infoTECH Feature

October 05, 2021

Important Considerations That Help Create A Constructive IT/OT Convergence Program

Design and implementation of an industrial shop-floor service. Global enterprise manufacturing brands have finally started an industry 4.0 journey to uncover the power of data from their IT, supply chain, and IoT. Here are the diverse elements and drivers for IT/OT convergence from an industrial perspective. These IT/OT convergences can be constructive. 

  1. Demand for effective vendor utilization 
  2. Knowledge sharing challenges 
  3. Resource utilization optimizations
  4. New technologies introduced by megatrends and vendors
  5. Cybersecurity threats demand control and global awareness

1. IT/OT Cross-Functional Team

Several organizations have discovered a center of excellence group covering 5G, Blockchain, IoT solutions as the advancing technologies. But now, it demands coordinated efforts from OT, enterprise IT, manufacturing IT. Generally, a team structure like the one provided below would be able to offer relevant information. 

Here is a business case example 

How to promote operator productivity using an AR headset?

There is an atrocious amount of consideration to bring this case into an operational state, as listed below:

  1. Program Sponsor, who owns the brand Industry 4.0 program.
  2. Program Director, who owns the IT/OT convergence program.
  3. Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from diverse departments who have spent several years in their department analyze their as-is portfolio and should be able to navigate within their business to bring a positive change:
  • Industrial OT network
  • Industrial OT security
  • OT asset(s) and its automation channels
  • Enterprise IT workplace
  • Enterprise IT network
  • IIoT edge and data center SME
  • Public cloud architect

2. Build Reference Architecture Patterns 

The core team educates themselves about IT-OT convergence problems and determines the risks and gaps in several departments. This is not limited to network vulnerabilities and security threat assessment. Generally, the team that focuses on building the to-be reference architecture connectivity patterns must use the guiding principles illustrated in the Industrial Control Security Recommendation by NIST. 

3. Receive Guidance And Enablement From Partner 

The core team must look out for experience and essential knowledge from partners and suppliers. Although such a thing is happening in many brands, there are numerous pressing questions: 

  1. Are your suppliers and partners a significant part of the extended core team in this initiative?
  2. Do your partner and supplier observe the benefits of investing their money and time?
  3. Do your partner and supplier have clear directions and a charter for contribution? 

4. Re-strategise Operations 

A brand-new service level operation is essential from the operation’s point of view that combines both the OT and IT portfolio. This involves shop-floor LAN, Wi-fi, machine-level OT assets, and more. Naturally, a brand-new OT-IT service framework that is listed below will be managed by a service provider. Such IoT applications can be beneficial in the long run. 

  1. Procurement management 
  2. SLA Management
  3. 24/7 monitoring and management 
  4. Inventory management
  5. Security services and audit
  6. Governance
  7. Design and implementation of an industrial shop-floor service 


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