2020 shone a spotlight on many manufacturing weak spots, including the need for greater resiliency. Increased automation, along with cloud infrastructure, a full software stack and strong cybersecurity are four IT initiatives that can help companies bounce back and avoid future disruptions.
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Many industries continue to manufacture products by hand. When the pandemic hit, these facilities were forced to either close entirely or work with extremely limited capacity.
Automation technologies augment human workers, freeing them up from working in such close proximity.
Cloud computing is essential support for Industry 4.0 technologies like automation.
It allows for remote oversight and helps unite every level of the supply chain so companies can better communicate and keep manufacturing on track in the face of unforeseen disruptions.
ERP software is critical for all manufacturers, whether they’ve embraced automation or not.
But companies shouldn’t neglect the rest of their software stack. Manufacturers need to invest in the top collaboration tools and security as well.
As facilities and companies become increasingly connected, IT security becomes equally critical. Cybercriminals will happily take advantage of the fact that more connectivity means easier targets for them.
However, companies shouldn’t shy away from Industry 4.0 technologies as a result. Data stored in the cloud, as well as connected devices, are defendable. Manufacturers just need to prioritize security as much as they do innovation.