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  • Writer's pictureDavid Panitch

Assumptions Manufacturers Should NOT Make About Technology

As a CIO for different businesses, I am in the unique position of seeing a wide range of technologies in real-world situations. This perspective allows the opportunity to develop fact-based knowledge of the swirling sea of technologies that manufacturers and others are being bombarded with every day. So, what assumptions should manufacturers NOT make about technology?

1) We are not a Fortune 500 company, so we are under the radar of the scammers. Consider the fact that in 2020 there were 241,342 complaints logged of digital scams.1 Obviously, they were not all hitting the F500. Even if your anti-phishing, anti-virus, and any other “anti” technology is deployed, it is most often an overstressed employee that clicks something that they shouldn’t because they are under pressure to get work done faster. Often those clicks go unreported for days due to the embarrassment and fear that the employee feels. Training and education with real-life scenarios will help your people become more vigilant and aware of scams before the “real ones” hit your company.

2) Cyber insurance is a waste of money. When you consider that 20 years ago cyber insurance didn’t exist, there may be reasons to consider a policy today. One of the reasons we emphasize considering cyber insurance for our clients is the rigorous application process that you must follow to qualify for cyber insurance. This alone will help you become a stronger company in the fight against cyber-attacks…even if you decide not to buy the insurance policy. The right cyber insurance policy needs to cover more than just the financial burden of recovering from a cyber-attack. It should contain a clear process and the expert resources to help you through every step of the way to regaining stability in your company and with your customers. Definitely read the fine print. There are wide variations in plan responsibilities and benefits that you must understand before signing.

3) Capturing actual production labor takes too much time and money. Yes, it takes time and some money, but you need to look at the return and ongoing benefit achieved by your company. Knowledge is power. If you know and can trust your data involving actual labor costs you can make much better informed business decisions that will have long lasting positive effects on your business. Typically, the cost is in some hardware that makes it easy to track labor at the work centers and the training and education of your workforce to utilize this new technology. Then once this is properly deployed, the analysis of the data will be the key to developing future value for your company. This may require some data analytics although most modern ERP systems can present the data in a variety of ways so you can best visualize the information and make soldi business decisions based on the same.

4) Storing data in the “cloud” has many more risks than our on-premise servers. Oh my gosh, this couldn’t be further from the truth. We have yet to work with a client that had the level of security, redundancy, and uptime guarantee that ever came close to what is available immediately with a reputable cloud provider. Cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Rackspace are all security forward companies. They know that providing the highest level of security for your applications and data is what keeps them in business. Sure, they are more likely targets of a brute force attack than your 3-4 server on-premise environment, but if your servers get hacked, you’re “toast”. The “bad actors” know that, too. Small to mid-sized businesses are being targeted at exponentially higher levels than any of the forementioned datacenters. You really don’t have a long-term chance of protecting your applications and data with an on-premise set of servers.

5) Finding our next generation ERP system is easy because everything is a Google search away. Google or your preferred search engine is a great starting point but it is not a sound way to select a new system for your business. Every website worth its salt is a mega marketing tool. The software solutions should all look spectacular on their own websites, if not stay far, far away from that solution. In order to properly find your next ERP system you should make that “journey” with an ERP selection consulting firm that understands both your type of business and the technology that supports it. Its no different in my opinion from going on an African safari without an expert guide. You wouldn’t risk your personnel safety by traveling through the Serengeti Plains on your own and you shouldn’t attempt to navigate all of the choices of ERP systems in that same manner. Engaging with a manufacturing ERP expert that presents an unbiased perspective will save you time and money over the DIY approach. Using an expert will also reduce the risk of a bad decision by many times the investment in a new system.

Always remember that we are a call or email away if you ever want to learn about what is new in technology and more importantly, which technologies might have the best bang for the buck for your specific organization.

1 Federal Bureau of Investigation. 2020 Internet Crime Report.

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