Last year, Hitachi Data Systems and IDC jointly carried out a survey which showed a fast change in the way IT is used by organizations and the impact of such a change. The survey particularly proved a hypothesis that had already been formulated by HDS´s Global CTOs Council: the power to choose and make decisions regarding IT purchases is migrating towards executives in various business units, who are the directors responsible for their organizations' operational processes.
So far, nothing new here. This result, however, confirms a permanent change that “is an evolution and positions IT as an integral part of the business” rather than an isolated organization that only provides technology. The findings specifically confirmed that the relationship between IT (Information Technology) and OT (Operational Technology) must become increasingly tighter in all industries.
At this point it is important to explain what we mean by Operational Technology: all the technologies that are used in the core business of any organization. By way of example, let´s think of the robots that are used in a car assembly line. That is a clear illustration of Operational Technology in action.
Originally, operational technologies were not directly related to IT. I would even dare to say that IT professionals have limited knowledge of OT, and vice-versa. The synergy between IT and OT is a concept I began to analyze in depth when I joined the Hitachi Group in 2012. The coexistence, projects and growing synergy among the over 900 subsidiaries in the Hitachi Group, which cover all industries worldwide, helped me understand the importance of such confluence or, rather, the convergence between those two areas.
We should not take this convergence as something that may happen but rather as the reality we must face, as the new Big Data technologies and the IoT are transforming the way companies operate -from their production line all the way to their strategic model.
The Hitachi Group companies focus on integrated solutions and services. Through our OT and IT expertise and product portfolio, and the wide convergence of these areas, we are pioneers in social innovation, a strategy shared by the over 900 companies in the Group.
It should also be pointed out that we are in a privileged position to lead and manage the OT-IT integration. We manufacture the equipment that makes up the OT and we are a big player in the IT sector. After all, our IT and Telecommunications verticals account for 18% of the Group´s activities, which means they are our most relevant industry today. The Hitachi Group, then, has a clear commitment that is expressed through our ability to help our customers achieve better social and business results.
There are several examples of the way IT is currently integrating knowledge in data centers and assisting operational teams to become more efficient and make the best -most efficient- decisions for the business. Sensors on train platforms that automatically adjust the trains´ speed according to their weight or prevailing weather conditions, control systems for manufacturing processes, connected cars and predictive insights that are used by telcos to better serve their customers are only a few of many examples.
We are doers and leaders, and we are increasingly focused on simplifying the processes and in what IDC has named the third platform, that is to say, applications, data and content, as well as time to market and faster access to infrastructure, quality of service and monitoring of key performance indicators. Without IT-OT convergence those goals are absolutely unattainable.
Of all the benefits of the IT-OT integration, the key for companies such as Hitachi Data Systems is that they should help them meet the most stringent safety, performance, interoperability and compliance requirements. In this regard we are already delivering intelligent services and solutions for public and private sector organizations.
We believe that the growing IT complexity should not hinder business growth. Thus, we are focused on providing solutions that streamline operations and significantly improve our customers´ market share.
Till next time!