TECH BUYER Sep 2020 - IDC Perspective - Doc # US46826120

The Blurred Lines at the Edge of OT

By: Jonathan LangResearch Manager, Worldwide IT/OT Convergence Strategies, Kevin ProutyGroup Vice President, Energy and Manufacturing Insights

Abstract

This IDC Perspective provides insight into the intersecting technology trends and capabilities of operations technology (OT) and edge computing.

IT/OT convergence is sometimes considered an amorphous topic, but the truth is that this convergence across staff, technology, and process is at the very core of Industry 4.0 transformations. This is particularly true in the area of the convergence of OT and edge-based infrastructure and intelligence. As industrial enterprises pursue edge computing to resolve some of the challenges they face in scaling connectivity of assets or managing new and expanding workloads within operations, the functionality of edge computing is beginning to blur with the functionality of traditional OT systems. What has not yet converged are the skills and interfaces required to enable the underlying operational process to converge. To date, edge systems play an important functional and tactical role in enabling intelligence of OT. That is beginning to change and raises new considerations for enterprises now rationalizing their overall operations technology architecture to advance and scale Industry 4.0.

"Legacy OT holds an important place in operations because it is locally accessible from a proximity of deployment as well as the skills to manage it by local operations professionals who require access and configurability without IT intervention," says Jonathan Lang, research manager, IDC's Worldwide IT/OT Convergence Strategies research. "Once these goals can be met by IT providers offering new advanced capabilities in the way of edge computing, we believe that companies will be forced to reconcile or unify traditional OT systems with modern IT systems co-deployed within the operations setting."


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