Posts particularly useful for the manufacturing industry

What’s the story? How our manufacturing clients use technology – Part 2

Last month, I got to tour another one of our manufacturing client’s facilities, Jaypro Sports, in Waterford, CT. They are a leading authority for institutional sport equipment and athletic field/facility solutions. This was a great opportunity to see what they do and how they do it!

At IT Direct, we believe that the overarching purpose of using technology is to solve a business problem or to improve efficiency or productivity. In this way, technology can help the business achieve their goals. During my tour, I got to see several areas where technology had really come together to help Jaypro Sports achieve those goals! Read more

What’s the story? How our manufacturing clients use technology – Part 1

I’ve been heading out “into the field” lately to talk to some of our manufacturing clients about what they feel are their most important uses of technology. Read more

Compliance Crackdown – NIST 800-171

If you have, or are downstream of, a government contract, the days of indifference about NIST 800-171 compliance are ending. The Department of Defense has begun enforcing cyber regulations on contractors to protect important data, including CUI (Controlled Unclassified Information). Not only that, but they have been sending out memos with further, and more in-depth, expectations. Read more

Do what you do best…Outsource everything else!

Recently, we had a really clogged up office kitchen sink. We’ve got some handy folks on our team who could have looked at it, but instead we remembered two important things…1) we are not experts at fixing clogged sinks and 2) we have much better things to do with our time. The solution here: OUTSOURCE! Read more

Manufacturers’ 6 most common questions about outsourcing

Our manufacturing clients and prospects often have similar questions about outsourcing as they consider their technology needs. Let us answer some of these concerns:

  1. Don’t we need someone that understands our unique facility and needs?

    Your facilities are unique. We have the best tools available that allow us to quickly map and document your system, so we can be up to speed on your environment in the blink of an eye. This is part of our discovery process, which happens before we even start discussing any needs or ways to improve your system.

    Your needs are unique. A virtual Chief Information Officer works directly with your team to get to know your company, your needs, and your business strategy. It is this person’s role to fully understand your needs as an organization and to devise an IT strategy that not only works for today but prepares you for tomorrow. Read more

5 Ways Technology Can Improve Workforce Recruitment and Retention

Advanced Manufacturers need new talent and must retain the talent they have. Technology may not be able to solve the problem, but it may be able to help. Take a look at the ideas below. Two focus on recruitment, the rest on retention. All are important to think about! Read more

NIST 800-171 requirements – in layman’s terms

In our last blog post, we gave an overview of NIST compliance and why it is so important. In this blog post, we provide you with a quick, very high-level breakdown of the NIST 800-171 Requirement Families.

Each family falls under one of the three main functions of cybersecurity: protect, detect, or recover.

  • Protect – Protect your systems from harm or intrusion to the highest level possible
  • Detect – Detect when a breach is in progress or has occurred, from either inside or outside your organization
  • Recover – Ensure you have the systems and procedures in place to recover from an incident as efficiently and effectively as possible, while following all legal requirements

There are 14 families of requirements in NIST 800-171. In the NIST Special Publication document, the families are presented in alphabetic order, but it may make a little more sense to divide them into their security function. So, that’s what we’ve done below: Read more

What manufacturers need to know about NIST compliance

The President of IT Direct, Ari Santiago, recently gave an hour-long webinar on NIST compliance. He provided a quick, but very thorough overview of what NIST 800-171 is, why it’s important, and the 14 families of the framework.

If you’d like to listen to the entire webinar, you can find it here on YouTube.

In today’s blog post, we’re going to give an overview of that overview – a 60,000 ft view, if you will!  Read more

Cybersecurity for compliance: Top 5 reasons you may need a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system

A security auditor may have recommended, or even insisted (in case of compliance requirements), that you have a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system in place.

Your first question might be, “What is that?” followed closely by, “It costs how much?” followed right after that by, “That’s a lot of money. Do I really need that?” Let us try to answer these questions for you.  Read more

Is your IT strategy cohesive across your entire business?

Is your IT strategy cohesive across your entire business?

In a previous blog post, we talked about the role of IT strategy and how it has changed over time. We described how to move up from a Reactive break-fix model and through the IT Pyramid to increasingly use your IT to drive value in your business.

What happens with an incohesive strategy?

Recently, we discovered a case where part of the business was still in break-fix mode, while other parts of the business had moved into higher levels of IT efficacy. Read more