The Internet of Things is causing the worlds of informational technologies and operational technologies to collide, and this collision will only get louder as suppliers and enterprises confront its complexity, opportunities, and challenges. The IT and OT Convergence sector examines the communications and protocol technologies linking the physical and digital domains and vying to create the smart factories and next-generation industrial processes of the future. The next generation enterprise will also need to implement new technologies such as beacons, augmented and virtual reality, and innovative uses of wearable technologies to create a more seamless workplace of machines and people. Billions of new connected endpoints also require that security be a top priority from the shop floor through to the data center. Finally, special focus is given to key markets that present some of the greatest complexities and opportunities as IT and OT merge and compete, including smart transportation, smart cities, and industrial robotics.
The financial crisis of 2008-2009 has shown that the Economy Matters. In 4Q-2009, mobile handset shipments dropped 1.6% quarter on quarter when they should have been up 18%, based on long run historical norms. In mid 2009, as the rush of liquidity flowed back into the economy, the “feel good effect” of the rise in stock and asset market indicators has served to buoy the business confidence and to some degree, consumer confidence. But will it last? Is it legitimate?