Babel Buster Network Gateways: Big Features. Small Price.
the OT–IT Gap
Interesting changes in OT and IT are blurring the lines between the two environments.
Director of Marketing
was a time when building operations (OT) and information technology
(IT) had no reason to talk. OT handled building systems such as HVAC,
lighting, elevators, meters, and access control, and IT was about
printers, workstations, networks, and business applications.
Historically, in the built environment, OT and
IT have not overlapped and were managed as separate operational and
organizational silos. OT and IT each were developed to accomplish a
distinct mission; the two functions traditionally have had contrasting
agendas and employed dissimilar tools and priorities. Decades of
parallel development provided each with unrelated processes and
technologies running on distinct infrastructures, following separate
standards, using different protocols, all managed by isolated
However, advances in building systems, the
influx of IP-enabled devices and equipment, connectivity and
integration, the rising importance of data and analytics, and
behavioral changes have shifted the dynamics between OT and IT. At the
core of this evolution is how OT and IT contribute to the enterprise
and how they collaborate and work together. The rate of innovation and
rapid advancement have reshaped how we manage, operate, and interact
with our buildings and facilities.
OT systems in buildings are part of the building structure. Their
lifetime is on the order of a decade or more—in contrast to IT devices,
which have a much shorter life span. Also, IT device failures, such as
a printer in error mode, are noticed almost immediately, whereas OT
failures could go unrecognized indefinitely, or until someone notices a
problem of high energy usage or reduced indoor air quality.
Interesting changes in OT and IT are blurring
the lines between the two environments. OT is expected to continue to
expand its role in most organizations, enabling greater integration of
business processes, physical activities, and supporting technology. The
integration of OT more tightly into organizations’ core business
operations means that the OT side of the house must be more strategic
so that it can engage with and impact all facets of an organization,
What does it take to bridge the gap?
Although OT and IT for buildings are broad
domains and complex in their own right, significant outcomes, cost
synergies, and value can be derived from aligning them. If these two
areas work together, they can support each other. Successful
integration of these once disparate counterparts promises significant
advantages in many areas, including performance and efficiency,
agility, occupant satisfaction, decision making and business outcomes,
and risk and cost reduction. Organizations that dedicate themselves to
bridging the gap between OT and IT will gain a significant competitive
How Can Albireo Energy Help You?
At Albireo Energy, our goal is to reduce the complexity and lack of understanding between OT and IT. With a deep understanding of OT and IT, combined with our portfolio of capabilities, services, and deployments, which encompass millions of square feet of the commercial building world, we have bridged the gap between OT and IT in facilities such as data centers, labs, commercial high-rise properties, institutes of higher education, schools, federal buildings, military installations, and healthcare institutions.
About the Author
Jessica Seward is Marketing Director
Energy. Her expertise in the energy sector spans more than a
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