News Feature | January 13, 2015

Manufacturing And Warehousing IT News For VARs — January 13, 2015

By Trisha Leon, contributing writer

Job Growth

In the news, the manufacturing sector added an average of 16,000 jobs per month in 2014, and tech trends predicted for your manufacturing IT clients are related to Big Data and additive manufacturing. Also in the news are steps your clients can take to reduce the risk of credential theft.

Manufacturing Plays A Large Role In Job Growth

Andy Szal of reports that manufacturing job growth rose in 2014. According to Szal, “The report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the manufacturing sector added an average of 16,000 jobs per month last year, compared to gains of 7,000 jobs per month for 2013.” The report comes shortly after President Obama’s visit to Michigan where he emphasized the manufacturing industry’s role in job growth. Scott Paul, the Alliance for American Manufacturing president, commented, “While President Obama is touting factory job gains and our congressional leaders are looking for ways to rebuild the middle class, what’s missing for manufacturing is good policy.” Job growth in 2014 was the strongest in fifteen years, while wage growth, however, remained slow.

Big Data, Additive Manufacturing Predicted As Tech Trends For Manufacturing

The Industry Week article, “Manufacturing 2015: 7 Thought Leaders Share Their Predictions,” by Patricia Moody details what thought leaders believe to be the top trends in manufacturing for 2015. Some of these include packaging predictions, Big Data predictions, and additive manufacturing predictions as well. For VARs, keeping up with the latest trends in manufacturing is vital to building a competitive business — this article provides information regarding manufacturing and IT trends for the year to come.

Steps That Help Reduce Risk Of Credential Theft

According to the Cloud Tech article, “User credentials remain the Achilles heel of cloud apps: How you can prevent an attack,” data breaches dominated the headlines in 2014. Many of these data breaches were brought about through stolen user credentials. Ofer Hendler writes that there are steps organizations can take to lower the risk of credential theft. Some of these include knowing which mobile apps are being accessed by employees and securing managed and non-managed devices used to access company data through the cloud. He states, “it’s imperative to have visibility into cloud app usage across all devices.” Hendler gives more practical information on protecting sensitive data stored in the cloud which VARs can use to assist clients in securing their operations.

The Future Of Manufacturing Is Linked To Automation

Mike Hannah, writing for Manufacturing Business Technology, explains how the future of manufacturing is intrinsically tied to the future of automation, what he calls “Industry 4.0.” The U.S. has even created a government-sponsored coalition which focuses on implementing “21st Century Smart Manufacturing.” Its goal is to help industries harness the data gathered by the Internet of Things (IoT) to make operations more efficient and drive innovation. According to Hannah, “Much of the technology necessary to turn that vision into a reality already exists. That includes IP-enabled networks (industrial Ethernet and Wi-Fi), information infrastructure (hardware and software), and intelligent, connected devices such as sensors, actuators and switches.” In order to order to take full advantage of these technologies, further integration is required. Hannah gives tips on transforming businesses to fit into the modern, data-enabled world.

Manufacturing And Warehousing IT Talking Points

Many businesses are making the transition to cloud computing; 99 percent are carrying with them decades of legacy infrastructure, which make the transition challenging, according to the Computer World article, “How to Work Out Kinks in the Cloud,” by Robert L. Mitchell. “Every big company now has to compete with startups that are trying to disrupt their business,” says Mark Collier, COO at the OpenStack Foundation. Mitchell gives a brief history of cloud development and some effective cloud models of successful businesses. Though there are many challenges to creating a cloud transition strategy and a significant sense of urgency to join the cloud, most operations are still in the learning phase and progress takes time and patience. 

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Manufacturing And Warehousing Tech Center.