Manufacturing has come a long way through the years. The Industrial Revolution began back in the late 18th century when power, machinery, and semi-skilled workers were combined. This eventually led up to the first modern factory system.
IT and Operational Technology (OT) have long been separate. IT focuses on technology support for the back office, OT focused on machinery, equipment, tools, and assets.
With big data, Internet of Things (IoT), and advancements in connectivity, Microsoft discovered that it's more feasible and beneficial to converge IT and OT. Data is shared and gives management a holistic view of their organization.