Welcome!

Video Authors: Elizabeth White, Yakov Fain, Liz McMillan, Dan Ristic, Jnan Dash

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, @CloudExpo, @BigDataExpo

@ThingsExpo: Article

Converging IT and OT at the Speed of the IoT | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M

A recent study showed that 40 percent of companies at the top of their industries will be replaced in the next 10 years

Converging IT and OT at the Speed of the IoT

The rolling thunder of digital transformation waits for no business. It will make short work of any organization that does not evolve rapidly. CEOs must quickly define where their organizations can compete for success and lead them on that journey. If they can't-or won't-change, they risk fading away like the slow-moving dinosaurs confronted with a habitat-destroying meteor.

The IoT's Precipitous Changes
Leading analyst Gartner forecasts that 8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016, and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020. There is already $1.9 trillion dollars' worth of economic value related to the sale and usage of IoT technology.

The impact crater of this technology shift must not go underestimated. A recent study showed that 40 percent of companies at the top of their industries will be replaced in the next 10 years. Yet, the same survey found that 45 percent of respondents do not think digital disruption is worthy of attention from their organization's board of directors.

This attitude is perilous. Just consider these examples:

  • AirBnB, Uber and Lyft are transforming how people book lodging and arrange transportation, putting enormous pressure on the hospitality and taxi industries.
  • The iPhone blew the former market leader off the map.
  • Additive (3D) printing threatens marine and overland cargo shipping companies.
  • As the photography market swung toward digital, the reign of film-based camera companies ended.

There are bright spots for agile companies, however. With the launch of Pokemon Go and its massive recent Apple partnership, Nintendo boosted its relevance by establishing a strong mobile platform.

Rapid change requires that industry leaders proactively plan. Would you rather be Netflix or Blockbuster? Nearly 30 percent of businesses worldwide have already begun limited IoT deployments, according to Strategy Analytics' IoT 2015 Deployment and Usage Trends survey. For organizations that have not yet begun, it's not too late to embrace digital transformation - but they must act now.

Turning the Ship Around
The IoT opens up new worlds of possibilities because organizations now can extract data from network-connected devices and sensors. This data was never available before. Insights from this data can add enormous value to organizations. But companies must reshape their current infrastructures in order to use their data effectively. And they must hire and train the right people to bring their digital change strategies to fruition.

The traditional siloes of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) are getting shaken up by the IoT. These two were once separate and did not often communicate with each other. Now they must come together. It's a huge and critical step in the digital journey. The rub? Most do not know how to merge IT and OT. Neither IT nor OT professionals fully grasp converged IoT networking. They do not understand industrial IoT security. They are not fluent in endpoint data management and analytics. And they are not at all certain how the preceding will add value to their organizations. How will it lead to new business models? Or new services and revenue sources?

It will take new talent and the right training to update the skills of existing staff and to find answers to these questions. Connecting 20 billion machines and devices is a huge task. The World Bank predicts that over the next decade, there will be 2 million unfilled information and communication technology (ICT) -related jobs worldwide. There will be a global need to train 220,000 new control engineers every year for manufacturing plant operations alone.

The IT department, known for its information processing duties, is better positioned to take the lead in the digital journey. Data from IoT connected devices will create new information to parse, interpret and monetize. But IT must collaborate with OT during the transition. After all, many of the sensors, devices, operations and software that comprise the IoT reside in the OT side of the organization.

Consider, for instance, a steam valve system that controls water flow through a cooling apparatus. It operates within the OT domain and will continue to operate in the OT domain. In the past, manual intervention was required to take its readings and make decisions. Now, in an IoT environment, data from the apparatus is collected, analyzed and acted upon via the interconnected network and IT software. Solving for manual intervention, data generated from OT-managed devices and sensors is delivered across the IT system to take critical, real-time action.

How the IoT Benefits OT
IoT advocates need to make a strong business case for its benefits to OT and the organization as a whole. For example, the IoT could boost corporate profits worldwide by 21 percent in 2022.

Safety and comfort are also IoT benefits. Connected sensors and devices can measure and manage hazardous places at no risk to human beings. The IoT can also regulate the organization's physical surroundings to control energy costs and boost comfort.

Yet another benefit of the IoT is efficiency. It will handle routine tasks like reporting misconfigurations and errors as they occur on automated assembly lines. The result? Higher yields and less downtime, which improves profits. Better decision-making is also possible due to the IoT. Pulling trends from empirical data removes assumptions from the process. The ability to view how the system behaves can yield new insights and ideas.

Over the long term, IoT data analysis holds great potential for new revenue opportunities. In the short term, the IoT's immediate effect is lower costs and increased efficiency. All departments will benefit from the IoT. However, in a major cultural shift like this, OT executives must align with current IT initiatives in addition to breaking out of existing silos. It is a tall order.

Skilled Workers in Short Supply
To make the order even taller, OT executives are facing a major talent gap. Additionally, executives lack a process or industry-approved framework for quantifying the skills needed to perform IoT job roles. Insufficient staffing and lack of expertise is the top-cited barrier for organizations currently looking to implement and benefit from the IoT, according to research from Gartner.

Further, the State of IoT 2015 Global Developer Study found that 51 percent of developers and chief information officers surveyed say they are uncertain they have the skills or resources to deliver on the promise of the IoT.

Lessons Learned
Investing in the IoT is investing in the future. Let's explore how to lay out and follow a roadmap to a successful IoT strategy. Successful digital journeys arise from two factors. The first is leadership. Organizations need to hire a digital champion with a firm IoT vision and the enthusiasm to motivate employees to make huge changes in systems and processes. CEOs recognize the importance of tying workplace culture to behavior, with 41 percent making changes to this aspect of their talent strategies. Indeed, companies that take bold actions to align their value proposition, capabilities, products and services together view their culture as their greatest asset.

Updated skills is the second factor. Seventy-two percent of the CEO respondents in the 19th PWC annual Global CEO Survey reported that the availability of key skills is a concern. Both IT and OT need digital expertise. Training staff in this new expertise is essential for organizations to avoid the meteor and thrive in their digital transitions.

No business wants to go the way of the dinosaur. Organizations understand that in order to succeed in today's environment, they need to overcome traditional siloes by bringing together IT and OT to truly get the most out of their IoT efforts.

More Stories By Sudarshan Krishnamurthi

Sudarshan Krishnamurthi is a senior manager, Business Strategy, at Cisco Systems with over 20+ years of experience in the technology industry. He leads the Business Strategy function for Education Services within Cisco. He also leads the Strategy and Portfolio Workgroups for the IoT Talent Consortium, which is an industry initiative to address the IoT skills gap and the career trajectories of the future. He has worked with many industry partner, including Rockwell Automation and Panduit, to help create the first skills-based training and certification program focused on IT and OT convergence on the industrial plant floor. Through this program, Rockwell and Cisco have jointly trained and certified more than 1,000 individuals.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Consumers increasingly expect their electronic "things" to be connected to smart phones, tablets and the Internet. When that thing happens to be a medical device, the risks and benefits of connectivity must be carefully weighed. Once the decision is made that connecting the device is beneficial, medical device manufacturers must design their products to maintain patient safety and prevent compromised personal health information in the face of cybersecurity threats. In his session at @ThingsExpo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, will examine the regulations and provide insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence a...
In the enterprise today, connected IoT devices are everywhere – both inside and outside corporate environments. The need to identify, manage, control and secure a quickly growing web of connections and outside devices is making the already challenging task of security even more important, and onerous. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Rich Boyer, CISO and Chief Architect for Security at NTT i3, discussed new ways of thinking and the approaches needed to address the emerging challenges of security i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera offers a radically new approach to data management, where innovative software makes data infrastructure invisible, elastic and able to perform at the highest level. It eliminates hardware lock-in and gives IT organizations the choice to source x86 server nodes, with business model option...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, I provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, discussed the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insights from the vast t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Elastifile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Elastifile Cloud File System (ECFS) is software-defined data infrastructure designed for seamless and efficient management of dynamic workloads across heterogeneous environments. Elastifile provides the architecture needed to optimize your hybrid cloud environment, by facilitating efficient...