There were three main themes and an emerging industry trend that will have far reaching implications at this year’s ARC Forum in Orlando Florida.

  1. Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT)/Industrie 4.0 applications: Industrial automation is one industry where the ROI on IOT applications is already yielding results. This year’s forum had multiple examples of the integration of automation technology and big data analytics. This is one areas where any data loss can have significant impact on the effectiveness of the analytics.
  2. Cyber-security: All industries face threats from cyber-attacks, but the consequences for automation systems go far beyond a financial and information privacy concern. Penetration of SCADA systems could well result in widespread, life-impacting results. While the points of attack will almost certainly be the “traditional” avenues through Internet Protocol based applications, threat actors will need to modify their malware to attack automation applications and the specific protocols they use.
  3. Convergence of Operational Technology and Information Technology: Varying degrees of tension have existed for years between operational technologists tasked with running and maintaining automation systems and information technologists who generally have expertise in a range of applications necessary to keep any server up and running smoothly. With the growth of IIOT and the increased threats from cyber-security, it is more important than ever that these two groups learn to collaborate and understand the completely different motivations of these two organizations.

In subsequent blogs, we will explore the each of these trends in more detail.