The Impact of IT/OT Convergence on Digital Transformation in Manufacturing


  • Dr. A. Shaji George Independent Researcher, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India



IT/OT convergence, Smart manufacturing, Industry 4.0, Operational technology, Information technology, Process automation, Industrial IoT, Edge computing, Cybersecurity, Digital transformation


Historically, information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) teams in manufacturing worked in siloes. While recent digital transformations have brought them closer together through IT/OT convergence, many companies still hesitate to fully integrate their networks, data, and processes. This research examines how effectively uniting IT and OT is fundamentally crucial for smart manufacturing initiatives. The paper first provides background on the separate worlds of IT and OT. It details their misaligned incentives and lack of collaboration that previously impeded digital progress. The paper then explains how developments in fog computing, wireless networks, cybersecurity, and the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) make integration not just desirable but necessary for competitiveness. A core thesis emerges—that smart factories require fully aligned IT and OT functions to achieve real-time decision making, predictive maintenance, connected technologies, and robust data security. Various case studies reveal the potential, including MT Connect, for improved equipment effectiveness zerodowntime robots that leverage predictive maintenance. Trade publications and expert interviews underscore how once-impractical wireless networks are now optimized for connecting machines and mobile devices on the shop floor. The paper emphasizes the expertise that IT staff contribute on network security and data analytics. Meanwhile, OT personnel provide critical operational knowledge. Their joined forces can implement modern cyber protections suitable for connected equipment and sensitive information flows. Quantitative secondary data affirms the twin goals of digital optimization and risk mitigation rely equally on input from IT and OT. Combined capabilities drive the unprecedented business outcomes that define factory 4.0. As evidence continues to show outdated divisions between the two functions hinder progress, the paper makes an assertive case for integration. It concludes that manufacturing executives underserving either IT or OT squander resources and leave open threats. With clear economic and reputational incentives to transform digitally, manufacturers must empower robust collaboration. The alternative of maintaining outdated divides poses an existential danger. By fully unleashing specialized IT and OT skill sets in tandem, manufacturers can own their digital futures.




How to Cite

Dr. A. Shaji George. (2024). The Impact of IT/OT Convergence on Digital Transformation in Manufacturing. Partners Universal International Innovation Journal, 2(2), 18–38.