Klaatu barada nikto! And salad dressing.

Your choice is simple. Join us and live in peace or pursue your present course and face obliteration. We shall be waiting for your answer. The decision rests with you.

–Klaatu (played by Michael Rennie in The Day the Earth Stood Still)

So began Eric Cosman’s presentation as part of the Automation World webcast The IT and Engineering Partnership for Network Administration.  Perhaps the situation between IT and Automation is not that dire, but you’ve got to appreciate any presenter who begins by quoting a 55 year old science fiction movie.  (Of course, I would have been really impressed if he also worked in “Klaatu barada nikto!”)

As you know from my previous posts (here, here, and here) I’m a big believer in the absolute necessity of cooperation between IT and Control Engineering.  This webcast provides a theoretical background, some history, and some practical suggestions on the issue.  If you need to foster such cooperation at your company, check out this webcast!

What does making salad dressing have in common with gaining cooperation between IT and Automation?  To make salad dressing you need to mix oil and water… and shake vigorously.  Dan Miklovic began his presentation with this notion before moving on to more practical matters.

Dennis Brandl pointed out that the problem of IT and Automation butting heads is a common problem.  And that’s a good thing – at least the fact that the problem is common is a good thing.  Since it is a common problem, there’s help available (like this webcast).  Have I mentioned that you really need to watch this webcast?

Eric Cosman took the people-oriented approach to the issue.  I was glad to see his practical approach to the partnership required between IT and Automation.  The fact that his company (Dow) is already doing this is a plus; it can be done.  Now stop reading this and go see if the webcast is archived here: http://www.automationworld.com/webcasts.

I’m going to slip away now and finish writing the lyrics for “MIS and Automation should be friends” to the tune of “The farmer and the cowman should be friends” from Oklahoma!