History of IT/OT
Connecting the OT world with enterprise IT
Historically, operational technologies (OT) in utilities have played a role in securing the delivery of electricity, gas, or water towards their end-customers. These OT systems were mostly implemented as separate, stand-alone solutions, focusing on specific tasks related to grid control and monitoring using proprietary protocols and programmable logic controllers (PLC). Given their history and the fact that they form a critical infrastructure with given security risks, integrating with other systems never was a priority. Especially when it came to connecting the OT world with enterprise IT.
Integrating solutions for the digital energy system
As both OT and IT systems evolved, more functions and technical capabilities were added including enhanced possibilities of integration, including standardization of protocols, common information models, and others. Still, advanced integration long remained limited to the IT world because of security concerns and the risk of potential penetration of critical OT infrastructure from the outside world. However, with the maturing of cybersecurity and increase of digital protection solutions most of the utility and industry companies today have started to integrate their IT and OT environments.