Credit: Daniel Von Appen

Let’s Talk: Making life easier

Businesses are increasingly able to streamline workflows and finances through technology, lifting productivity and accelerating growth. However the right technology can also help simplify your operations, reducing the everyday stresses of running a business.

This week we ask: what has made your life easier when running a business?

Mike Featherstone, Managing Director ANZ & APAC, Pluralsight

Businesses today are operating within an unpredictable and complex marketplace that’s now digitally-led as a result of COVID-19. A recent Gartner survey revealed 54 per cent of Australian and New Zealand CIOs say funding for digital innovation in their organisation has increased this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To navigate this environment with efficiency and ease, business leaders are encouraged to create and foster a highly skilled team of tech experts.

Investing in ongoing tech skills development will enable a workforce that’s ahead of the tech trend curve and adaptable. This will, in return, streamline tech projects, foster a quicker adoption of new tech, and alleviate unnecessary workloads to save on time, resources, and manpower. From my experience, working with employees that are committed to professional and skill development gives me peace of mind knowing my team is resilient, competitive, and high-performing in the face of a volatile and increasingly advanced landscape.

Bish Rath, Managing Director ANZ, McAfee

In this digital age, we can’t deny that every industry has, in some way, evolved or even improved with the greater use and adoption of technology. Having the right technology in place can help streamline processes, improve workplace efficiencies and advance business operations.

Cloud platforms and environments are a prime example of a technology that has revolutionised the way we work, enabling improved mobility and the ability to collaborate 24/7 without borders. The beginning of this year alone saw a spike of cloud adoption by 50 per cent – a lasting trend for the months to follow. The use and adoption of cloud environments have greatly supported the rapid shift to a remote and distributed workforce, as brought on by the pandemic.

While cloud services have been instrumental to business resiliency, we also found that attacks on cloud services users reached nearly 7.5 million this year. With this in mind, it’s worth noting that underlying any successful implementation of cloud services are cloud-centric security policies and intelligent controls that ensure our sensitive data is protected. For me, and for many business leaders today, implementing unified and convergent security systems to protect against cloud-based attacks helps to navigate a hyper-active, tech-led landscape in the most secure and efficient way.

Steven Maarbani, CEO, VentureCrowd

Running a business is tough! Every day you navigate from one major issue to the next, from stakeholder to stakeholder, from one decision to another, hour after hour, until the working day is done. Then you eat, sleep and repeat. And as for weekends … ah yes, I remember them fondly. But it’s also one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Being part of a team committed to finding and funding the future is worth the challenges along the way.

So, how do you make business life easier? Here’s my tip – focus on your health! Health is my number one priority. Without it, I’m not much good to anyone. Skipping the gym for an early morning Zoom call or ditching lunchtime Yoga to finish some document that just has to get out right this second is completely counterproductive.

To get the most out of myself, I know I need the positive impact of daily mindfulness and physical activity. It materially increases my productivity, reduces my stress levels and makes me a better version of myself. So before you cancel your next physical activity for work, take a deep breath and let’s all meet in downward dog. Trust me, you’ll feel much better.

Drew Haupt, Co-founder, WLTH

Technology has always been a huge part of making business easier for me. For example, Apple products are at the forefront of all our businesses. We have the full suite of products including laptops, iPads, iPhone, airpods, Apple TV, and an apple Homepod for the office to keep the mood up at all times.

We have a great team and to ensure everything runs and operates smoothly, we believe it’s important to maintain a high level of communication between every team member. We do this with the help of a number of tech platforms that we use to know exactly how everyone is tracking on certain projects. We take full advantage of the Google Suite of products, as they allow us to have all our calendars synced, documents stored on the cloud, as well as provides us with a platform to discuss all our internal and external deadlines via Google Meet.

On top of this, we use a number of other tech products such as ClickUp for task management and planning, Slack for internal messaging, and a comprehensive tech stack for all things marketing.

As a tech business, we are constantly looking for new tools and products to help us grow. The combination of our team and the latest technology, is what has made my life in business easier.

Cheyenne Hackland, Founder & Owner, Holler Social 

One of the things that have made my life easier in business has been seeking help from industry professionals in the areas I feel I have less expertise in.  

When I started my social media business about a year and a half ago, one thing I quickly learned was that I really enjoy what I do, and I’m good at it, but when it came to managing the financial aspects of running a business – I felt a little out of my depth. I’d never run a business before, so there was a lot to learn, and quickly.

The first thing I did was to hire an accountant to help me in areas like bookkeeping, managing cash flow, and BAS, and I also use a company called GigSuper, which helps self-employed people like me understand and manage my superannuation.

This not only took the headache of finance away but also gave me back more time to spend on doing what I love, which for me is the creative side of the business and getting hands-on with my wonderful clients.

Ian Yip, CEO & Co-founder, Avertro


Three things have made my life easier in the past year.

Firstly, the great people in and around Avertro, both within our core team, and in our extended team which includes our Executive Advisors. Having the right people really does matter, and the only reason we’ve been able achieve the traction we now have is down to our people doing the right things at speed, and our advisors consistently pointing us in the right direction.

Secondly, our investors. Beyond the money they have injected into our business, they have opened their network to us. We’ve managed to open more doors and find more opportunities as a result of their assistance.

Finally, using the right technologies has allowed us to reduce our operating costs, and provided expertise within code that we would otherwise have needed to pay external consultants to do.

For example, our accounting software has negated the need for us to use an accountant, except for our annual tax return. We’ve also recently launched a new website, which was built in a few days through the use of a no-code platform. We’d previously received an external quote to achieve the same outcome. Had we decided to take that path, it would have cost us 75 times more, and taken 20 times longer. This type of technological power and value is ultimately what we are trying to deliver for our customers in the cybersecurity arena.

David Rhodes, Account Manager, Infront Systems

The challenges of 2020 have clarified the importance for organisations to invest in the right technology to make their teams lives easier. Cloud has permitted businesses of all sizes, to move to a digital workplace, providing seamless collaboration and improved productivity. 

At Infront, cloud is at the core of our business operations. We moved prior to the business disruption of COVID. This enabled us to rapidly transition to a work from anywhere model, ensuring our teams could continue servicing our customers’ needs.

Experiencing moving to the cloud firsthand provided real-world insights which we turned into lessons learnt. We utilised these to support our customers on making their working lives easier using cloud technology.

Additional insights came from SMEs who were already operating in the cloud but were underutilising features and benefits. Our managed services solution, BusinessONE, made it possible for our clients to gain real business efficiencies from cloud, without the need to understand the technology. This made their lives easier and empowered them to concentrate on growing their business, instead of supporting the technology that keeps it going.


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