The OT and IT Integeration - I4.0
What is Operation Technology (OT)
OT, or operational technology, interacts with the physical world and uses hardware and software to control industrial equipment. OT includes VFDs, sensors, multifunction meters, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), control systems (CSs), and SCADA or BMS. OT environments supervise physical processes in a factory or building.
What’s the difference between OT, IT, IoT, and IIoT?
IT deals with data systems, information and analytics; whereas OT systems interact with the physical world of the factory/building.
These IT-OT convergence helps in solving business and process problems using these datas.
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to connecting physical objects to the internet—from everyday household objects like lightbulbs, fans, and ACs; to healthcare assets like medical devices; to wearables, smart devices, smart cities, and smart factories.
These IoT-enabled devices receive and transfer data to the remote data center over wireless networks with limited human intervention.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connects operation technology with information technology. IIoT is a subset of IoT; it specifically deals with connecting the OTs to IT systems to primarily address four use cases:
- Energy management,
- Power quality analysis and control
- Asset management, and
- Predictive maintenance.
IIoT enables monitoring of OTs and machinery through the OTs. IIoT, sometimes referred to as Industry4.0, is the same thing .i,e. integration of OT with IT. Once the operation, energy, and production Data are available, concepts like AI, ML, and predictive maintenance are implemented to drive efficiency; assisting the decision-makers with a data-driven strategy for an operational problem; helping them to choose the right and effective maintenance strategy, implement energy management and also use the Data for MIS or sustainability reporting.
The OT - IT Integration and Edge Computing
The current requirement in the industry is to digitize the assets in factories and buildings, i.e., connecting the OT with IT; however, organizations face challenges in the scalability and economics of such digitization as there are multiple OEMs providing OT technologies, and these OT technologies communicate using various communications protocols such as Modbus TCP, Modbus RTU, BACnet, Profinet, etc.
Data abstraction from multiple OEMs is a big challenge in the industry, and hence the adoption of Industry4.0 is low. We at Nebeskie Labs solve this exact problem to enable industries to adopt digitization and Industry4.0 by providing an IoT Edge Platform for data abstraction (monitoring), control, and real-time edge analytics. Edge computing plays a critical role in this OT-IT convergence. It involves shifting computing resources toward the physical location at the factory site or the data source, like data analysis that takes place on a factory floor rather than at a remote data center.
Enture IoT Edge platform by Nebeskie Labs unifies discrete data systems used by both the business and the operations sides. This is a change from how traditionally industries have been operated.
With the evolution of The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or I4.0, manufacturers will have networks of connected industrial devices working together to monitor, record, analyze the operation, and process data to help deliver new insights and optimize business processes. It can range from the most miniature sensors to large industrial equipment.
However, as with any connected network, if the security of the connected OT and IT environment is poorly implemented, it will have an extreme impact on the cybersecurity of an entire organization. It potentially provides cyber attackers with new avenues for hacking into the heart of industrial systems with detrimental consequences that go well beyond data theft. As IoT technology evolves, more OT will connect to IT; this will blur the boundaries between IT and OT. It is ever more critical that the security of your digital factory ensures appropriate access to control and production data while preventing cyber security events that could cause shutdowns, safety, and Ransome threats. Source: LinkedIn