Conflict between IT and operations damaging IoT projects – report

Conflict between IT and operations damaging IoT projects – report

NEWSBYTE There is a disconnect between IT and operational technology (OT) stakeholders when it comes to Internet of Things (IoT) projects, and this is causing conflicts that could be affecting their success.

That’s according to the Voice of the Enterprise survey, released this week by 451 Research.

The report found that only one-third of OT respondents (34 percent) said they “cooperate closely with IT” on IoT projects, from conception to operation.

“Research shows that IT and OT personnel are not well aligned on IoT initiatives, and they need to cross that divide for those enterprise IoT projects to prove viable,” says the report.

Going head to head

Twelve percent of OT respondents went as far as saying that they are in “active conflict” with IT over who should control IoT programmes. However, it seems as if OT is feeling these problems more intensely, as only three percent of IT respondents said that they they are in these adversarial relationships.

Some conflicts may arise from the different perceptions that IT and OT staff have of cooperation, suggests the report. The 34 percent of OT respondents who said they collaborate closely with IT on IoT projects is more than matched by the 44 percent of IT respondents who said that they work closely with OT.

Despite the significant minority of active conflicts, however, nearly half of OT (44 percent) and IT (46 percent) respondents said they work together on IoT projects as needed.

Crossing the divide

451 Research claims that this disconnect between many OT and IT stakeholders is becoming a serious issue as IoT vendors and service providers explore new business opportunities, particularly from OT-centric firms. Understanding this divide will be critical to IoT projects’ success, says the company.

More than half (55 percent) of the survey’s OT respondents currently deploy IoT technologies within their organisations, and 44 percent have successfully moved these projects from proof of concept to full-scale deployment.

“New operational efficiencies and data-analytics capabilities are driving successful projects; however, many IoT projects face roadblocks in the trial stage due to the IT and OT divide, and budget, staff, and ROI concerns,” says the report.

The analysts conducted more than 800 Web-based surveys in their research.

Internet of Business says

The differing positions of IT and OT staff within organisations, and in the wider technology market, has long been a challenge, particularly as many IT staff are being asked to set aside their traditional role of “keeping the lights on” in the server closet to become more business strategy focused.

In many organisations, back-office technology support is being brought under the same umbrella as customer-facing development, and it may be that opening the door to the boardroom, and to a deeper business-support role, is closing the door to on-the-ground technology relationships.

With large-scale IoT deployments, that would be unfortunate, particularly as other surveys this year have revealed another disconnect: between an overall awareness of IoT security threats, and both a strategic and operational desire to actually do something about them.

Put these two sets of challenges together, and there is a risk that some IoT programmes may become disconnected from core business aims, and from organisations’ ability to secure and manage their new, or growing, networks.