Operation Technology :
In industries like manufacturing, transportation, energy, and healthcare, operational technology (OT)
refers to the use of hardware and software to control and monitor physical systems and processes.
Production, transportation, logistics, and safety are just a few of the duties that OT systems are made
to handle. These tasks are essential to the day-to-day operations of various industries. The main goal
of OT is to employ technology to increase these processes' effectiveness, safety, and dependability.
Sensors, actuators, controllers, and other pieces of hardware connected to a network are frequently
seen in OT systems. The operation of the physical system is controlled by these devices using data
they collect about its status. The information gathered from these sensors may be used to change the
settings on a machine or to start a maintenance procedure, for instance, in a manufacturing facility
where sensors may measure the temperature, pressure, and other factors of a production process.
OT systems can be complicated, with numerous components and subsystems interacting to
accomplish a single objective. They frequently rely on specialized software and protocols that are
made to function in particular settings and with particular hardware. For instance, SCADA
(Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems are used in the energy sector to monitor and
manage power plants and distribution systems. To connect with sensors, controllers, and other
devices as well as to gather and process data from these devices, these systems make use of specific
software and protocols.
One of the difficulties of OT is that it functions in real-time, necessitating quick and accurate
judgements and actions to avoid mishaps or downtime. Because of this, OT systems must be
extremely dependable and resilient, with redundant components and failover methods to make sure
the system can keep running even if one or more of its components fails. OT systems must also be
secure because they frequently manage crucial infrastructure that might be the target of cyberattacks.
As the lines between these two fields grow more hazy, there has been a growing trend in recent years
toward the merging of OT and IT (information technology) systems. OT systems are used to manage
physical devices and processes, whereas IT systems are used to handle data and information. On the
other hand, as more OT systems are linked to networks and the internet, they become increasingly
susceptible to cyberattacks, which can have negative effects on the security and dependability of
these systems. Strong cybersecurity controls that shield OT systems from unwanted access and
guarantee the integrity and confidentiality of the data these systems collect are essential if we are to
reduce these risks.
Industrial Internet of Things :
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which refers to the use of sensors and other devices to
collect data about the physical world and transfer that data to IT systems for analysis, is one example
of the integration of OT and IT. With the help of IIoT, businesses can gather real-time data about
their operations, which can be utilized to streamline procedures and cut down on downtime. To
maximize production, a manufacturer might, for instance, utilize sensors to track the temperature and
humidity in a facility and then use that information to change a machine's settings.
Another development in OT is the application of AI and ML to increase the effectiveness and
dependability of OT systems. With the help of AI and ML, choices and actions may be made based
on the analysis of data gathered from sensors and other devices. A transportation business, for
instance, might use AI to plan the best routes for its trucks based on things like traffic patterns and
OT systems are also more frequently utilized to support sustainability goals including lowering
energy use and trash production. To reduce energy usage and enhance occupant comfort, a building
management system, for instance, can utilize sensors to track occupancy levels and modify heating
and cooling settings following the number of people present.