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Unlocking Efficiency and Resiliency with Advanced Backup Strategies for Industrial Automation

June 13, 2024
Implementing industrial DevOps methodologies to manage operational technology can help companies reduce risks associated with data loss, increase efficiency automation and minimize downtime.

In recent years, the manufacturing sector has witnessed a rapid acceleration in the adoption of automation technologies. As these systems become increasingly complex and interconnected, the importance of implementing effective and reliable backup strategies has never been more apparent.

Traditional reactive approaches to code backups, which once sufficed in less automated environments, are now struggling to keep pace with the speed and scale of modern industrial automation. This growing disparity between code production volumes and backup coverage can have severe consequences, including reduced system efficiency, compromised safety measures, unplanned downtime, product quality issues and potential safety hazards for workers.

The Emergence of Industrial DevOps

Over the past decade-and-a-half, the IT industry has embraced DevOps practices which have proven to be highly successful in enhancing collaboration, efficiency and reliability. These practices are now making their way into industrial settings, with many organizations adopting industrial DevOps methodologies to manage their operational technology (OT). By implementing industrial DevOps, companies can achieve several key benefits:

  • Reduced risks associated with data loss
  • Efficiency through automation, faster recovery times and improved version control
  • Cost savings achieved by minimizing downtime and proactively addressing potential issues.

Industrial DevOps introduces a range of tools and processes designed to promote collaboration and increase visibility across industrial operations. For example, by centrally managing multi-vendor control solutions, organizations can reduce their reliance on proprietary, siloed tools.

This shift toward a unified environment enables changes to be tracked and managed more efficiently, resulting in enhanced operational agility, higher uptime and quicker issue resolution.

READ MORE: Automate 2024 Wrap-up: Shifting the Robotics Paradigm to Flexible, Agnostic Solutions 

The Power of Cloud Technology

The integration of cloud technology into industrial backup strategies offers numerous advantages. By storing data in the cloud, authorized team members and vendors can securely access, audit and modify information, ensuring that intellectual property remains easily accessible to leaders while maintaining strict security protocols. This cloud-based approach enables organizations to optimize their OT on a much larger scale, eliminates the need for time-consuming manual backup tasks, and allows employees to focus on value-adding activities and driving innovation.

Implementing Industrial DevOps: A Two-Step Approach

To successfully modernize operations using an industrial DevOps approach, manufacturers can follow a two-pronged process:

1. Assemble Stakeholders

  1. Foster an open and safe environment that encourages dialogue and feedback sharing.
  2. Collaboratively identify pain points and shortcomings in the current backup strategy.
  3. Review existing disaster recovery plans and assess their alignment with organizational goals.
  4. Evaluate the feasibility of implementing strategic changes, taking into account budgets, resources and technological constraints.

2. Identify Concerns and Process Changes

  1. Establish robust governance measures to protect intellectual property and mitigate data loss risks.
  2. Determine the most suitable backup approaches based on factors such as data volumes, change frequency and storage capacity, using thorough testing and pilot programs.
  3. Carefully manage the impact of changes on existing workflows and processes through effective change management strategies, clear communication and comprehensive training.

READ MORE: Hannover Messe 2024: Open Ecosystems and Collaborations Steal the Show 

The Importance of Modern Backup Strategies in Top Talent Acquisition

Adopting a modern backup strategy not only yields improvements in operational efficiency but also serves as a compelling tool for attracting top talent. Skilled, younger professionals in the industry are increasingly drawn to companies that demonstrate a strong commitment to data security, technological innovation and future-proof solutions.

By implementing an industrial DevOps approach to backup strategies, organizations demonstrate their dedication to these values and the long-term success of both the business and its employees. This forward-thinking stance can give companies a significant advantage in recruiting and retaining the best minds in the field.

The Risks of Maintaining the Status Quo

As automation continues to advance and scale in modern industry, manufacturers can no longer afford to rely on outdated, inefficient backup systems. The financial and human costs associated with unexpected downtime and system failures are simply too high to ignore. By bringing together key stakeholders, proactively addressing concerns and developing a clear roadmap, industrial organizations can harness the power of industrial DevOps principles to implement backup processes that are efficient, resilient and future-proof.

This approach to backup strategies ultimately leads to improvements in critical metrics related to efficiency, risk reduction, and financial performance — all of which are essential for ensuring long-term success in an increasingly automated world. As the manufacturing landscape continues to evolve, companies that prioritize the adoption of modern backup strategies will be better positioned to navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, securing their place at the forefront of the industry.

Investing in modern backup strategies is not merely a technical decision; it is a strategic choice that can have far-reaching implications for a company's culture and its ability to innovate, compete and attract top talent. As the manufacturing sector continues to evolve, those organizations that prioritize the development and implementation of robust, future-proof backup solutions will be best positioned to thrive in the age of industrial automation.

READ MORE: The Evolution of Industry: What’s to Come for Industry 5.0?

About the Author

Adam Gluck | CEO and Co-founder, Copia Automation

Adam Gluck is the CEO and co-founder of Copia Automation.

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