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What Are the IT and OT Convergence Benefits for Your Building?

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Shayne Taker

Taking advantage of advancements in building automation applications requires the integration of operational technology (OT) system data into the enterprise (IT) side of smart buildings. Converging networks ensures seamless flow of data across interconnected building systems and allows for ongoing monitoring, analysis, and automation of the physical operational environment. Ultimately, IT and OT convergence benefits all stakeholders and allows you to make the most of smart technologies.      

5 Key IT and OT Convergence Benefits for Smart Buildings

IT and OT networks have historically been siloed systems in buildings. This siloed approach limits opportunities for streamlining operations, optimizing building performance, and improving the occupant experience. A converged framework provides better control over data exchange between IT and OT to expand your capabilities and help you achieve a range of goals. 

Key IT and OT convergence benefits for smart buildings include:      

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Improved Energy Efficiency

The convergence of OT platforms with IT networks helps you optimize operations and improve efficiency, without compromising comfort. For example, an HVAC alarm in a convergent infrastructure can prompt operators to look at the integrated data, make a connection between the HVAC and electrical systems, and locate the building hotspots. This approach can also help you determine where to run the HVAC at a reduced load to avoid overheating and energy waste.
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Reduced Operational and Maintenance Cost

IT and OT convergence supports predictive maintenance, lowering the risk of expensive, unplanned repairs and downtime. The digitized maintenance process lets IT and OT teams remotely pull insights on equipment operations, detect early signs of trouble, and address maintenance issues proactively.
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Deeper Visibility Into Building Systems

With IT-OT integration, OT teams have unprecedented visibility into and access to the massive amount of data generated by smart devices in a building. This visibility into real-time building conditions and equipment state helps you make better, faster decisions and develop more effective strategies to achieve your goals.
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Better Asset Management

Convergence increases the visibility of OT assets in a smart building. This allows for more efficient asset management, as all IT and OT systems are managed through a common methodology. Additionally, the advanced security features in the IT network track OT devices in real time and can monitor any compromised devices on the network. This centralized asset tracking minimizes security threats and the risk of data loss.
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More Collaboration between IT and OT Departments

Building systems have traditionally been the domain of building engineers. A convergent infrastructure blurs the boundaries between facilities and IT departments and empowers IT and OT teams to share their expertise and oversee all system components.

Overcoming Limitations

Despite growing awareness of IT and OT convergence benefits, many have questions about the impact of convergence on cybersecurity. What risks are you exposing yourself to? Are the benefits worth the potential vulnerabilities? 

When smart buildings are developed with a well-designed IT and OT convergence strategy from the start, convergence may actually strengthen overall security. However, post-construction IT and OT convergence poses real cybersecurity risks, as system components are not equipped to share data upon integration. And security isn’t the only potential complication; other challenges of convergence in existing buildings include integration with existing building systems, training staff, and reorganization of IT and OT teams. 

While these are important considerations, they are not insurmountable challenges. A smart buildings expert can create custom solutions that ensure successful convergence in any environment and allow you to quickly realize the benefits. 

Secure IT and OT Convergence Solutions

Creating an IT and OT convergence strategy for your building should ideally start in the design phase. Early collaboration improves design efficiency and enables seamless integration of IT and OT networks. Ultimately, it allows you to fully leverage IT and OT convergence benefits for optimal performance, efficiency, cost savings, and occupant satisfaction. But no two smart buildings are alike, and there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for converging IT and OT networks. 

At Buildings IOT, we’re smart building experts. Our industry-leading services and software allow you to realize the benefits of IT and OT convergence safely, securely, and in a way that makes sense for your portfolio. With our custom solutions, your building can become truly intelligent.  

Buildings IOT offers state-of-the-art services and products to realize the IT and OT convergence benefits. Contact our team of experts to learn more about what we can do for you.

 

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