IT, Meet OT

As I continually meet with customers and engage with industry analysts, it is becoming more apparent the benefits of M2M communications are starting to accelerate. This is a welcome realization for those of us who have been anxiously anticipating this day. M2M technology has already enabled smart grid applications, built management systems, and improved industrial process controls — but always as standalone solutions and systems commonly referred to as Operations Technology, or OT. Often, OT systems are not well integrated with the other business or Information Technology (IT) systems.

Operations Technology Has Taken Us Far
When we sit back and look at the impact of OT Systems, we see a profound impact of these systems. OT is the backbone of businesses that use automated machinery to produce food products, monitor environmental systems in data centers, power robotic welding machines on assembly lines, deliver fuel, and monitor our safety. M2M technology is the core foundation that captures and delivers the operational data within individual machines, equipment and devices—and allows this data to be distributed to people and systems for effective management.

Now Let’s Take Things Even Farther
As we build the enabling technology for M2M communications, our customer engagements become more exciting. Today, we can demonstrate what happens when an OT system is connected with an IT system. The benefits of OT are deepened with a business context placed around the data. An unbridled creativity is unleashed with the possibility of having accurate, real time information access with a company’s OT system tied into its IT systems. At one recent customer meeting, we demonstrated the effectiveness of using M2M technology to access real time data of fuel tanks and tie that into the company’s fleet tracking systems, inventory forecasting system, and finance systems. Armed with this information, the customer can now develop strategic initiatives that were previously out of reach for them due to cost and complexity.

Tying OT and IT Enable Amazing Business Potential
The strategic benefits for companies that embark on this effort have significant operational payback. Our customer engagements are validating these research findings. And it’s time to get on board to learn more. Gartner Research has put forth research showing the strategic benefits of tying together IT and OT closely together—I encourage you to read for yourself.