Revolutionize Your Data Strategy: 7 +1 Reasons to Embrace IT/OT Convergence

March 21, 2023

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Manufacturing has undergone a significant transformation with the advent of Industry 4.0, which has paved the way for digitalization, automation, and the integration of Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT).

The main purpose of IT systems is to focus on data-driven computing, while OT systems are utilized to monitor events, procedures, and machinery in industrial and business operations and make required modifications. IT/OT convergence involves integrating the traditionally separate worlds of IT and OT to create a seamless flow of data across the entire organization. This is how you get into the business bypass lane. 

Companies are leveraging the power of data to drive innovation, optimize operations, and improve customer experiences. However, a traditional, enterprise data warehouse -focused data strategy alone may not be sufficient to achieve these goals. The convergence of IT and OT has opened a new world of possibilities for manufacturers with real-time streaming data from shopfloor assets. This can lead to numerous benefits, including increased efficiency, improved decision-making, and better collaboration between teams. 

Let us explore seven reasons why manufacturers should consider IT/OT convergence when developing their data strategies, plus an additional bonus reason that could be the key to unlocking even greater success.  

  1. Increased efficiency: one of the key benefits of IT/OT convergence is improved operational efficiency. It allows companies to streamline their processes, automate manual tasks and reduce unplanned machine downtime or likelihood of manual data entry errors. 
  2. Data-driven decision making: the convergence of IT and OT provides organizations with better data and insights to make more informed and strategic decisions. An integrated IT/OT strategy allows organizations to collect and analyze data from multiple sources, including both IT and OT systems. This provides a more complete and timelier picture of operations, across different departments, enabling better decision making and more accurate forecasting. 
  3. Real-time monitoring: operational data from a variety of sources is made available in real-time to the entire organization on a data platform. The automated data collection and validation rule ensures that data quality is ensured increasing trust to data throughout the organization. Monitoring operations in real-time allows organizations to detect and respond to problems, such as bottlenecks or anomalies, more quickly. 
  4. Improved internal collaboration: data provides greater visibility into the performance of the organization, increasing understanding of how each department and function is performing within the organization. Concrete visibility of the interdependencies between different areas through data analytics fosters collaboration between IT and OT teams – resulting, for example, in better alignment of teams and/or functions and increased communication.
  5. Better quality reporting and analytics: thanks to the richness of the data, reporting and advanced analytics that can be tailored to diverse needs provide a more in-depth view of the organization’s
  6. Greater flexibility: when a data strategy is created with IT/OT convergence in mind, the organization is better prepared to adapt to business and customer needs. It is easy to optimize your own operations and, thanks to the real-time monitoring and analytics already mentioned, you can quickly see the impact of changes.
  7. Predictive maintenance: Based on data analysis, anomaly detections and prediction models, maintenance schedules can be accurately planned well into the future. This helps to minimize unplanned downtime and improve equipment reliability, resulting in more efficient and safe

+1. Seamless customer experience: Service quality is high and remains stable with every interaction. Delivery is fast and flawless. The customer can be provided with real-time information on the progress of their order. Contact with the organization is active and clear. Seamless for the customer means smoothness, visibility and invisibility, ease, and trust. A seamless experience engages the customer more strongly than the strongest stitch. 

As a manufacturer, it is crucial to develop a data strategy that incorporates IT/OT convergence to stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing business landscape. Through this approach, you can fully realize the potential of your data and attain higher levels of success. So why wait? With more than 35 years of experience in industrial IT/OT integration, at Nortal, we have the expertise to design, implement and support customized integration solutions both on edge devices and on cloud platforms. Let us help you maximize the benefits of IT/OT convergence and take your manufacturing operations to the next level. Contact us today to learn more about how Nortal can help you achieve your business goals through data-driven transformation.

Revolutionize Your Data Strategy: 7 +1 Reasons to Embrace IT/OT Convergence

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