May 7, 2024 | 4 min read

Momenta's Take: Meet Margo

Introducing Margo – Creating Open Standards for Digital Industry


On April 16, 2024, the Linux Foundation officially announced Margo, a project with the mission to promote seamless interoperability and collaboration in industrial automation. A primary aim of the Margo project is to provide cross-vendor interoperability between edge applications, edge devices, and edge orchestration software.


Margo is derived from the Latin word for “edge” and is hosted by the Joint Development Foundation, part of the Linux Foundation family, with support from founding members ABB, Capgemini, Microsoft, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, and Siemens.


The Margo initiative addresses a critical challenge around scaling industrial automation solutions – the heterogeneous nature of edge devices and operational and information technology applications. Knitting together diverse systems often requires lengthy and costly bespoke integration work, leaving firms a choice either to rely on single vendor solutions (which offer advantages to integration but which can lack broader capabilities and subject firms to the risks of vendor lock-in) or invest in complex integration work with a continuous need for additional integration to accommodate upgrades.


The Challenge of Integration

Integrating operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) for digital industrial applications presents significant challenges, particularly when extended to edge computing applications. We briefly recap the difficulties of integrating OT and IT:

  • Divergent Purposes and Priorities: OT focuses on real-time control and reliability, prioritizing deterministic performance and uptime to ensure safety and efficiency in industrial operations. In contrast, IT systems prioritize data management, analysis, and security, often favoring flexibility and scalability over real-time responsiveness.  Adding edge-based devices and applications creates additional levels of complexity, as different priorities need to be bridged.

  • Technological Heterogeneity: Industrial environments typically encompass diverse legacy and proprietary OT systems designed for specific operational requirements. These systems often lack standardization and interoperability, making it difficult to integrate with IT systems. IT technologies tend to innovate more quickly, causing additional challenges in updating integrated systems. Edge devices, applications, and orchestration software can also introduce additional heterogeneity.

  • Security Concerns: OT systems are inherently vulnerable to cybersecurity threats and add additional security risks when integrated with IT systems. IT networks are designed for connectivity and data exchange, creating additional vulnerabilities for OT systems if not adequately secured.


The Margo Project Advances Open Standards

One of the most significant challenges in the evolution of digital industrial applications has been the lack of standards to facilitate communication, data exchange, and interoperability between industrial and IT systems, and the promise of edge computing has highlighted the need for open standards. Standardized protocols and interfaces the flow of data and information across disparate systems, from data centers to edge computing devices to field sensors. Standards promote vendor-neutral solutions, reducing the risk of vendor lock-in and enabling an ecosystem of interoperable devices and applications from different vendors.


Industry Support is Key to Success

One of the most critical aspects of Margo is the support of leading industrial automation firms, including ABB (which joined the Linux Foundation in March 2024), Capgemini, Microsoft, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, and Siemens. Industrial automation vendors have historically been slower to adopt open standards (for various reasons), but the commitment to open-source principles provides a solid foundation for cross-vendor interoperability.


Margo Unlocks Potential for Innovation and Value Creation

At Momenta we view Margo as a significant development in fostering how digital industrial systems and providers will interoperate. This increases the potential for growth and value creation towards where industrial operations are smarter, more efficient, and increasingly more agile. Margo will focus on creating a comprehensive open-source reference implementation coupled with a compliance test toolkit that ensures the trustworthiness of interoperability. Open standards will allow firms to more easily harness edge computing, data analytics, and AI leveraging the Linux ecosystem




Momenta is the leading Industrial Impact venture capital firm, accelerating digital innovators across energy, manufacturing, smart spaces, and supply chain. Our team of deep industry operators has helped scale industry leaders and innovators to improve critical industries, the environment, and people's quality of life for over a decade.