Taking a proactive approach towards diffusing organizational conflict and alleviating worries will help your IT/OT convergence run smoothly. Whether you are just beginning or mid-integration, the following are three steps you’ll want to put into practice.

Understand The Priorities of Each Group To Diffuse Potential Conflict

Laying out the priorities of OT and IT side by side is an important first step. More often than not, there will be parallels between the two department’s priority lists. Discovering shared issues and requirements helps both sides to see that an integration will ultimately serve both. Finding common ground also goes a long way towards alleviating the tension that personality conflicts can bring to the initiative.

In the Smart Industry webinar OT/IT Convergence: Securely Bridging the Gaps Between OT, IT and the Internet”, John Fryer, Senior Director of Industry Solutions at Stratus Technologies adds that, “It can often be as simple as understanding that both IT and OT are stretched resources and integration will pose a common set of challenges.”

Invest In Training To Alleviate Stress

One of the biggest obstacles to adaptation is fear. Each group is opening up their workspace to the other and there can be a concern that their processes will be judged inadequate. Most often, the greatest fear is that of failure, ““What if I can’t perform my job well with these new systems?”.

Fryer believes that it’s crucial senior management recognize that learning new skill sets is a necessary and expected part of the process. Conveying to both IT and OT that the company’s leadership understands there will be a learning curve, and that they are proactively providing training, diffuses stress and makes the process more efficient in the long run.

Sell The Benefits to Show How Everyone Wins

Your IT/OT convergence will happen, simply because it must. Automating your production floor, and having access to real-time data is critical to your business plan. So why take the time to sell the benefits to your teams? After all, the ultimate benefit is profit, which serves everyone.

Educating your organization about how their individual role or department will benefit from an IT/OT integration creates personal ownership. From your employees’ perspective, understanding that this change will empower them to do their job better alleviates fears and motivates them to get the most out of training.