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Closing the Knowledge Gap in Manufacturing: Converge IT with OT

- February 11, 2016 - 3 Comments

Recently, the article “Making IoT Pay in Manufacturing” in Forbes caught my eye with a few interesting statistics from a recent study:

71% of manufacturers say IoT will have a significant impact or some impact on their business over the next five years (24% and 47% respectively)

Yet 24% have no company wide understanding of IoT.

While the majority of manufacturers see the value of IoT, there’s a significant knowledge gap in how to best plan for and capitalize on these technologies.

In my opinion, most companies today have not closed this gap in skills and training. From what I have seen in many companies, much of the knowledge is trapped in silos. It exists within two different functions: the OT (operations technology) department, which includes controls and automation, and the IT (information technology) department.

There is an increasing need for training and certifications to merge IT and OT at the workforce level, in addition to the network level. This will help manufacturers handle the challenge of an aging workforce and a growing need to attract millennials and the next wave of knowledge workers.

That’s why there’s a need for the Industrial IP Advantage (or IIPA), a coalition between like-minded companies, including Cisco and two of our key partners in this space, Rockwell Automation and Panduit.  Here’s a short video of a conversation I had recently with Joe Kann of Rockwell Automation on how IIPA can create technical resources and training to better equip manufacturers:

Collaboration between disciplines has become central to business success. And it’s needed more than ever due to IoT and the widespread adoption of IP technologies transforming manufacturing and industrial operations. IIPA can help with this by providing invaluable technology education and eLearning to IT and OT professionals who want to deploy a secure, holistic, digital-communications fabric based on standard, unmodified use of IP.


With this eLearning, you can help your staff become more qualified to design, deploy and maintain smart networks in your factory. In addition, you can become savvy on IoT and network design– and avoid becoming one of the “43% of manufacturers who aren’t taking full advantage of the Internet of Things” (per LNS Research).

Register here for our latest IIPA training programs to learn the skills vital for adopting the IoT. For a limited time, you can get the first module on ‘Industrial Network Architecture’ for free using the promotional code CPNMQWA7.

I also encourage you to join the IIPA Linkedin community and register to receive our newsletter to join an ongoing discussion on the challenges and benefits of adopting Internet protocol in your production environment. Let me know what you think about the IIPA resources and if it has helped you with closing the knowledge gap in your company. Thanks for reading.

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  1. Like your site . Congratulations!

  2. You bring up a good point about attracting millennials. This generation has grown up with the technology. A manufacturer that hasn't incorporated it into its processes will be viewed as outdated and talented workers will look for employment elsewhere.

    • Hi Cheryl, manufacturing as an industry needs to make a concerted effort to recruit and retain millenials. It is not a natural fit for many industrial companies but it is key to staying viable. And training and technology are critical.