Blog posts by Bob Baxendale

Big Data, and Why it Matters to Manufacturers

July 17, 2017 by Bob Baxendale

“Only when businesses create a culture that empowers everyone to have access to data and insight that drive actions will they be positioned to truly transform.” – Colin Masson, Global Industry Director for Manufacturing and Distribution at Microsoft As technological advancements are made in manufacturing, companies are embracing data as a key component of their business strategies. In fact, according to a 2016 Honeywell study, 68 percent of manufacturers are currently investing in data analytics, while 46 percent say implementing these processes is no longer optional in our fast-changing world. But does big data bring real benefits to the table, and is it really worth your time and money? Absolutely. Analytics often come in the form of dashboards, which can provide information about nearly every aspect of your business, including supply chain, quality management, sales and marketing, and administration. Having this information at your disposal equips you with tools necessary to make better, more well-informed decisions – not just in six months or one year from now, but often in real time. For example, with the appropriate systems in place, a single dashboard is capable of detecting and analyzing product defects by type, time, region, and other factors. Think of

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5 Ways to Reduce Your Company's Risk of Cyber Attacks

February 20, 2017 by Bob Baxendale

As manufacturing technology grows and spreads, cybersecurity is essential to your everyday operations. While IoT infrastructures, digitized machinery, and other systems help make your company more efficient and connected, they also carry a risk, as your equipment and data can become susceptible to outside viruses, malware, and ransomware. This is especially true of outdated equipment, as its lack of support for new software opens doors for unauthorized access of essential data. Due to high-profile breaches like those of Target and Yahoo!, one popular misconception is that small companies are less susceptible to cyberattacks. However, they are actually more vulnerable due to not having the right software or tools for protection; in fact, the average cost of a data breach for small companies in 2015 was more than $38,000, and it’s estimated more than half of companies that experience a cyberattack go out of business within six months. There are many solutions to prevent this from happening… but where do you start? Identify and assess your existing procedures. Think about how data is currently being accessed. Who can open confidential documents or vital information about your business? Is the data stored on a secure platform? Do you have it backed up

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