What the Heck is OT?
Most people are familiar with Information Technology (“IT”).  However, are you aware of Operational Technology (“OT”) and what the heck the difference is?  Let’s dive in with “official” Gartner definitions first.

      1. Information Technology (“IT”) is the common term for the entire spectrum of technologies for information processing, including software, hardware, communications technologies and related services. In general, IT does not include embedded technologies that do not generate data for enterprise use.
      2. Operational technology (“OT”) is hardware and software that detects or causes a change, through the direct monitoring and/or control of industrial equipment, assets, processes and events.

      In our world of Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Technology, it’s extremely important to understand the Corporate Network (IT) and Systems versus the Building Network and Systems (OT).  OT has lovingly been referred to as “IT in the non-carpeted areas”.  The truth is these make up the critical systems properties rely upon to control and automate the operations of the property.  Access Controls, HVAC Controls, Elevator Systems, Security Camera Systems, Lighting Controls, etc.  These are just a few examples of Building Automation Systems (BAS) vital to running a safe and secure property for your tenants.

      In the CRE vertical, true value is realized by understanding how to manage IT/OT networks in a way they can co-exist efficiently and more importantly, securely.  It’s important to not go into these situations blindly.  Some important “Day One” roadmap examples would be physical network separation of Corporate versus Operational and understanding the importance and execution of logical separation of your Guest Wi-Fi and Tenant Business Center from your Building System Networks and your Corporate Network.  Through years of experience, 5Q has developed a reliable, repeatable strategy of IT/OT co-existence that is auditable, secure and efficient.  We also manage these networks 24/7 to ensure they stay that way.  We’ve found a passion and a process that has helped our CRE clients find additional value and peace of mind.

      If you are a property owner/operator and have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  As stated, the CRE world is our passion.  If you’re looking to make your properties more secure and efficient or if you simply aren’t sure what your current state is, we’d love to help you assess and strategize the best roadmap forward to decrease cyber security concerns, while increasing the property portfolio value for your company, your investors and most importantly, your tenants!