How a Florida Utility Tackled Converging IT and OT

Information Technology (IT) and Operations Technology (OT) are increasingly overlapping in the electric, gas, and water utility industry. IT includes traditional computing, storage and telecommunications systems used for decades in industries such as finance, healthcare and retail. OT includes technologies that run real-time processes such as electricity distribution, manufacturing plants and transportation systems. “IT/OT Convergence” means that IT and OT teams and functions are increasingly overlapping in many industries. Capabilities that once lived in IT, such as Internet Protocol (IP) telecommunications, are showing up in OT environments. Conversely, traditional OT applications such as industrial control systems (ICS) are now occurring in IT systems. The major issues with IT/OT Convergence are a need for collaboration between traditionally isolated teams and cultures so that products can support the diverse needs of both IT and OT; and for executive leadership to understand the impact of IT/OT Convergence.