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Information Technology and Operational Technology convergence is re-defining use of technology in mining

One of the key trends in the depressed mining and resources industry is technology based innovation – not adding new technologies to the bucket but to leverage existing technology to gain more informed decision insights. One such trend is the increased convergence between Information and Operational technologies.

What is the buzz all about?

In mining, the physical processes that creates value from “pit to market”, supported by devices, sensors and software controlling and monitoring operations, form the traditional process control or Operation Technology (OT). Information Technology (IT), on the other hand, provides effective information processing required by corporate functions to run the business as a whole (think systems supporting Enterprise shared services).

Due to legacy reasons, OT and IT has evolved as two different domains within mining, not only differentiated by people (organisational roles and reporting lines eg Engineering v IT) but also process (standards, governance models and risk management) and technology (Gartner stacks and protocols). In times when mining is depressed, the executive focus on productivity has led to OT adopting IT-like processes (eg ITIL, Togaf), technologies (IP networking, Win OS, mobile technology) and standards (such as ISA) which advocates the convergence.

Vantaz can help strategise and implement the convergence.

Vantaz has been a key actor in supporting tier 1 miners take advantage of learnings from the manufacturing sector around IT-OT convergence at strategic, organisational and technology levels. We have done this by:

• Assessing existing IS Operating Model and recommend ways to unify IT and OT strategies within the model based on unified process and governance.

• Unifying management of data and security and organisational change management (especially skillset alignment and communications).

• Providing groundwork for implementation by segregating the Production and Enterprise networks, paving way for informed risk assessments around convergence in a cleaner environment.

• Managing organisational change in concurrence with technical implementation, leading to successful transition of people in conjunction with process and technology – a major differentiator for success.

How will your organisation benefit?

• Improved data analytics, leveraging integrated IT/OT data and workflows.

• Centralised remote operating centres providing holistic view of operations remotely.

• Robust security leveraging best practices from IT “on the ground”.

• Unified support across organisation for IT/OT in BAU.

• Increased opportunities for industrial customers to lower risks, improve time to market and lower operations costs.

If you think your organisation will need an assessment of its current IT-OT landscape and opportunities to leverage “convergence” for productivity gains, we could help.