OT is from Mars and IT is from Venus: Lumada Provides IoT

By Hubert Yoshida posted 01-17-2018 00:00



In the 1990’s, a best-selling, pop culture book was entitled “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”. The author, John Grey, stated that the most common relationship problems between men and women are because they are from two distinct planets and that each sex is acclimated to its own planets society and customs, but not those of the other. Men are more focused on doing things and women are more focused on feelings. This idea spawned a lot of talk shows, comedians, plays and even a movie. While clearly a pop culture idea, it attracted a lot of conversation since it appeared to elicit a response in many people.

At first glance, the concept of IoT, (Internet of Things) the integration or networking of IT (Information Technology) and OT (Operational Technology) seemed pretty straight forward. It was about combining business information with operational information to create smarter business and operational systems. As enterprises take a closer look at these system, they are finding that information and operations have very different technology perspectives and requirements. OT is about how things work and IT is about how information about how things get interpreted. The challenge of IoT is to bring them together to “change the way we live and work and create a significant social and economic impact on society”.

IT is a relatively young technology being born in a very structured environment, thanks to the early dominance of venders like IBM, Intel, Microsoft and CISCO. The world of OT is much older, supporting thousands of vendors, dozens of standards for networking and messaging, and high volume, low power systems. Industrial OT systems can be very capital intensive making it necessary to integrate new technology onto existing OT systems. If the legacy systems don’t have the sensors to measure things like vibration, heat, climate, etc, these must be added in a way that we have a software model or avatar of the operational system for not only monitoring, but also predicting, and prescriptive operations.

Another challenge is the plethora of protocols in machine to machine devices, MQTT (MQ Telemetry Transport) , BLE (Bluetooth low energy), ZigBee, Z-Wave, Thread, We-Mo. Some are radio frequency and others are WIFi depending on processing capability and low energy requirements. A message broker will be required to process the different types of messaging.

Building all this from scratch is a daunting task. That is where an IOT platform can shortcut a lot of new learning trials. It is easier to build on the experience of vendors who have been working in the field with customers to co-create IOT solutions.

Hitachi Vantara, offers Lumada, an IoT platform that can be preconfigured and installed as an appliance, on a VM, or in the cloud, to begin you IoT journey. This platform has been recognized with the IoT Breakthrough Award for 2018 Enterprise Solution of the Year! The IoT Breakthrough Awards program recognizes innovative technologies and exemplary companies that are driving innovation in the internet of things (IoT) market.