IT/OT Integration Starts at the Edge, Consolidates in the Cloud

04 Dec 2017

ABI Research has identified best practices for integrating IT and OT in enterprises and explains them in detail in its new report. Some of the key findings include:

  • Integration of IT & OT needs to be driven from the bottom of the organization with IT liaisons as well as pushed from the top by responsible executives.
  • Enterprises should find the balance of distributed and consolidated computing that suits their cost structure and systems architecture.
  • IT and IIoT executives should experiment with open, interoperable platforms at the edge that connect to a single open, interoperable IT architecture in the cloud

“IT and OT started converging several years ago with the emergence of M2M technologies,” says Pierce Owen, Principal Analyst at ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm providing strategic guidance on the most compelling transformative technologies. “Only now though do we see comprehensive IIoT platforms open enough to continue to take advantage of the rapidly evolving IIoT apps market. This will eventually help consolidate the market, drive IIoT adoption and empower enterprises to scale their solutions.”

IT/OT integration means using IT systems for OT purposes, consolidating data streams to support decision making and augment intelligence across multiple parties. All industries face the convergence of IT and OT and the opportunity to take advantage of the benefits, such as improvements in data management and increases in agility and innovation.

IT/OT integration includes many types of vendors and services, such as connectivity management, device management, edge analytics, fog computing, application enablement platforms, and software applications. ABI Research sees Cisco as a leader in connectivity management and fog computing (with its Edge Fog Fabric, Intent-Based Network, and Cisco Kinetic) and SAP as a leader in IIoT software and apps (with SAP Leonardo). ABI Research also identifies several key vendors with application enablement platforms, but all have issues in either positioning or openness.

The popular idea of IT/OT integration is fixated on the cloud, but now leading companies are trying to balance distributed computing at the edge with consolidated computing in the cloud. Each of the key vendors outlined in the report has acknowledged the importance of edge computing.

“The monetization of IIoT data will take off soon. When it does, improved communication and access to that data will maximize ROI. Increased access to shared information leads to new ideas and innovation. Innovation leads to new products for new customers and therefore growth,” concludes Owen.

These findings are from ABI Research’s IT/OT Convergence in Smart Manufacturing and Enterprise Report. This report is part of the company’s Smart Manufacturing research service and its Enterprise Digitization & Workplace Automation service, both of which include research, data, and analyst insights.

About ABI Research

ABI Research provides strategic guidance for visionaries needing market foresight on the most compelling transformative technologies. ABI’s own research visionaries take stances early on those technologies, publishing groundbreaking studies often years ahead of other technology advisory firms. ABI analysts deliver their conclusions and recommendations in easily and quickly absorbed formats to ensure proper context. Our analysts strategically guide visionaries to take action now and inspire their business to realize a bigger picture. For more information about ABI Research’s forecasting, consulting and teardown services, visionaries can contact us at +1.516.624.2500 in the Americas, +44.203.326.0140 in Europe, and at +65.6592.0290 in the Asia-Pacific. Or, visit

About ABI Research

ABI Research is a global technology intelligence firm uniquely positioned at the intersection of technology solution providers and end-market companies. We serve as the bridge that seamlessly connects these two segments by providing exclusive research and expert guidance to drive successful technology implementations and deliver strategies proven to attract and retain customers.

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