Asset intensive industries are challenged by the convergence of business systems (OT) and plant automation (OT). This union between OT and IT is becoming more streamlined and com-prehensive as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) becomes more established. Successful IT/OT convergence provides both a strategic and performance advantage by aligning operation-al goals with business objectives. In addition to eliminating information silos, frequently cited benefits of convergence include getting the most of assets, streamlining work processes, greater operational efficiency, and leveraging emerging technologies.
These benefits are all related to physical assets in some way causing this analyst ask the ques-tion, how can these benefits be attained if engineering technology is omitted from this conver-gence? Respondents to a recent ARC web survey overwhelming indicated that the engineering department bears responsibility for managing asset-related data and analytics in those companies. What Is perhaps more troubling according to the survey results is that responsibili-ties not clearly defined outpaced those for IT and OT combined!
However, if engineering has primary responsibility for asset-related data, it should also be included to provide a single mod-el of automation and operations management. In order to gain maximum benefit from conver-gence, enterprises must move beyond simply automating and integrating production processes to automating and integrating workflows with business processes including plant engineering in a common information infrastructure.
The shift from intelligent solutions to the application of industrial analytics offers new oppor-tunities for improvement by gaining new insight from known information. IIoT is the impetus for this technological convergence. In order to attain full benefit, IT, OT, and ET strategies must be harmonized such that common governance, work practices, and process models are uti-lized. Successful IT/OT/ET convergence provides both strategic and performance advantage by aligning operational goals with business objectives, optimizing processes, improving asset maintenance, and increasing economic efficiency.
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About ARC Advisory Group (www.arcweb.com): Founded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group is a Boston based leading technology research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure.
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