Many organizations – especially those in industries such as industrial, healthcare, and fleet, to name a few – rely on two primary technology groups and systems to execute business operations: information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT).
- IT: Enables the creation, processing, storage, and secure exchange of electronic data through the use of networking infrastructure and devices, computers, and processes.
- OT: Enables the monitoring and control of physical device or equipment performance through the use of specified hardware and software.
Until recently, the vast majority of OT tools have been mechanical and manually implemented without the use of digital controls. Unlike IT, which fundamentally includes communications, OT has not traditionally been a networked technology. With fragmented, disconnected IT/OT processes and management, organizations are faced with challenges including limited resources (as most OT specialists are not IT specialists, and vice versa), complex working environments, and high operational costs.