Technology Convergence Morphing into Technology Fusion
The convergence of information technology and operations technology (IT/OT convergence) is progressing rapidly as industrial organizations realize it is key for successful digital transformation.
Connectivity and/or convergence between OT and IT is essential for businesses to compete. Manufacturers and other industrial organizations today face the increasing demand for tighter integration and more information. In response, they have started to leverage Industrial IoT and Industry 4.0 technology and approaches including 5G networking, cloud and edge computing, additive manufacturing, advanced analytics, digital twins, AR/VR, AI, ML, and other emerging technologies.
Increasingly IT/OT convergence includes IT/OT cybersecurity, which helps fill existing security gaps and ensure consistent security levels across the enterprise. Increasingly, convergence also includes the integration of power and automation, which involves converging information about electrical assets (such as in motor control centers) and the production process to help improve sustainability across the entire lifecycle of a manufacturing plant. Convergence between power and automation also provides an integrated, digitalized approach that increases interoperability and flexibility, reduces CAPEX and OPEX expenditures, increases production efficiencies, decreases unscheduled downtime, and improves overall profitability.
Rather than a trend, ARC Advisory Group believes that this convergence between IT and OT, IT cybersecurity and OT cybersecurity, and power and automation will become permanent, representing a true technology fusion. In 2021, look for the introduction of innovative solutions where these technologies will move beyond convergence and be fused into a single offering.