Synchronizing IT OT Convergence Challenges Business Cultures

By: Babette Ten Haken | - Leave a comment


Synchronizing IT OT convergence strategy challenges not only information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) models and mindset, but also tests the constraints of existing business and workforce models as well.

IT OT convergence focuses on integrating data-centric computing used in information technology systems (IT) with enterprise and industrial operational technology systems used to monitor, adjust and stabilize events, processes and devices.

The nature of IT OT convergence is not limited to the confines of either the information technology or operational technology disciplines. This convergence creates an entirely new workforce ecosystem. That ecosystem is more collaborative, tech-savvy and holistic.

Two big ideas and rather futuristic issues emerge because there is nothing small, discrete or linear about IT OT convergence.

  1. First, convergence strategy anticipates what happens to business models and organizational cultures while synchronizing IT OT convergence strategy; and
  2. Then, implementation of strategy includes developing and continuously leveraging IT and OT learning cultures to support synchronization.

In the first part of this two-part series, we explored how executing IT OT convergence strategy leverages walking convergence talk.

For starters, the interface between IT and OT convergence pits big data’s “need for speed” (volume, veracity, variety, velocity and value) against operational technology’s need for stability (“Slow down, you move too fast.”) In addition, IT OT convergence requires that people who normally do not play well together actually learn to do so, for real.

Let’s take this concept a step further today. Consider that one of the biggest challenges of synchronizing IT OT convergence involves accommodating the variety and complexity of corporate departmental subcultures.

Not only are machine and software interfaces involved in executing IT OT convergence strategy. It’s the “people interfaces” that are the most challenging and variable factors influencing convergence success.

  • First, not every sub-culture is capable of moving at the pace or cadence demanded by IT OT convergence.
  • Also, the pace and cadence of each professional discipline’s approaches to problem-solving vary across the enterprise.
  • In addition, not every department was hired to work at the rate or depth of expertise demanded by IT OT convergence.
  • Then again, customer-facing business units perceive their part of the enterprise ecosystem through a different lens than do manufacturing production and supply chain units.

After all is said and done, what is the end result of IT OT convergence?

When you think about it, the organization continuously re-syncs itself due to technological advances in the IIoT (industrial Internet of Things) ecosystem.

Due to the complexity of IT OT convergence projects, there’s a tendency to view implementing strategy as an end in itself. However, synchronizing IT OT convergence strategy catalyzes an even greater organizational means to an end.

  1. Synchronizing IT OT convergence challenges business models to create line of business convergence strategies. These strategies focus on continuously capturing, articulating and delivering value to clients.
  2. Consequently, the process of synchronizing IT OT convergence throughout the smart plant continuously creates a smarter organization with a smarter culture.

As a result, digital transformation via IT OT convergence becomes a never-ending story.

How many of you contemplating IT OT convergence projects are more than a bit uncomfortable? What aspects of creating and executing strategy seem most elusive or risky to you? What are your next steps in addressing equipment, software, system and people gaps?

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About The Author

Babette Ten Haken

Founder & President, Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC

Babette Ten Haken is a catalyst, corporate strategist and facilitator. She writes, speaks, consults and coaches about how cross-functional team collaboration revolutionizes the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) value chain for customer loyalty, customer success and customer retention. Her One Millimeter Mindset™ programs draw from her background as a scientist, sales professional, enterprise-level facilitator, Six... Read More