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The ‘O’ in OT (Operational Technology) Shouldn’t Stand for Old

While information technology moves at a rapid pace, operational technology in plants is rapidly aging. The total global installed base of OT systems reaching the end of their useful lives adds up to $65 billion, and the total installed base of automation systems that are more than 20 years old comes to $53 billion. That’s a lot of technology on the brink of extinction.

Aging Operational Technology is holding plants back from achieving their goals for efficiency and availability.  Today many companies in the IA space should are looking at replacing aging OT to accelerate performance improvements.

While modernising OT delivers immediate benefits, industrial organisations need to also ensure that their modernisation investments are future-proof with fault tolerance, virtualisation-ready computing and easy upgrades in order to realise lasting RoA.  With the IIoT advancing, future-proofing is not only a positive by-product of modernising OT but also a necessity.

Modernised OT delivers:

  • Increased productivity: Greater efficiency and greater output
  • Agility: The ability to rapidly respond to customer demands without a loss in productivity, and to meet changes in demand without incurring extra costs
  • Efficient operations: Reduced scrappage, waste, sub-optimal operations and downtime
  • Improved data capture: Capture of process steps and costs in information systems for proper operations and production planning
  • Increased uptime: Automating diagnostic and problem resolution, resulting in reduced reliance on plant technicians or operators, whose expertise can vary
  • Future readiness: Increased value of investment and minimisation of future CapEx

Modernising OT is the most effective course of action plant operators have to maximise efficiency, and keep up with customer demand and cost pressures.  Industrial organisations need to carefully select their technology components.  Optimised processes, higher productivity, agility and increased quality and consistency of output are the main benefits many industrial organisations have already achieved by modernising their OT.  Cost control, avoidance of unplanned costs, and prevention of system failures or downtime, are also critical considerations in selecting OT solutions on the path to modernisation.  In order to achieve modernised OT, industrial companies need a partner that has built its solutions for the task.