A typical manufacturing organization always has kept operations and information quite a bit separate. Information technology systems mean every part of the business system that builds, processes, stores and transmits the data of the organization. Operations technology on the other hand is the stuff that runs factory, machines or logistics systems as well as environmental control. Typically, this was a disparate software environment with proprietorial or bespoke software that’s used for single machines or sets of machines. IT infrastructure tends to focus most of a few operating systems and saw the benefit of interoperable and interconnected systems.
THE INTERNET OF THINGS IS BRINGING THE TWO WORLDS TOGETHER
There would be challenges to bring such a disparate environment into a single platform, or at least something that acts as one platform. Organizations should ensure that they don’t lose the security benefits that disconnected systems bring. Building a single, inter-connected system greatly increases the risks from cyber and malware attacks. Security, from the beginning should be built-in and not added at the end of the projects. Regardless of the risks, industrial users are more and more seeing the benefits of making such systems. Through proper use of data already created, manufacturers radically could boost efficiencies as well as cut the costs of maintenance.
As the Internet of Things devices and sensors continue falling in price, the challenge is to make the best use of collected data. IT programs provide ways and processes to help integrate operations and information technology systems together. Making the best use of data opens up a chance to change how a business functions and not just hastening its existing functionalities.
MANUFACTURING ARE SHIFTING TO A MORE DIGITAL FOCUS
Manufacturing, production and distribution of energy shifts to a more digital focus today. There are some challenges that were not faced by other industries that have been experienced already in the digital revolution. Nevertheless, most now recognize the benefits and seeing the risks of ignoring the next industrial revolution. A typical manufacturing company always has kept operations and IT separate. IT includes any use of computers, networking devices, storage as well as physical devices, processes and infrastructure to build, process, secure, store and exchange all electronic data forms. Traditionally, operations technology is associated with industrial and manufacturing environments, which include Industrial Control Systems(ICS) like Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition(SCADA).
Although inherently IT covers communications as part of the information scope, operations technology has not been traditionally networked tech. A lot of devices to monitor or adjustment weren’t computerized and those that have compute sources in general used proprietary, closed protocols and programmable logic controllers or PLC, instead of technologies that afford thorough computer control. Often, the system involved relied on air gapping for security. More and more connected systems and controllers, such as a wireless sensor and actuator networks are integrated to the management of industrial environments, like those used for electric power, water treatment and factories. The automation integration, communication and networking in industrial environments is an important part of the IoT growth. Information and operations technology convergence allows more complete monitoring and more direct control, with easier data analysis from complex systems anywhere in the world.
MODERNIZATION OF OPERATIONS TECHNOLOGY VIA I.T. INTEGRATION
The modernization of operations technology via information technology integration brings about the consideration required when it comes to security. A lot of operational technology systems were never designed for remote accessibility, thus connectivity risks were not taken into consideration. These systems may not be updated regularly. The operations technology systems vulnerability could leave companies and organizations and vital infrastructure at risk of industrial sabotage and espionage.
THE BENEFITS OF OPERATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CONVERGENCE
In todays’ fast-paced world, there are a lot of benefits that the convergence of operations and information technologies could bring. These include the following:
- Increased control over distributed operations.
- Reduced operating expenses via eliminating redundant resources and processes.
- Consistent risk management in technology domains.
- Enhanced security via an integrated approach for cyber-security on both categories.
- Improved management and governance of systems.
- Enhanced overall plant safety.
- Continuous assessment, implementation as well as maintenance processes.
I.T and business technology practice combine to accelerate the transformational use of data, extensive enterprise manufacturing intelligence application, changes in the provider and practitioner market and adoption of advanced technologies to drastically enhance performance, precision and efficiency of manufacturing.
The benefits and results could be achieved if information technology and operations technology work together as a cross-functional unit, understanding the systems of each and the value that both brings to an organization. The level of organization requires the staff from IT and OT to be cross-trained as well as a robust change management processes should be in place.
The convergence of OT and IT has the possibility of bringing clear advantages to organizations, it has become clear that information technology has to better serve operations technology and optimization of OT data.