Looking Ahead

No matter where you reside or what industry your company serves, the past few years have driven intense scrutiny of two major questions:  how have we “always operated” and “what needs to change going forward”?

As I talk with my customers in the manufacturing space, it is clear that manufacturing is just beginning to recover from the grasp of COVID-19. The mass shuttering of factories stifled businesses, disrupted supply chains, and forced manufacturers to rethink how they will not only survive – but thrive in a post – pandemic world.

In order to stay afloat, most manufacturing workers were forced to find temporary work elsewhere or leave the field altogether, which put even more stress on an already significant talent gap. This mass exodus meant that companies lost not only talent, but also institutional knowledge, know-how, and culture.

The outlook isn’t entirely grim, however; for every obstacle created in the past few years there are even more opportunities. In order to seize that opportunity, there’s one big question manufacturers are still solving two years later: how do we fulfill this pent-up demand for manufactured goods while putting safety and security at the core of our ever-evolving strategy?

Leading With Resiliency

Thankfully, the answer to this question is one manufacturers are already familiar with: business resiliency with an emphasis on cybersecurity and digitization. Investing in these components of your business will not only help recoup COVID-19 related losses, but will also help to fulfill previous workplace challenges like workforce shortages and increasing security threats.

One argument against digitization revolves around the increased threat vectors that could expose a company to security breaches. Even so, the productivity benefits associated with digitization far outweigh these risks, which can be mitigated through both process and technology.  My own company Cisco offers industrial security products and solutions, as well as architectures that are NIST and ISA Compliant. This enables manufacturers to easily extend their security coverage more broadly across their plant operations and actually see what is happening from their systems and users.

As the world begins to move into “the new normal” manufacturers are gearing up their factories and plants for operational efficiency while securing their intellectual and physical property for the future- I couldn’t be more excited to witness this evolution.

Cisco at Hannover Messe 2022

I am so passionate about business resiliency, that I have been invited to moderate a partner panel on May 30th at Hannover Messe in Germany centered around the IT/OT convergence and risk mitigation. I will be joined by panelists from Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, and Microsoft to name a few.

Check out Cisco’s Hannover Messe Events page for information on all of our

sessions, resources, including the opportunity to get free passes to the event.

I look forward to seeing you at the panel discussion and our booth located at Hall 5, Stand D36!



Emily Crawford

Vice President - Americas, Midwest-Atlantic

Global Enterprise Sales