As a sidelight to our prior commentary related to GE Digital’s report of progress on Digital Industrial efforts, we call Supply Chain Matters reader attention to a recent blog posting on EDN Network.

Richard Quinnell pens in his commentary, Solve the IT-OT conflict, that Internet of Things (IoT) focused developers are facing a challenge, that being their brethren enterprise organizational IT teams. He describes this as a territorial battle among operations technology (OT) focused teams and those responsible for the security of company networks.

Both have reasonable claims to the control of data and information, performing analysis of information and to make changes to applications and equipment. However, according to the author, a typical current response is for OT teams to forego working with the firm’s enterprise network in favor of creating an independent network. Such independence requires OT teams to take on the challenges of maintaining a network infrastructure, which is sometimes outside their area of experience.

Many of our IT focused readers will probably recall past efforts of IT skunkworks where independent functional or line-of-business teams tap independent budgets and avoid corporate IT as much as possible to deliver on required business or functional initiatives. In this case however, the nuance brings out the differences in operational networks vs. business applications networks.  As the posting points out, the eventual impact is to restrict the synergies hoped for in IoT, namely connecting physical operational device data with enterprise applications such as PLM, supply chain planning, execution, or customer service management.

Read the full commentary and ponder whether your organizational initiatives related to IoT are running into these same inherent conflicts that ultimately stymie longer-term benefits of IoT.

Bob Ferrari