Looking for a Pathway to Robust and Secure Industrial Automation? PostedFriday, February 1,2019 at 1:08 PM Artwork by Caroline Whalen System integration often happens in the later stages of a project and typically represents a relatively small part of the overall spend. If it’s not done right, it can torpedo the entire venture. You might want to ask yourself a few questions: Does your manufacturing operation rely on automation for success? Do you need your systems integrator to be your go-to supplier to perform your automation and configuration activities? Do you feel like your automation system is a black box, and you just hope it works when it is time to run your operation? Do you lose sleep at night worrying that someone will cyber-hack into your automation system and create havoc? Do you hope your systems integrator is there for you day in and day out for the long-haul? Does procurement commoditize system integration? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. Your next question is most likely: Where to start? Fortunately, there is a group of industrial automation professionals who exist to execute, manage and support controls, automation and cybersecurity projects in ways that can give you peace of mind. You can find the control system integrator for your specific needs in the Industrial Automation Exchange, a community of system integrators and suppliers hosted by the Control System Integrators Association. CSIA is an organization dedicated to the advancement of the practice of control systems integration. This professional organization also provides its members A Guide to the CSIA’s Best Practices and Benchmarks, which outlines a standard approach to project management, financial performance tracking, quality assurance management and other key business aspects to help them better serve your needs. This comprehensive manual is continuously updated to ensure CSIA members are kept up to date on the latest trends and threats. In fact, CSIA just released Version 5.0, which includes a new section on cybersecurity management. The Best Practices manual is available to all CSIA members. Certified member companies undergo an intense third-party audit that verifies strict adherence and compliance with the Best Practices. This certification needs to be renewed every 3 years. Bottom line: If you are looking for a trusted professional services provider, the CSIA Exchange is a good place to start. To learn more about the latest version of the Best Practices manual, visit the CSIA website.