it systems

What’s New in IT for Sydney Businesses in 2017?

What’s New in IT for Sydney Businesses in 2017? 1600 400 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

In the always-dynamic IT landscape, trends and operational methods seem to change with the wind. But there are some distinct trends evolving among Australian businesses, aimed at bringing their operations up to date, while deriving the maximum value out of their infrastructure.

Managed services are gaining in importance

Managed services play an important role in this movement, representing a significant shift in focus that is actually driving revenue for the adoptive companies.

According to Michael Warrilow, vice president of Gartner Research, there are several core values driving these IT trends in Australia, including cost-optimization, cloud strategies, virtualization, and the replacement of legacy applications and infrastructure.

Data center trends embrace a hybrid approach

Cloud adoption has been slowly infiltrating Sydney businesses, but there has been some hesitation in complete integration, sometimes due to industry compliance regulation, and sometimes due to a reliance on legacy systems and applications that would require a significant investment in order to upgrade. By approaching their data center needs with a hybrid approach, businesses  in Sydney are able to become more agile while still meeting regulatory requirements. Going forward, developing a viable cloud strategy will be foremost, as even with the initial investment and pain points of the migration, it will represent greater value in the bigger picture.

A recent report published by Gartner suggests that DevOps, defined as a collaboration between operations and development teams, will become a major catalyst in defining this trend.

Cost optimization

With shrinking IT budgets, and a need to streamline processes while increasing value, cost optimization is necessary for Sydney businesses to remain relevant. The cost optimization methodology helps businesses to address potential risk while highlighting areas where cost-saving technologies can be implemented to bring value over the long term. Some cost optimization concepts include:

  • Centralization and standardization of technologies
  • Adoption of shared or managed IT services to reduce the cost of IT management and delivery
  • Adopting a cloud strategy
  • Optimization of software and IT management capabilities

All in all, cost optimization is about cutting costs while increasing value.

Managed services tend to deliver on all accounts, and can be implemented for:

  • 24/7 server monitoring and management
  • Next-generation security protocols
  • Unified communications
  • Backups and disaster recovery

Over and above cost-optimization, managed services can help by addressing problems before they become issues, minimizing or eliminating your downtime and saving you lots of money in the long run.

Virtualization: powering the remote workforce

As global business trends continue to shift towards a more flexible work environment, virtualization steps in as a solution to provide continuity in IT deliverables, even when the workforce is distributed over a large geographical area.

The ability to access a consistent network, desktop, and company file hierarchy is key to this trend, which provides a myriad of cost-savings and efficiency-driven benefits. Though there are many emerging technologies that are driving this trend, we can certainly look forward to a future in virtualization that will grow more agile with time.

Modernization of legacy infrastructure and applications

Since many companies still rely on legacy applications and infrastructure, it is becoming more evident that upgrades are necessary in order to meet future technology expectations, support scalable growth and shore up IT security issues – all of which add significant value to the bottom line.

Companies that continue to use legacy systems may be inadvertently making themselves more susceptible to cyber-attacks, not to mention tying up funds in IT management, as these systems often require additional maintenance to help them remain stable and secure.

Replacing your Citrix Server with RemoteFX 2016

If you are currently using a Citrix server for virtualization and mobile deployment, you are probably no stranger to the expensive and complex processes and never-ending maintenance that is involved in being a Citrix client. Though the prospect of changing over to a new system may seem daunting, the benefits are significant, both for the company and the end user.

For display graphics, Citrix has been surpassed by RemoteFX adaptive graphics, which is designed to support high quality streaming technologies and other rich media applications without latency-causing redirections or poor response due to low bandwidth. Even if you don’t think your company needs support for this type of technology right now, this is undeniably where we are headed. Getting ahead of the game is certainly in your best interests, both from an economical and technological perspective.

Approaching IT from an innovative standpoint

While flexibility and efficiency remain important, forward-thinking businesses in Sydney are finding it important to think about the future. Making changes now can support future growth and global expansion without the pain points associated with adapting to new technology trends.

Taken in this light, being able to deliver cost-effective, expedient business solutions that mitigate risk and are simple to manage should be easy to justify.

Greenlight ITC: helping you navigate the changing IT landscape

If you are a business in Sydney who is looking to improve your business performance and bottom line through technology, talk to the experts at Greenlight ITC today. We’d love to find out more about what you’re all about, and how we can help.

equipment finance External hard drive

5 Advantages of Having Equipment Finance in Place

5 Advantages of Having Equipment Finance in Place 2048 1536 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

equipment finance External hard driveThere are times when you’ll have to make an important decision that will affect several aspects of your business – and you have no choice but to take the lesser of two evils. A good example is buying new equipment.

For companies that require a strong IT infrastructure, it’s critical to have the right hardware and software. These are expensive and can lead to some pretty costly problems.

Equipment financing gives companies the flexibility they need to better manage their budgets. However, equipment finance will not only help you avoid problems, thereby saving you money, but it’ll also keeping you current with today’s technology.

What Is Equipment Finance?

Equipment finance allows businesses to acquire everything they need without a huge upfront payment. That’s because finance companies are ready to pay for the acquisition of hardware, software, and other services necessary for the business. They can even shoulder installation costs.

Buying computers, servers, and other IT equipment is very expensive, and if you have a limited budget, you can be in trouble even before you start running the business.  That’s because you either wait until you have enough capital or you dip into the budget allocated for operational expenses. Both will delay your growth.

Problem That Many Business Owners Face

The dilemma with buying new equipment is disrupting cash flow. You’ll have to take out a huge amount and put it on something that will take time to yield income. As a result, you’ll be left with little cash to use for daily operations. Cash flow concerns most Australian business owners. Because the costs of lending are high, it’s hard to find the resources needed to open and operate a business. Businesses need a decent amount of cash to start operating. This is where financing will come very handy.

Benefits of Equipment Financing

No delays in starting operations

Equipment leasing will help you get started right away. By working with lessors, you can get all the computers you need and set up networks without additional costs. The best thing about this is you are right on schedule. Leasing will keep you from waiting until you have enough capital or spending money that’s initially allocated for something else.

Conserves capital and preserves cash flow

You don’t have to make large purchases. Hardware is very expensive and if you have to buy everything you need, you may not have much left for operational expenses (employee wages, office rent, etc.). You also don’t run the risk of going over the budget and can allocate what you’ve saved for other things. It makes a lot of sense to not spend a lot at the beginning because equipment like computers won’t immediately yield ROI. Your money can be better used elsewhere.

Keeps equipment from becoming obsolete

Computers deteriorate with time. The wear and tear they go through will affect how you work thus making it crucial that you keep equipment upgraded. You also need to update to the latest version of all the software you use.  Servers can also crash.As your tools age, the costs become higher. You can replace them with new hardware but that’d be expensive. Through equipment finance, you can work on upgrades to reduce the risks of obsolescence, keep equipment updated, and implement proper life cycle management.

Stay afloat even during off seasons

At times when you’re not making a lot of sales, keeping up with expenses can be tough because IT maintenance, software upgrades, employee’s wages, and other expenses remain the same. It’s tough to keep costs low and maintain high quality for your products and/or services. Finance companies can spread out low monthly payments for a fixed period so you can stay current even when the income is low.

Flexible payment schemes

Aside from freeing up your enterprise’s cash flow, equipment financing will let you take advantage of flexible payment schemes. You can negotiate fixed interest rates for a specified term so you won’t have to worry about fluctuating rates. You can then be able to better map out monthly expenses.

Additionally, finance companies aren’t just limited to buying hardware for you. They can also help set up important services, like cloud computing, and take care of the administrative tasks.

So Why Do You Need Equipment Financing?

Procuring computers, software, and other IT hardware no longer have to disrupt cash flow with equipment financing. Plus, you don’t have to worry about future risks that come with obsolescence and low-performing months. That being said, we highly advise that you use equipment finance companies, whether you’re starting a new business or want to find cost-effective ways to run your business. Most importantly, you don’t have to settle with choosing between two unpleasant consequences for making important business decisions.

Are Internal IT Departments Dead?

Are Internal IT Departments Dead? 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

computer-beavis-butthead-struggleThere, I said it. It became clear in a recent conversation I had with a business owner that the future of the in-house IT department is limited at best.

The client in question owned a business with over 40 full time employees, including its own IT department of about three people and Tim (not his real name), the IT manager. But I’ll talk more about this in a second, because I have a question to ask you.

Why is McDonalds is successful? Don’t look down yet, I want you to ask yourself why.

This is a tough question for most people. You know, because the food sucks. So it’s not due to the quality food, nor is it cheap (anymore).

It’s because it is so consistent. The service provided as well as what you get—it’s the same! No matter where in the world you are! Isn’t that just a little crazy?

Consistent, predictable– a staple option for when you just want a quick bite. And what is it that makes this possible? GREAT SYSTEMS! When your teenage son or daughter get their first job at McDonalds, they undergo the same exact training experienced by everyone else. It’s ALL documented in a pretty scary-thick training manual.

So let’s return to the business owner, and the tumultuous history of their now-gone IT department. When all IT staff were at the ready, the ship sailed just fine. But one day Tim, their experienced IT manager, abandoned ship for a better offer. With two weeks’ notice, this created considerable problems.

For one, Tim had not found the time or inclination to document procedures. Verbal communication and emails meant Tim left with most of that information in his brain. What followed Tim’s departure was grim, to say the least. The cost of their IT department on the business skyrocketed. Costs like:

  • Hardware and software. Tim had formed relationships with suppliers, and understood the discounts and when to order. When Tim left, sporadic sourcing pushed costs way up.
  • Maintenance costs. By not maintaining hardware and software, more bugs and failures began to pop up. This meant more down time for staff, and a frustrated IT support team.
  • Training. Because the IT department was now so busy, the owner hired another technician. With no documented procedures, it was up to the existing IT team to train them up, frustrating for all involved. Most staff usually take a few months to settle in and be independent performers, and that costs you money. If you couple that with the need for other staff to train them, to fill them in, then that cost continues to go up.

Now this post is not suggesting Tim was at fault, nor can business owners always predict these things will happen. We hire people we like, and who are good at what they do. Sometimes life, and these situations, just happen. It’s a learning experience for all involved.

That’s kind of why companies like Greenlight exist. Managed Service Providers offer some distinct advantages to keeping IT Support in-house.  Here are just a few:

  • No key-person risk. MSP’s have one job, fixing or looking after your technology needs. That’s pretty much it. We need more IT managers than other companies, and document everything. That means consistency in the service we provide, and that if someone internal moves on, it does not affect our clients.
  • Economies of scale. With a bigger team servicing more companies, MSP’s offer leverage. Reduced costs to you as a business owner, AND you get to tap into the ‘cream of the crop’ when it comes to expertise.
  • Better use of YOUR resources. You can invest the money you would spend on an IT department into things that make more sense for your business. Whether it’s a bigger or better sales or marketing team, or R&D to make your products and services better than the competition. Whichever way you look at it, you get better results for less money.

Do you agree or disagree? Let us know. And if you’ve got your own IT department in-house, give us a call on (02) 8412 0000. We may just be able to save you some money as well as a few headaches.