Friday, December 16, 2011

Industrial Defender Report Highlights Control Systems Operators' Increasing Responsibility Overload

The sharp folks at ID just released a survey-based report called "Managing Automation Systems: Critical Infrastructure Operators’ Challenges & Opportunities" which is chock full of interesting findings. You'll quickly see the challenges that rose to the top of their findings include issues are much more about people and process than about technology.

Here's a sample from the overview:
  • On paper responsibilities don’t align with day-to-day activities. Over the past several years, industrial automation professionals have seen their responsibility broaden from managing operations to managing security and, in some instances, managing compliance. However, there is a clear gap between the time these individuals commit to each requirement, regardless of whether they own a high degree of responsibility
  • Similar management requirements exist across security, compliance and operations functions. In other words, actions and activities necessary to support a security program may be strikingly similar to what’s required for compliance management and operational management within critical infrastructure
  • Infrastructure operators are constrained in their ability to manage these overlapping requirements. This is particularly true when it comes to managing multi-vendor environments with assets from a mix of industrial automation suppliers
It's a familiar story, right? Too much being asked of too few, with the quality of the work that gets done likely to be, well, sub-optimal. Sounds like some business process optimization and automation is in order ... and in the meantime, maybe pay increases for the folks who are asked to get this mountain of important work done.

Recommend you read the full report ... it's a brisk read at <10 pages.