- June 16, 2022
- White Paper
OT/IT Convergence by Data
White Paper by Skkynet
In the past few years, the convergence of OT and IT (Operational Technology and Information Technology) has moved from curiosity to necessity in just about every industrial sector. Demands for improved efficiency brought on by the possibilities of Industrial IoT and Industry 4.0 are compelling management to find better ways to extract value from OT data.
However, IT and OT systems are not particularly compatible. These two siblings have grown up separately, despite their common parentage in computing technology. They were designed for different tasks, with different goals in mind.
The focus of IT is business improvement—to support accounting, logistics, human resources and all other areas of the business to make it more effective and productive. In a sense, for IT, the product is the business itself. Upgrades to computer systems and improvements in skills pay off with immediate results in the success of the business. And it’s easy to make improvements because critical data is relatively static, providing ample opportunities to upgrade the tools and skills needed to manipulate the data.
In the OT world, the focus is on doing or making things. The production process is paramount. Complex factory systems, pipelines, power grids, and chemical plants cannot be switched on and off easily. Mission-critical systems running 24/7 cannot be put on pause for software upgrades. Every hour of lost production time can cost millions. It may take months or years to build such a system, and once it is running, few engineers are willing to risk swapping in a piece of untested software. Computer skills are just one aspect of a project where the bulk of the expenditure and expertise is focused on the machinery and devices needed to do the work. OT is one of several players in the game, and not the star of the show that IT often becomes in its world.
Skkynet is a global leader in real-time middleware products and services that allow companies to securely acquire, monitor, control, visualize, network and consolidate live process data in-plant or over insecure networks. We serve every industrial sector, over 21,000 installations in 86 countries, including the world's top 10 automation providers.