structures by democratizing the availability of IoT data to a broader set of business units and functional groups. The IoT solutions that are most effective for this have low-code application development environments that provide enterprises with the fastest time-to-value.

Distinct and separate technology and supplier domains

While IP technologies like ethernet provide the basis for IT, operational technology relies on more proprietary type communication protocols. Historically, there hasn’t been much overlap between the two supplier ecosystems.

WHY should you solve this challenge?

The IoT promises to change the way that businesses sell, market, and deliver to customers by turning the data that connected products generate into meaningful, timely insights. As more products become smart, connected, and increasingly valuable, the interoperability of IT systems will only become more important.

HOW you can solve this challenge

Recent partnerships between IoT solution vendors and cloud providers such as Microsoft make it easier for customers to move fast and see quick results when implementing IoT initiatives. IT and OT partnerships allow each company to leverage its partner’s respective strengths and provide customers with more holistic out-of-the-box offerings around digital transformation.

Innovation pace driven by open and closed ecosystems

Separate supplier domains with limited interoperability make innovating and business transformation a slow and complex process. Specifically, merging the open ecosystems of IT with OT ecosystems that are dominated by a small number of suppliers.

WHY should you solve this challenge?

Companies that remove these speedbumps towards innovation are getting the first mover advantage that enables them to stay ahead of competition. Digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight, but companies that start now are advancing the internal transformation that needs to happen sooner than later.

HOW you can solve this challenge

Industrial-focused IoT platforms can provide more benefits with a faster time-to-value than generalized IoT platforms. And when paired with mutually reinforcing cloud services such as Microsoft Azure, innovation throughout the full product lifecycle is not only possible, but easily doable.

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Tags: CAD Industrial Internet of Things Industrial Equipment Connected Devices Digital Transformation
About the Author Greg Kaminsky Greg is a technology blogger telling real stories about industrial innovation, digital transformation, and futurism in the workplace. As a Content Marketing Manager at PTC, Greg is helping business leaders discover how augmented reality and the internet of things are empowering frontline employees, driving productivity, and differentiating brands.