Information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) environments have traditionally assumed distinct roles in industrial organizations. Separated both in purpose and in practice, IT and OT also differ in their culture and their norms around security and efficiency.

However, as new technologies are introduced to the OT environment it is becoming necessary for the two environments to be converged. Without convergence, the new technologies and the data gathered will be vastly underutilized — making it difficult to justify the investments needed to modernize OT environments. Convergence requires organizations to bridge the gaps between IT and OT environments’ people, processes and systems and to build a smarter, more secure network with high visibility to monitor and control both environments.

This paper considers the challenges and opportunities and presents a way toward better convergence of people, systems and strategies between these two functions of an organization in the energy and natural resources sector.