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BPM software can help organizations handle alignment of IT and OT functions

Malcolm Ross, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy, Appian
February 19, 2013

Many organizations find themselves in a position in which they have to align their information technology and operations technology systems, positioning them to integrate various technological systems to enable more efficient functionality. According to a recent Smart Grid News report, this trend is especially clear in distributed energy resources systems, which depend heavily on the ability to use IT and OT solutions in conjunction with one another to enable better operational processes.

The challenge with this type of technological revolution is the need to adapt day-to-day processes in light of the new functionality. Technological changes can have a major impact on how people get the job done. Gaining the most from the shift depends on aligning processes with what the technology can accomplish. Business process management software can play a key role in making this happen, positioning companies to maximize the value of IT and OT integration.

Considering the impact of IT and OT alignment

According to the news source, many distribution energy resources management solutions function primarily as an IT system, but have to work well in conjunction with OT solutions. In many cases, the ideal solution is to have the IT setup and manage the distribution energy resources management setup while the OT team actually operates the system. This type of integration between IT and OT functionality requires a fresh look at how technological systems are managed, how data is used and how processes are adapted to operational requirements.

The challenges associated with integrated IT and OT functionality are not only tangible technological issues. They also stem from the skills gap that exists between IT and OT workers, the report said. For the most part, the types of skills needed in each sector have been distinct. However, the alignment of such solutions has created an environment in which IT and OT functionality is increasingly similar and many companies have to revise their work roles to support changing needs.

Taking advantage of BPM

BPM software can help organizations ensure that the efforts they put into aligning IT and OT do not go to waste. The operational changes driven by IT and OT integration can be hard to deal with unless data and systems are integrated and automated to support better business processes. BPM solutions provide the functionality needed to ensure that processes are optimized in light of the changing technological climate, enabling end users to benefit from the shift.

Malcolm Ross

Vice President of Product Marketing