Who’s Your Audience When You’re in IT?


Who’s Your Audience When You’re in IT?

Based on the BCMC 2016 Educational Session
"Managing Your Tech: Aligning Technology & Business Needs"
Chris Cozart of Builders FirstSource, John Holland of Clearspan Components, Greg Dahlstrom of Villaume Industries and Jason Hikel of Shelter Systems—all members of SBCA’s IT committee—used their BCMC presentation to cover several aspects of managing your company’s technology needs: change management, effective documentation, cybersecurity and industrial hardware.  


“Communication, communication, communication is key when undergoing change management,” said Cozart. He maintained that, to begin the process of change management, it’s critical that CMs and their IT staff carefully talk through their ideas with independent software vendors (ISVs), such as truss plate suppliers.

One attendee asked what steps CMs can take to get ISVs on board and what to do when you don’t get what you have requested. Cozart stressed the importance of maintaining good working relationships with the ISV. Hold regular meetings, he suggested, and focus on maintaining a balanced partnership. “You can’t ask for the moon, but it’s important to be open in discussions and tell them what you want in the software,” said Cozart. 


Component manufacturers face the same risks as any other business when it comes to the growing threat of cyber-security. Dahlstrom explained how CMs can tackle this issue, emphasizing that the people in your company are your first line of defense. A well-informed staff and management team is necessary to keeping your systems safe.

One attendee asked if you can effectively mitigate security breaches with backups. Dahlstrom said regular (daily, weekly, etc.) backups are necessary, but not sufficient. Backups can still be subject to security breaches—you might simply be backing up encrypted files. Dahlstrom suggested companies have short-, medium- and long-term backup plans in place. “Good security can be compared to an onion,” he explained. “You need layer upon layer of prevention through education, communication and administration.” 

Review the IT presentation slides, which include links to a variety of documentation and management tools. Get to know Greg Dahlstrom, SBCA’s IT committee chair, in November’s edition of Faces of the Industry.