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Too Much To Manage? Top Challenges Facing Tech Leaders Today (And What To Do About Them)

Posted by Dave Kravitt

Guest blog co-written with Thrive Networks

As the technology landscape continues to change and evolve at lightning speed, CIOs and CTOs have more on their plates than ever before. For many, spending time on valuable business drivers—the ones that give your business a competitive advantage—takes the backseat to managing and maintaining an IT environment that’s increasingly complex. This challenge is diverse, with many tech leaders needing to oversee everything from vendor management, to rising cyber security concerns, to the many facets associated with maintaining business continuity. And at the end of the day, these tasks leave little time to focus on innovation. 

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Tags: Managed Services

Expert Q&A: How To Avoid a Hodge-Podge IT Environment

Posted by PSGi Staff Writer

Has your manufacturing company experienced considerable growth through acquisition or other significant changes in recent years? While change can be a positive thing, it can also lead to a lack of centralized IT control, in turn creating an IT environment that feels a bit… well, chaotic. This “hodge-podge” type of environment—one that’s characterized by multiple systems managed in functional silos—is actually quite common. And not just an issue among post-acquisition companies. This scenario applies to any manufacturing organization that lacks a holistic, well-planned IT approach.   

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Tags: Managed Services

The 10 Best Questions to Ask When Vetting MSPs

Posted by Larry Dube

 

The new year can be a good time to address head-on those same old IT challenges that have been lingering for too long. So what are YOUR manufacturing company’s IT objectives this year? 

Freeing up internal staffers so they can focus on higher-value projects? Gaining more control over fluctuating IT costs? Tackling the security beast?  

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Tags: Managed Services

3 Reasons Remote System Management Has Become “The New Norm” In Manufacturing

Posted by Dave Kravitt

Whether you embrace new and existing technologies whole-heartedly or with a sense of dread, the need for reliable IT support simply comes with the territory. For some manufacturing and distribution companies, the question then boils down to the type of support you need: in-house staff or remote, outsourced services?

Historically, the decision-making process for SMBs was more difficult, more carefully weighed. That’s been especially true for small firms who have had a hard time making the mental leap from handling everything in-house to having it managed remotely. But today, more companies seem to be accepting the notion that remote managed services are today’s new norm. Here are three significant factors behind this shift—and why they bring about good news for manufacturers.

1 – More Complex, Global IT Environments

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Tags: Managed Services

Is Lack of Real-Time Global Data Threatening Your Ability to Service Your Customers?

Posted by Dave Kravitt

Guest blog by Jonathan Kall, CEO, Vecco International

So you’ve just learned that there’s good news… and there’s bad news. First, the good news: your sales for a specialty item manufactured in-house are through the roof. In fact, they’re way over forecast.  

Now, the bad news. You’re short on production orders. And raw materials. And coordinating your global supply chain in a timely manner to meet your customers’ needs feels like an even taller order. 

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Tags: Supply Chain Optimization, Supply Chain Planning

3 Major Pitfalls to Avoid With Your IBM i Disaster Recovery Plan

Posted by Dave Kravitt

Guest blog by John Hamel, Principal, TurningPoint Systems

Prolonged downtime is every manufacturing firm’s nightmare. Even companies running the highly-reliable IBM i OS recognize they need some sort of disaster recovery plan in place to protect their business from major disruptions. 

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Tags: IBM i Platform, Disaster Recovery

Making The Case For Longevity: Key Signs That Suggest a Secure Future with IBM i

Posted by Larry Dube

This article has been updated after original publication in 2016.

It’s been close to three decades since IBM launched the AS/400, and in the technology industry, that may just feel like an eternity. But for people wondering about the marketplace for the AS/400’s progenies (Power i and IBM i) — and where things are headed in the future — there’s good news: there are plenty of signs that serve as reminders that IBM ensures this platform truly is built to last, and here to stay.  

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Tags: IBM i Platform

ERP Replacements on the Rise: A Blip or Sign of a Larger Trend?

Posted by Dave Kravitt

A friend of mine, Rob, has been complaining for years that corporations have not been making capital expenditures. Rob has a forklift resale business, and by his measure, this has been the slowest economic recovery ever from a recession. Rob’s not alone, either. Many would agree that the past few years have marked a definite collapse in long-term business investments. 

However, in recent months, both Rob and I have noticed an uptick in capital expenditures. At first, we figured it may be a momentary blip. But we’ve found more and more signs that this may truly part of a larger trend. Only time will tell to be sure — but in the meantime, here’s a look at some of the evidence to suggest that the tides are turning on capital spending. 

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Tags: ERP

IBM Is Dropping Support for IBM i  7.1 – Here’s What You Should Know

Posted by Larry Dube

After a recent announcement, the word is slowly rippling through the IBM user community: IBM will be discontinuing support for IBM i 7.1 on April 30, 2018.  

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Tags: IBM i Platform, Managed Services

How Cloud Technology Eclipses Barriers to a “Best of Breed” Approach

Posted by Dave Kravitt

Cloud technology is now so prominently established that it seems as if it’s been around forever. But it wasn’t too long ago that its adoption was characterized by a cautious wait-and-see attitude, rife with perceived risks and unknowns.

Today, along with the development of so much new functionality in the cloud, there’s been a dramatic shift in thinking for most organizations — and that’s essentially changed the way manufacturing companies can approach the concept of “best of breed.”

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Tags: ERP