DRJ Fall 2019

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Fall Journal

Volume 32, Issue 3

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Friday, 26 July 2019 14:09

Manufacturers’ Digital Transformation Will Fail Without Both IT And OT

If you believe the stereotypes, then the worlds of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) are very different. In one, ranks of commoditized beige boxes hold institutional memory, critical intellectual property, and the bosses’ email: The data center is everything. In the other, proprietary, expensive, and arcane electromechanical monsters lurk next to the production lines on the factory floor: Keeping the line running is everything. The truth is more complicated, particularly in the world of OT, where very recognizable computers have been used for years.

IT and OT evolved separately for good reasons, but the world has changed. OT teams still do everything they can to keep the lines running, and IT teams generally have more awareness of the risks posed by cyberattacks, but attitudes, tools, and the key performance indicators by which success is measured are converging. It’s just as well.