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Top 5 cybersecurity risks for 2018

Top 5 cybersecurity risks for 2018 960 640 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Cybersecurity risks continue to be topmost in the minds of most IT departments. We stay abreast of new threats and do our best to ensure that adequate protections are in place. These days, it is a daily activity. in 2018, it’s our new reality.

As time marches on and cybercrime becomes more insidious, cybersecurity must become smarter and more predictive. We have seen evidence that nobody is exempt from malicious intent – from large companies like Amazon, Verizon, and Equifax to small, home-based businesses, cybercrime has racked up direct costs into the hundreds of millions of dollars. However, the indirect costs, such as the cost of insurance and lost business, ranks into the billions, or even trillions.

Looking ahead to 2018 and beyond, what are the top cybersecurity risks?

With the cybersecurity landscape constantly in flux, many initiatives have been put in place to protect businesses as well as individuals. With that in mind, we have put together a list of what we consider to be the top five cybersecurity risks for 2018:

Cybersecurity Risk #1: Internet of Thing (IoT) adding unmitigated risk

With the rise of IoT devices infiltrating the workplace, there will be greater opportunity for cybercriminals to exploit weakened security and enter the network through these devices. Such items range from connected coffee makers to security cameras, door locks, network printers, light bulbs, smart televisions, and in a worst-case scenario, industrial control systems that manage the supply chain. Connected items are at greater risk if they come with a factory-installed password that cannot be changed so it is imperative to ensure that all connected devices can be password-protected and controlled from behind the firewall.

Cybersecurity Risk #2: Zero day exploits

Cybercriminals look for vulnerabilities in software and often obtain a grip on them even before they are discovered by the developer. The term “zero day” refers to the amount of time between the discovery of the vulnerability and the moment it is inevitably leveraged by malicious factions. The incidence of zero day exploits is on the rise, telling us that cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated and are able to act faster than ever before. Recent studies suggest that SMBs are the most vulnerable, with the incidence of zero day exploits rising from once per week to once per day by 2021.

Cybersecurity Risk #3: Malware in the cloud

Because cloud server providers store massive amounts of data in the cloud, they are at risk of becoming targets for cybercriminals. Cloud providers need to be constantly ramping up efforts to keep their customer’s data safe, providing their end users with the most up-to-date and intelligent protections possible. Going forward, threat intelligence platforms will gain importance in security infrastructure, while security management at the IT level will be a dedicated job whether it is supported in-house or outsourced to an IT consultancy. As a result, security systems will need to evolve to become more heterogeneous as opposed to having multiple systems operating independently.

Cybersecurity Risk #4: Password-only authentication

Moving forward, the incidence of password-only authentication will continue to decline. Two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication using biomarkers will be more prevalent in order to shore up network access points. The risk to companies who still use password-only logins will rise as attacks on these gateways increase. Solutions like single sign-on and 2FA can help keep your data secure. Call Greenlight to explore your options.

Cybersecurity Risk #5: Bots and worms are on the rise

Automated threats are amplifying the results for cybercriminals, so it stands to reason that their incidence will be more frequent. Worms spread malware en masse and much faster than any other method. Once these attacks become more sophisticated—currently they are easy to detect—there is a potential for them to do a lot of damage.

Is your cybersecurity infrastructure keeping your data as safe as it can be? Call Greenlight today to schedule a consultation.

Top 5 new business technologies for 2018

Top 5 new business technologies for 2018 1080 720 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Top 5 new business technologies for 2018

 

Maintaining a competitive advantage is at the top of any company’s priorities. Technology, in particular, has changed the way we work in many exciting ways, helping us improve productivity in-house and reach our customers in ways never before possible.

 

Heading into 2018, we have a lot to look forward to in the realm of business tech advances, but out of all the options available to us, what are the trends we should be paying attention to and how will they help us?

 

Let’s look at a handful of the top new business technologies we should look forward to in 2018:

 

Business technology #1: Augmented Reality (AR)

Now that AR has become more accessible, it is poised to provide businesses with exciting new ways to enhance not only the customer experience but the way business decisions are made from the top down. With the ability to mesh reality with interactivity in the digital realm, it is possible to provide an immersive mixed-reality experience that translates to many industries, from healthcare, where it can be leveraged for diagnostic and surgical applications, to hospitality and tourism, where it can provide a more meaningful experience based on the user’s location.

 

Business technology #2: Internet of Things (IoT) and Digital Twins

IoT has already infiltrated our lives at home, in the office, and for a range of activities in the industrial world. Digital twins work hand-in-hand with IoT devices, offering benefits in improved efficiency, asset management, and enhanced operational value. Simply put, a digital twin is a virtual replica of a product, service, or process, pairing the physical and the virtual world. connected to a cloud-based system, they gather data on processes and systems, alert us to issues before they occur, minimize downtime, and even give us a blueprint for the future. The technology itself is nothing new. It’s been in use by the space program at NASA for decades—and still is—giving researchers a way to monitor their equipment and technology even when it traveled beyond their ability to monitor it directly.

 

Business technology #3: AI chatbots on the help desk

Most of us by now have experienced AI to a certain degree as it is becoming quite common for chatbots to be deployed in customer service environments. Their ability to reduce costs on the help desk help the enterprise to stay lean and reduce human errors, and with the added bonus of machine learning, they can even predict what a customer might want or need based on previous transactions. While it may not eliminate the need for humans completely, the technology is becoming much more viable, accessible, and—dare I say—acceptable.

 

Business technology #4: Edge computing

Edge computing can be described as a way of processing and collecting information closer to the devices or objects that are the sources of this data. The edge approach is deployed as a component of your cloud infrastructure and can be highly advantageous to companies that rely on vast IoT networks as it reduces latency, improving connectivity, and does not interfere with the bandwidth servicing other devices on the network.

 

Business technology #5: Blockchain

Originally developed to manage Bitcoin and other digital cryptocurrencies, blockchain provides value in the business realm by enabling a shared, secure digital ledger that can then be leveraged to control processes that range from supply chain activities to identity management. Its fortress-like encryption makes it ideal for enterprise security and with the rise of new blockchain-enabled applications, we may soon begin to see it emerge in such industries as finance and healthcare.

 

While these are just a few of the exciting new business technologies to look out for in 2018, they are currently some of the most talked-about and useful. If you would like to learn more about technologies that have the potential to transform your business, schedule a call with Greenlight today. We are Sydney and Melbourne’s IT specialists, helping you do more with your technology today.

Does it make business sense to have custom software written?

Does it make business sense to have custom software written? 1920 1275 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Build vs. buy. It’s a question many businesses face. You might need a custom business application if:

 

  • You have several types of software that don’t “speak” to each other
  • You are using multiple software apps to accomplish the same job
  • You need to automate certain business tasks
  • You are facing scale that your current software solution can’t handle
  • Your software licensing fees are tanking its viability

 

If you are a small business or just starting out, the decision to purchase off-the-shelf is often the first out of the gate. It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s relatively inexpensive to get started. You simply work around the lack of customization until it becomes a problem.

 

When errors, data loss, and time that could have been better spent on other things become a burning issue, you might be ready for custom software.

 

Benefits of custom business software

Custom apps can help in many ways. They improve team productivity, encourage collaboration, and simplify repetitive processes. When integrated with other apps, like an ERP, custom business apps can improve business efficiency and speed processes. They can also reduce costly data silos that multiple stand-alone applications can cause.

 

Another bonus of custom apps is that they can also provide you with data that can then be leveraged to help you to further improve business processes and make better-informed decisions for your company.

 

So, let’s look at how you can go about choosing an app developer to work with:

 

Finding programmers: local vs. offshore pros and cons

When choosing a business application developer, there are plenty of choices both offshore and at home. A local provider gives you the benefit of having a partner who speaks your language and is in your time zone – someone who you can sit with, face-to-face, as you go through the business app development process. Hypothetically, your local developer may be much easier to reach if you have a question – and you’ll know exactly where to find them if there is a problem.

 

Offshore developers provide advantages as well. The internet allows us to choose from a highly qualified global talent pool, sometimes at a much-reduced rate. The problem is if they suddenly go off-the-grid for no apparent reason, you may have no recourse. If you do choose this route, establish clear milestones and accountabilities before you start in order to mitigate any potential issues.

 

These days, app development companies come and go quickly, and unless you’ve established a good rapport with a freelancer or offshore developer, you need to be prepared for any contingency. What happens if he or she disappears? Will you be left high and dry without any recourse?

 

Look for a developer who has an excellent reputation and whose business is well-established in the industry. Keep in mind also that impressive credentials or degrees do not always make a good developer. Today’s coding languages bear little resemblance to those of old, so make sure you are working with somebody who has good, recent, and relevant work to show you.

Maintenance and ongoing costs

Your custom business software may seem prohibitively expensive at first look. Plus, once your app is launched there are sure to be ongoing costs attached to it. These could be for cloud servers, third-party licenses, or for maintenance and updates.

 

All things considered, you may very be pleasantly surprised once you crunch the numbers. What you will gain in added productivity and the money you will save on licensing may help it pay for itself in short order.

 

How Greenlight can help

Greenlight ITC dedicated to supporting Australian businesses with IT solutions that help you grow. Working closely with ICM Consulting, we are able to provide you with an end-to-end solution that supports enhanced productivity and scale. Call Greenlight today to speak to one of our technicians about what’s possible.

What is a Managed IT Services Provider_Reactive to Proactive with Managed IT Services

Should I replace old Windows servers or move to the cloud?

Should I replace old Windows servers or move to the cloud? 500 454 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

With the current trends increasingly towards cloud computing, agility, and mobile, you may find yourself wondering: do I even need an on-site server anymore?

The truth is, there are advantages and disadvantages to both solutions. Depending on your needs, one or the other might be right for you.

 

The advantages of onsite servers

Though onsite servers have certain limitations, there are some areas in which they provide a clear advantage.

 

Compliance and control

For industries that have robust security and privacy requirements, such as finance, legal and healthcare, physical servers provide the ability to protect vital data more predictably. Additionally, some of these industries must meet data security compliance regulations, and some cloud servers simply do not make the cut. With an on-site server, you have control over where the server is housed and who can access it, ensuring that all of your internal security protocols are met and that legal compliance is satisfied.

 

Accessibility

Your in-house team can benefit from an on-premise server also. Being able to access files without connecting to the internet has its advantages, especially if the internet connection is down or unreliable for any reason.

 

Affordability

Once you’ve completed your cloud migration, maintaining your servers and data in the cloud may be more affordable, but the migration and transformation itself may represent a significant cost. If you are a small, insular company who depends on key applications or database applications that are housed on your on-site servers, you stand to lose that accessibility—and possibly some functionality—when you do make the move. Software that you have purchased may need to be upgraded to cloud-based versions, and the whole process may roll out over a period of months.

 

If scale isn’t an issue and your company can’t afford the disruption or expense, then perhaps your on-site servers are just fine.

 

The benefits of cloud servers

On the other side of the coin, cloud servers offer many benefits.

 

Scale

The ability to scale on a dime is one of the biggest benefits to using a cloud server. If you are an online business such as an e-commerce retail site, auction site, or ticket agency, you may not be able to predict when that scale will be required. Cloud servers can be configured to adapt to your web traffic needs, ensuring that your site doesn’t crash if it experiences a surge of traffic. After all, you wouldn’t want your “best day ever” to be marred by a system crash.

 

Agility

With more employees working remotely these days, it pays to have the ability to access files and web applications from any computer or device. The cloud enables virtualization, which in turn enables collaboration, improved productivity, employee engagement, and omnichannel initiatives. Efficiency and accountability are enhanced, improved communication is enabled, and with the right configurations, you can remove data silos that are slowing down your progress. Being able to monitor and respond to information in real-time rather than waiting for it to be delivered to you allows you to make better-informed business decisions that can take your company further, faster.

 

Cost savings

By moving to a cloud server solution, you may realize significant cost savings. First, you will no longer have to purchase or maintain physical servers. You also won’t have to allocate office space to the servers, along with the increased needs for climate and temperature control. You can also reduce your IT spend, as you won’t need dedicated technicians to maintain and update your servers. In fact, the IT personnel you do keep can be assigned to higher-value incentives instead of having to perform endless, repetitive tasks that don’t add tangible value to the business. You will also need to predict how much storage you will need in the future, and unless you have a pretty clear picture of what that is going to look like, your future server spend is unknown. Cloud servers are pay-as-you-need, meaning that you only pay for what you’re using, generally on a month-to-month basis. This provides you with a predictable budget so you can plan your growth in other areas.

 

Security: you’ve got options

With an on-site server, you are limited to a range of security appliances and protocols that may not serve your needs in the future. With a cloud server solution, you can add security options as needed and threat detection is on 24/7. Most security features will be included in your monthly fee and if more robust features are needed, you can add them as you go without having to call in a technician or wait several days until IT gets around to it.

 

Future-proof

Lastly, a cloud server solution allows you to focus on your business without the added distraction of wondering when your technology will fail, need to be upgraded or replaced.

 

Greenlight ITC: Sydney and Melbourne’s favourite IT consultancy

As you can see, the argument isn’t exactly cut-and-dried. Ultimately, it is for you to decide what type of server is best for your company’s needs. If you would like to speak to an IT professional about your server options, call Greenlight today. We’d be happy to tell you more.

 

Why Hard Disks fail and what can you do to prolong their life

Why Hard Disks fail and what can you do to prolong their life 1125 750 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Hard drive failure is a serious thing. You stand to lose all internal data and if you haven’t backed up, that could be a small disaster unto itself.

The truth of the matter is, hard drives do two things: 1. They store data; and 2. They fail. In the case of the latter, it’s not a question of “if” it will happen – it’s more a case of “when”.

The average life of a hard drive is about six years, give or take. Fortunately, there are ways to prolong the life of your drive, but first, it’s important to understand why they fail.

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Solid state (SSD) vs. hard disk drives (HDD)

You could say that a solid-state drive (SSD) is a super-sized, more sophisticated version of a memory stick. As its description states, it has no moving parts. In this type of drive, information is stored in microchips. In the case of hard disk drives (HDD), a mechanical arm with a read/write head moves over a spinning disk to locate and deposit information.

 

As with anything that has moving parts, the HDD is more prone to failure. The more the disk spins, the harder it works, the greater the potential for failure.

Though SSDs generally deliver better performance, they are far from being immune to failure. The most common reason for SSD failure comes down to simple wear and tear: the process of writing over and erasing data on the drive (program/erase, or P/E) exerts wear on the drive. SSDs have a finite P/E cycle, meaning that after X number of cycles it will fail. As time goes by and the drive fills with data, it will become slower and slower until it starts to become unreliable.

 

Modern technologies have wear-leveling algorithms that do prolong the life of an SSD, but the endurance rating tells the whole story. Endurance ratings are defined in TBW (terabytes written) or DWPD (drive writes per day). If your endurance rating is 220TBW, it means that after 220 terabytes have been written to the drive, it has reached the end of its intended lifecycle.

 

Consumer vs. enterprise-grade drives

Enterprise-grade drives are built for more intensive use. The primary difference is that their endurance ratings are much higher, but you will pay for it. If your business uses software with high write loads, a more durable drive is highly desirable.

Enterprise-grade drives generally can withstand higher heat and are designed to be on 24 hours a day. Their components are of higher quality and will be more durable. Each unit will have been tested thoroughly prior to being deployed and will come with better warranties and support packages than their consumer counterparts.

 

Extending the life of your hard drives

So, now that we know why hard drives fail, let’s look at some ways you can extend that life and get the most out of your investment.

 

1. Avoid physical damage and vibration

Vibration, impact, or any disturbance, especially when the disk is spinning, can cause a malfunction, damage, or a complete failure. Avoid any unnecessary movement wh

en the computer is powered up and functioning.

 

2. Avoid exposure to high heat

Overheating is one of the most common issues that contribute to drive failure. This can arise from extreme weather, inadequate ventilation, or it can result from dust buildup in the computer’s vents. Always ensure your computer rooms are properly ventilated and that you make a habit of removing all dust buildup to keep the fans working as they should.

 

3. Defragment your drives

Not in itself a cause of disk failure, fragmentation will cause your drives to work harder, suffer wear and tear, and will eventually become damaged. Occasional defragmentation of your drives will prolong their life but resist the urge to do it too often. For best results, defrag only when your drive is between 5-10% fragmented.

4. Don’t power on and off too frequently

Booting up and shutting down is the single biggest wear and tear on your hard drive. To avoid the excessive stress, put your computers in sleep mode if you’re away from it overnight or for part of the day. Save your power-down for times when you will not be using it for a few days.

 

If you have any lingering questions about what you can do to extend the life of your hard drives, speak to one of the IT experts at Greenlight. We are always happy to talk tech and would love to know how we can help.

Doltone House – Customer Story

Doltone House – Customer Story 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

The Situation

Doltone house is a premier function and events company with a sterling reputation known through-out Australia. Doltone House was recently featured in Australia’s Master Chef and has received multiple awards for excellence. For a relatively small business with fewer than 100 staff in Australia, Doltone House had some complex requirements.
Across their four sites they had a demand for high availability and accessibility from onsite and remote locations. They had invested in multiple systems and hardware that was not performing adequately due to poor IT management and average implementation. Everything from their core CRM (Customer Relationship Management) application, Exchange emails, front of house sales systems to their automated workforce management system was impacted.

The Solution

To start our networking team was deployed to resolve issues with poor WAN (Wide-Area Network) and intranet layout causing extremely slow network performance and bottle necks. Using existing equipment and internet links, the logical and physical topology was restructured across various broadband and fibre connections, leading to a significant performance increase by Doltone House users.
Due to oversights and incorrect implementation Doltone House terminal servers were performing extremely slowly. The Greenlight Microsoft team was quickly able to restructure and resolve these performance issues, including using untapped resources from local servers through correct virtualization. Once these key systems were adequately optimised, Doltone House was able to perform its core business with marked improvement.
Doltone House are now more comfortable knowing their systems and backups are constantly being monitored and proactively maintained.
In order to continue to keep Dolton House running efficiently a custom support plan was created and adopted to manage all avenues of requirements from level 1-3 helpdesk, proactive server maintenance and detailed reporting. Having one point of contact for IT related issues made life a lot easier for the directors and users of Doltone House.
Greenlight also attends regular meetings with the board of directors to ensure IT systems and support are meeting Doltone House’s requirements and engage in planning for the future.

The Benefits

  • Business Network – with a comprehensive network plan and implementation, Greenlight were able to resolve the issues that were holding Doltone House from delivering their excellent service.
  • Terminal Server – instead of expensive hardware replacements, Greenlight re-configured existing servers to deliver greater performance and ROI (Return On Investment) through virtualization.
  • Proactive Maintenance – using our Remote Maintenance and Management platform, unexpected hardware and software issues were proactively resolved– increasing uptime and business performance.
  • IT Support – Doltone House wanted a single point of contact for their IT support, with a custom support plan to handle IT issues, proactive server maintenance, as well as custom reports. This gave Doltone a high-level view of their IT systems, while minimising time and effort involved by their staff.
  • Management – with an extremely successful business and loyal clientele ranging from small businesses to ASX 50 corporations, Doltone House continue their exponential growth. Greenlight regularly attend meetings with Doltone House’s board of directors to ensure their IT systems and support are meeting their short and long term business goals.

Doltone House now have IT systems that are meeting the high business requirements and their expectations have been exceeded. Doltone House have all the benefits of a large internal IT team however they are receiving the cost savings of outsourcing.
To find out more about Doltone House, you can click here.

A Quick Guide to Google Apps

A Quick Guide to Google Apps 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

google-appsProductivity is an important part of any organization’s effective functioning. With people expecting information almost instantaneously, the importance of collaboration and sharing of information has come into view more sharply now than ever. Thanks to a number of technologies that harness the cloud, companies are finally able to reach their maximum efficiency. One of these technologies is Google Apps, a suite of software tailored to increasing productivity in organisations

Overview of Google Apps

Google Apps is a portfolio of different tools and applications that have been tailored for business use. Since Google Apps uses the cloud, there is no need to install any software on your computer, and you can access these applications wherever or on whatever device you have an internet connection.

Google Apps Main Features

Google Apps Gmail – Probably the most well-known of Google Apps offerings is Gmail. With 25 GB of space provided with a paid Apps account, there’s plenty of room to store all your information. Also, the conversations within your inbox come threaded, allowing for easier tracking of multi-party exchanges.

  • Google Presentations – This tool is allows you to create presentations, with the ability to use image and videos and add drawings or rich tables to your presentation. In addition, users can also collect and share team feedback quickly, and your presentation can instantly be published online.
  • Google Sites – This tool is used for website building, and allows you to create your own website. You can create a website that exists in your Google apps domain that can be easily edited by others, and of course has integration with other Google Apps such as Gmail and Google Docs.
  • Google Apps Calendar – Google Apps Calendar allows employees and businesses to share information on appointments, important events, dates, and other related information in real time. A useful tool for scheduling group events, it allows users to sync their information for easier management.
  • Google Voice – Google voice is Google’s VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) programme. In addition to basic calls, Google Voice also has transcription features to allow users to make voice to text recordings, and also allows you to share messages and can make personalised greetings.
  • Google Docs – Another well-known productivity app, Google Docs allows users to collaborate on their word processing tool in order to make real time changes to s single document. There’s no need for frequent refreshing or saving since Google Docs does this automatically.
  • Google Pack – The Google Pack is basically the basic starter kit of for business needs, comprising many from the Google family of products. It includes products such as the Google Chrome Browser, Google Apps, the Spyware Doctor and Anti-Virus, as well as other non-Google applications such as Adobe Reader and Skype
  • Google Spreadsheets – Google Spreadsheets is a great tool if you’re looking for basic spreadsheet function. For example, there’s easy compatibility with Excel

Other features of Google apps

Similar to other productivity suites such as Office 365, you can request your own personal domain name or use your own, through which you can manage your information such as email addresses. Of course, with many people already using some of the Google Apps suite of products such as Gmail, access to Google Apps is made even simpler.

With Google Apps being a popular and useful tool that can assist with increasing productivity within your business, this may be the solution for you in getting your workforce more effective and efficient. Contact us for a free quote on how we can help your team to move to Google Apps and leverage their powerful suite of products today.

5 Ways to Increase Website Conversions

5 Ways to Increase Website Conversions 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

conversion-rate-optimisationNumbers aren’t everything. And for the hard working business that does their best to drive traffic to their website, the fact that the number of visitors doesn’t necessarily lead to an increase in sales quickly becomes obvious. The question is, how do you turn visitors who may quickly browse your page into dedicated customers?  If you need to increase your conversion rate and ensure that your visitors purchase from your website, here are five easy tips to help you do so:

 

1. Reduce your page load time

The time that it takes for your webpage to load has a huge impact on how well your customers convert. For example, one study on website load time’s impact on customer conversion showed that for every second that your website takes to load, there’s a corresponding 7% decrease in conversions.  With customers expecting a quick response and there often being other websites that offer similar products, it’s all too easy for visitors to leave your website for one that offers the quick loading times that they are expecting. By getting rid of unnecessary features that slow down your website loading speed, you’ll be able to increase your customer’s satisfaction and strengthen the likelihood that they stay on your website and convert.

 

2. Create an easy to use website

A website that’s well laid out and easy to navigate is guaranteed to increase your visitor conversions. A confusing or difficult to use website will quickly ward off potential customers, confusing them and leading them to abandon your website for that of competitors. Instead, ensure that visitors can quickly and intuitively locate the information that they need, and that it’s clear and easy for them to make a purchase or contact you for further information.

 

3. Highlight your unique selling position

Visitors to your website should always be able to clearly identify something that differentiates your website and business from others that offer similar products or services. By focusing on your Unique Selling Point, or USP, you should be able to offer potential customers a clear and compelling reason why they should buy from you instead of everyone else. While you may not be able to immediately identify your USP, almost every business has something that separates them from their competition. Whatever it is, ensure that your USP is clearly communicated to every person that visits your website.

 

4. Display powerful testimonials

Having powerful user testimonials is another way to increase the likelihood of visitors converting. By providing genuine testimonials of other customers who have used and enjoyed your product, you are decreasing the anxiety that new customers have about purchasing a new product or service. Testimonials build trust with other potential customers, and gives them peace of mind that your business will provide the results that you promised, meaning that your customers will receive their money’s worth.

 

5. Clear call to action

A good, clear call to action is another useful tool in converting visitors into customers. A call to action is a clear instruction to visitors that encourages them to take a particular action, usually one that will lead to a sale for your business. In order to construct a good call to action, ensure that it’s placed so that the maximum number of visitors will see it, have strong copy that will catch your reader’s attention, and make it clear exactly what your visitor will be receiving if they do complete the requested action and why this will result in a benefit for them.

Turning your visitors into customers is the end goal of every website. Unfortunately, increasing website conversions successfully  is far more complicated than simply adding flashy graphics or descriptions of the products or services that you offer. Every website could use help with their customer conversion – contact Greenlight ITC for expert advice on how to turn casual visitors into satisfied customers today.

The Top 10 Apps No Business Professional Should Live Without

The Top 10 Apps No Business Professional Should Live Without 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

ipad-mini-apple-official-photoAs a business professional, it’s almost impossible not to be inundated with new technology and apps that seem to arise almost daily. Although apps can greatly improve workplace communication and productivity – with literally millions of apps to choose from – it’s important to sort out the noise and to figure which apps are useful from those that aren’t. Here are the top 10 apps that every business manager and employee should have:

Evernote

While Evernote is best known as a note taking app, its wide range of features give users many options outside of making generic notes. For example, this useful app allows you to clip web pages, store images and take audio notes. In addition, Evernote’s extended family comes with a wide range of additional features, such as a handwriting app and an image mark-up tool. Evernote allows businesses to share notes and additions to work with other co-workers, creating a hive mind type of collaboration. There’s also a version specifically for business, which allows companies to centrally manage employee accounts and access data or notes.

LinkedIn

Linked in is a great tool for any business professional. It allows you to track other professionals in your industry, and also to participate in relevant groups that can increase your reach and assist with branding your business.

Lastpass

Password security is critical in keeping your important data safe. With many businesses requiring a multitude of different Internet-based accounts, it can be impossible to remember the complex passwords required to access each one. Lastpass is a password management app that offers a secure method of storing those passwords in one location, and has additional features such as two step verification to ensure password security. It’s no wonder that this programme was named PC Mag’s editor’s choice for password management.

Hootsuite

With the popularity of a social media, your business probably has to manage a number of different accounts. Hootsuite allows you to manage various social media platforms from one easy-to-use dashboard, saving you time and effort from having to manually update each one.

Tripit

This useful app is a one-stop-shop for all of your business travel organization needs, helping you to organize and share your travel information. For example, you can plan an itinerary simply by forwarding confirmation emails, get directions and maps for the destinations that you’re visiting, and even sync your trip plans with other apps such as Google Calendar or Outlook.

Skype

As the world’s most popular video calling app, Skype is a must-have for most businesses. With the ability to voice or video call for free with the more than 250 million people on Skype, this is a useful tool to communicate both locally and abroad. Of course, you can still use Skype traditionally and call landlines and cell phones, with far lower calling rates than traditional providers.

Asana

This useful app makes it easier for teams to organize and prioritize information, allowing for better time management. It allows users to create lists and organize tasks, and also to get updates straight from their inbox. It can also attach files and images to tasks and has Dropbox integration.

Wi-Fi Finder

Are you an on the go business traveller who’s always searching for an Internet connection? Wi-Fi finder may just be the answer to your prayers. Wi-Fi finder displays both paid and free Wi-Fi networks, even providing directions to nearby hotspots, which is great for the on the go employee.

Square Register

Especially useful for small businesses or entrepreneurs on the go, Square Register is an innovative app that lets users accept credit card and other payments straight from their mobile device, either through their credit card dongle or through entering card details manually. Not only that, but Square charges a small and simplified 2.75 percent per transaction, with no extra hidden fees, making it easier than ever to process cashless transactions.

Dropbox

Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage apps, and there’s a good reason why. Its ease of use in uploading files and almost near instantaneous syncing makes sharing documents with co-workers or other employees a cinch. It saves valuable time in having to manually share information through other methods such as email or hard copy transfer through USB.

Apps are a staple when it comes to raising productivity and streamlining day-to-day tasks. By focusing on just a few key apps, your company can quickly see a rise in profits thanks to an increase in employee output. As a leader in mobile management technology, Greenlight ITC can help your company with managing company mobile devices. Contact us today for a free quote on how we can put together a mobile device plan that works for you.

Why SEO is Important to Every Online Business

Why SEO is Important to Every Online Business 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

It takes more than just a snazzy website and great copy to land customers. Even with the best website design, a low ranking on search engines may mean that you are missing out on profitable customers and engagement. And with more than 100 billion searches conducted globally every month, it’s hard to ignore the importance of good SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Here are five reasons why SEO is important to your business:

Most People Use Search Engines

The fact that most people rely heavily on search engines to find information is the leading reasons to optimize your website for search. Search is the #1 driver of traffic to content sites, meaning that it should be the first order of business for companies trying to expand their business through their website. In fact, the vast majority of Internet users use search engines in order to find information they need, with 92 percent of Internet users using search, and 56 percent reporting that they use search regularly.

With people turning to search engines as their first choice in finding the information that they want, it’s obvious that being ranked well will expose your business to the maximum number of possible customers.

More Traffic

By getting keywords or terms related to your business to the top of the search engine rankings, you will be able to receive a major boost in traffic. Consider this mind boggling statistic: search results that appear on the first page of a search receive 90 percent of all traffic, with the top three search results receiving more than 60 percent of all traffic, and the top result receiving a full third of ALL traffic for that term. Simply moving up a few spots on the search list can therefore make a huge difference on the number of users who will visit your website, which will in turn have a positive impact on sales and interaction.

Targeted Traffic

The fact that a good search engine ranking sends your website traffic specifically on a key word or phrase is probably the biggest reason why SEO is so important. While it’s great if you do manage to get large amounts of traffic, your traffic simply won’t convert into sales if people are uninterested in the product that you’re selling. With good SEO, the customers that want exactly what you’re offering will be the first to visit your website, ensuring that you both are satisfied as efficiently as possible.

Cost Effective Advertising

Many businesses don’t realise that SEO is actually a relatively inexpensive and complementary method of advertising. With the cost of paid search marketing through popular programs such as Adwords increasing, it’s becoming more and more expensive to reach the potential customers you may want. However, it costs very little to implement a successful SEO programme. Not only that, but many internet users report that they prefer organic search results to paid results, meaning that you may actually get a better return on investment by focusing on SEO over paid advertising.

Branding and Credibility

Simply having your website appear at the top of search engine rankings can improve your branding and credibility. By getting your business name close to the top of search queries, you’ll quickly be able to garner a high level of name recognition. As a result, people will begin to gain trust, and will therefore be more likely to purchase from you or take advice you offer.

Even if you haven’t begun to focus your efforts on SEO, it certainly isn’t too late to start. Greenlight ITC will be happy to improve your SEO ranking, thereby providing you with more leads, customers and revenue. Contact Greenlight today for a free site audit on your site, and we’ll help get your site up to the top of the search engine list.