Integer IT 2021 Recap – It’s a Wrap!
2021 is almost over and as our tradition beholds, here we are again for our 2021 recap with some bite-sized news from the year, wrapped up with a neat bow for your festive digestion.
January – March
The start of the year set the theme for large scale cyber-hacks, bringing down all manner of customers and strategic utility companies. Cyber-attacks increased by 29%, as hackers continued to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to remote work.
Specifically, ransomware attacks surged 93% in the same period. Even though it technically occurred in 2020, the much-publicised SolarWinds attack stands out in 2021 due to its scale and influence. It was really the first-time hackers hit the supply chain rather than companies directly, and the fallout was massive. The idea was to penetrate the supplier and get access to all their client’s data; in this case 33,000 corporate companies as well as some US Government agencies.
The Microsoft Exchange platform was also targeted (as reported by us on 9th March) and of course, this led to the Australian government accusing China of state-sponsored cyber-attacks on Australian businesses. It is worrying, as it appears to be never-ending and the resulting response of zero-trust networking is now upon us as the latest defence mechanism.
Currently, incentives are high if you would like to be employed in the Australian cyber-protection industry, and with closed borders it’s currently an under-resourced industry.
April – June
Our own Enterprise Ethernet circuit came online as part of NBN’s Fibre Zone project, and what a difference it made. This connection now provides us with a consistent breakneck internet browsing experience with crystal clear high-resolution video calls over today’s most popular conferencing platforms (e.g. Microsoft Teams, Skype and Zoom). More importantly for us as an IT Managed Services Provider (MSP), our customers are benefitting from a more resilient and faster service. It also means:
- our offsite backup and disaster recovery service for customers now runs around 10 times faster than before, all day every day.
- we can now locally host and support our customers’ physical servers (including SQL databases) if they also wish to benefit from a fast Enterprise Ethernet product. This reduces the amount of office space usually taken up by servers, as well as the related costs of powering, securing, cooling and maintaining IT equipment.
- access to our critical cloud-delivered business applications has significantly improved our ability to respond to our customers faster than ever, increasing our own productivity.
We’ve also been able to cancel two previously used and much slower internet services that are no longer required, thanks to the service level agreement of 99%+ uptime on the Enterprise Ethernet offering.
We could go on, but I think I have made the point: we think it’s great and everyone should have one. Especially if you want a proper service rather than something that dies when the kids get out of school and consume all the bandwidth everywhere (thanks YouTube, TikTok and Netflix!).
July – October
With the previous lockdown, it could be argued that as businesses it was a case of maintaining a “keep calm, carry on” approach. “We’ll get through this – we’ve dealt with fires, floods and now a covid plague – pfft!”
However, as staff worked more and more from home, some began to reevaluate the actual work involved. When you remove the office banter, colleague friendships, water-cooler discussions about the latest binge-worthy TV series and Friday arvo beers, what you are left with is the work.
Then come the questions: is it fulfilling? Do I like what I do? Am I beginning supported by my boss? The great resignation is sweeping across the globe as departing employees retrain to get the work/life balance right. Many are struggling to get the enthusiasm back into their employment, which is resulting in a shakeup of the job market in many sectors.
Also, some employees might well have decided it’s time to leave, but with financial uncertainly around Covid have decided to sit tight where they are at least employed. A slight spin on this is if people around you are leaving, this is a great time to consolidate and refine your role within a company and ask to do more of what you like doing and less of what you don’t. It’s also a great time to upskill as most businesses will be willing to invest in retaining their talent.
Locally, we have all witnessed the huge surge in local house prices and rents as city dwellers flock to our part of the world. The massive uptake in remote working over the past two years means many of us can work from anywhere now. Welcome to the new norm.
We should also mention that Microsoft Windows 11 arrived at the beginning of October to much hype and fanfare. The result looks and feels a lot like another operating system that a certain fruit-branded tech company has already. Beware though, as there is a long list of Intel-based chipsets that it will not be compatible with if upgrading from existing IT hardware, so this new operating system will take a while to get going as it means replacing a lot of PC’s just to run it.
This will be a case of, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” for a little while yet.
November – December
One of our clients recently ditched the traditional desktop workstation completely in favour of notebooks so their employees can work anywhere, from any office at any time. With some Integer IT cloud stardust, we moved them away from on-premise, server-centric authentication, and over 80 employees were up and running very quickly. With the move to notebooks, we built in some extra security just in case any of the new devices were left on the proverbial (or literal) bus.
This is a trend we’ll likely see more of in response to new work behaviours and increasing demands for access to corporate IT infrastructure without being located in the physical office. If you are considering such changes, we implore you to talk to us before rushing off for a Xmas Notebook Prezzie from a retailer that has Windows 10 or 11 Home Edition on it, because boy it will not be safe and will be costly in time and extra licencing to become so.
To wrap up
That concludes our 2021 recap (feels like we only just published the last one!). We still live in a beautiful part of the world and we would like to thank our customers for their continued confidence in our services throughout the year.
From all the staff at Integer IT, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season and a prosperous New Year.
P.S. you may see us out at our Xmas party this week, please come up and say hi!