Posts particularly useful for the manufacturing industry

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

2018 Spending Bill is good for CT Manufacturers

Senator Chris Murphy at manufacturing plant in Cheshire

Omnibus Spending Bill has positive effects on CT Manufacturing

As a member of a legislative council on Manufacturing, Ari Santiago, President/CEO of IT Direct, recently received this update from Senator Chris Murphy’s office on some of the positive effects of the new spending bill on Manufacturing in Connecticut. We thought you might like to read it too!


Good morning,

You may have heard that Congress voted on a $1.3 trillion spending bill last week. Senator Murphy supported this bill and wanted me to update you on what this means for Connecticut’s manufacturers, please feel free to share with your respective groups. Read more

Efficacy of technology – can technology meet everyone’s needs?

Efficacy of technology – can technology meet everyone’s needs?

During a recent meeting with a prospective client, a CEO of a growing manufacturer in Connecticut, he described what he was looking for in technology in terms of efficacy.

Efficacy – the ability to produce a desired or intended result

I thought this was an interesting way to describe what he was looking for – efficacious technology. It leads to the question…what is your desired result? I think he chose this word, because this answer will be different for every single individual in an organization and is entirely dependent on their role. Yet, the request remains that technology be efficacious, or leading to results, for everyone.  Read more

Top 5 ways to prepare for a ransomware attack

Ransomware attack!
A top cybersecurity threat for businesses today is ransomware – a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. In fact, 12 Connecticut state agencies were just attacked with ransomware, with 160 computers affected. Luckily, the attack was thwarted by the state’s excellent multi-layered cybersecurity strategy.

Your business needs to be prepared too. And just like the state of CT, the multi-layered approach is the best way to do it.

Here are the top 5 ways to prepare for a ransomware attack: Read more