Experts not working day-to-day in the industrial space—from policymakers to academics to consultants—likely don’t fully comprehend the complexity of the challenge of going digital for manufacturers. In fact, up until recently the leaders working in information technology and manufacturing operating technology operated in isolation. Each department had its own protocol, hardware, and language preferences.
While this is changing, there’s still a notable difference between how manufacturers approach these areas. Indeed, the priorities for IT and OT are very different when developing standards and recommendations for security. As one executive notes, the order of priorities in IT is confidentiality, integrity, and availability. In OT, it’s reversed—the order of priorities is availability, integrity, and then confidentiality.
Given these complexities, decisions regarding digital solutions are hampered even more by the multitude of relatively new firms offering a wide array of technology solutions, each touting their own as the platform that manufacturers need for the convergence of IT and OT. Bottom line: The caution among manufacturers in going digital isn’t about a lack of internal strategic alignment and short-term focus.