The Importance of IT Support for Business

The Importance of IT Support for Business

The need for businesses to constantly adapt and change has been present for many years and typically the successful businesses have been those that became used to adapting to change in their environment and continuously monitored competitors and trends to remain relevant.

Keeping up with technological trends and updates can be tough, especially in between managing your business and catering to clients. Once you start to adapt, it can be difficult to maintain it.

Having a team within the business that’s dedicated to IT support ensure that your business functions smoothly by immediately making repairs to your systems or identifying potential issues before they arise.

In addition to safeguarding your operations, a reliable IT support team keeps your business competitive and helps develop more streamlined operations. This leads to higher productivity for your business and more room for increased revenue.

It has been shown time and time again that customers prefer businesses with efficient and reliable systems and platforms. If a business is still using outdated and ineffective technology in their Products or services then they are bound to lose customers.

Let’s take a look at the main benefits of having an effective in-house IT Tech support team:

  • Effective Management of Data

Data management is necessary for any business. With Product inventory, incoming orders, unique customer data, and other important information should always be stored and managed efficiently and safely. With the help of a IT support team, managing your data becomes a streamlined process that can otherwise become very time consuming.

  • Improvements in decision making.

Some of the most important decisions within the business will be based on data backed insights. By conducting solid research and planning to gather useful data your team will need to use various technologies and tools to gather and store this data.

  • Expertise to solve technical problems

Errors and technical glitches are inevitable when it comes to using technology. Even in its most up to date version, a software can still encounter troubles along the way. If software essential to your business runs into an issue, it could spell disaster for your day-to-day operations. This is where an IT tech support team can help. They can save you valuable hours, instead of looking for online solutions for the fix, they’ll handle it for you as they are equipped with the expertise and ready solutions.

  • Extensive monitoring and analysis

Monitoring at every stage of the business is critical to success. Being bale to keep tabs on all internal operations and through analysis work towards the business objectives. The value of an IT support team is that they improve your overall quality control and internal auditing. As they are closely monitoring your systems and website, downtime is prevented or recovered immediately, minimising possible profit loss.

  • Top quality security and cyber security

As we have seen in the past with companies like Facebook it can be disastrous if your customer’s personal data is compromised or if any confidential technologies you have are jeopardised. IT support teams guarantee that your business’ online front and computer systems are secure from viruses and other online threats. They protect these by setting up antivirus systems, encrypting your data, and providing other security measures.

  • Top quality customer support

A major benefit of the IT tech support team is providing an improved customer support experience. With rapid response a customer’s query can be handled in a fast and professional manner. The support team can setup multiple channels such as phone calls, emails, social media bots, or even automated answers in your website. If you’re able to answer their queries immediately and on point, customer satisfaction goes up.

The IT technical support team is one that many businesses overlook the importance of, however having looked at the benefits they bring to a business and their operations, having an in-house Support team can be a big advantage to your operations. In this fast paced-world of today customers want responsiveness and effectiveness in their communications with businesses when facing issues.

Put your best foot forward so to speak and allow change for the benefit of customers and for the sake of your businesses future.

Industry 4.0 with Prof. Daniel Mashao & Stafford Masie

Industry 4.0 with Prof. Daniel Mashao & Stafford Masie

by Alex Kinmont

Technology is rapidly changing the fabric of our time. We need to adapt the way we live, personally and professionally, before we are left behind. The question is, how?

On Friday we had Professor Daniel Mashao, the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at UJ and Stafford Masie, the first CEO of Google of Southern Africa discuss the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the effects it will have on business and society.

Prof. Mashao defined 4IR in three parts – new technologies, new business models and new value systems.

New Technologies

Smartphones and slim laptops are only the surface of new tech and what it can do. Robotics, virtual reality and artificial intelligence (AI) are the next leaps in technological advancement.

Masie describes AI as the “superpower” of 4IR. He sees the future ‘everywhereness’ of AI as rendering it intangible and invisible. Like electricity, it will become so streamlined within our lives that we won’t even recognise its presence. We will only experience it.

“It’s not the Internet of Things,” says Masie, where people and objects are connected via devices with wifi. “It’s the Internet in Things”, transversally, just like electricity.

New Business Models

These new technologies are redesigning the future and how we see the world. As a result, professional success is reliant on how well we adapt to, and utilise, these changes. Businesses must take on new structures in order to best utilise advances in tech.

Old ways of doing cannot sustain new ways of being.

Business need to evolve into algorithmic marketplaces. Professor Mashao points out successful digital businesses Uber and Airbnb. As the world’s largest accommodation provider, Airbnb owns no property. As the world’s largest taxi company, Uber owns no cars.

We are all a part of Uber. We input our information, rate our drivers and travel in traffic. We use Uber, and in using Uber, we allow it to grow and continue. Uber owns no assets; instead, they use technological advances in geolocation and personal credit and compliment that with people and their own resources.

Latent Human Potential

Masie champions the value of humans and their creative capabilities. He explains that Uber is a platform, and not a traditional business, which combines advancements in tech with human potential. This is what makes them giants in the digital landscape.

Where machines can replace our mundane jobs, they can never imagine like we can.

Businesses who wish to thrive in the new digital landscape must take on an algorithmic marketplace model. Masie explains that businesses must recognise “latent human potential and let it cascade in”. Machines must not replace humans; they must provide a platform from which humans can fully exercise their creative abilities.

Uber, and other apps like Netflix, Alibaba and social media, have realised the key to keeping up with new technologies and the changing way of life and business. They recognise unique human potential and how it would be a waste to let machines replace the people in a business. Rather, machines must free up the time of employees to do more creative and complex work.

This is how we can prevent machines from taking our jobs.

Self-driving cars don’t have to take the jobs of drivers. Through AI, a driver can own a fleet of automated vehicles. Robots don’t have to take the jobs of stock takers. With automation, a warehouse worker can programme an army of box packing machines.

New Value Systems

It is important to note here that Uber and Airbnb are only possible with the new value system of digital trust. Online ratings on these apps allow hosts and drivers, guests and travellers, to build an archive of reviews and earn a grade in order to prove their honesty and reliability. Where machines cannot earn trust, an innately human function, they can be adapted to provide a platform from which its users can input data and create trust.

The future of jobs doesn’t have to be mass unemployment. Your business does not have to crumble under the waves of change.

Technology and its advancements will change life as we know it. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is coming and we need to adapt if we wish to keep up. Our businesses need to welcome the shortcuts of technology and move redundant employees upwards to better use their cognitive and creative abilities. We must let our latent human potential cascade in. Like with the Uber trust model, we must recognise the possibilities of humans and tech working together.

Masie concludes that if we lose our jobs it will not be because of technology. It will be because we weren’t imaginative enough.

To request more information on our Digital Skills courses, click here.

Are we wasting our saved time?

by Alex Kinmont

Technology is streamlining our daily routines.

We can order dinner online, saving us cooking time. We can work remotely, saving us travel time. We can shop online, saving us searching time. We let Google Maps re-route us around traffic before we see the first brake light and targeted ads tell us what to buy before we even know we want it.

The rise in technology has brought with it a rapid increase in the pace at which we live our lives.

If technology is making things run faster, then we’re saving time. So what exactly are we using that saved time for?


Are we saving time just to waste time?

South Africans spend an average of 8.5 hours online every day, according to a 2019 study. That’s an hour and a half more than the global average.

The more attention we give online, the more profitable the online world becomes. An advert seen is money made, so the goal for companies and advertisers alike is to keep us online for as long as possible.

Our online attention has become transactional.

Developers don’t just hope that we will spend time online. Smartphones and social media are specifically designed to keep us hooked for as long as possible. Of those 8.5 hours online, South Africans spend almost three hours on social media (Whatsapp, Facebook and Youtube proving most popular).

Are we really to blame?

Steve Jobs never let his own children use the iPad which he first released in 2010. This was our warning sign.

Feedback is a major ingredient of online addiction and it’s biologically enforced, says author Adam Alter (Irresistible). Feedback is the flash of the red heart icon when you like a photo on Instagram. It’s also the bright notification which pops up for the person on the other end. It’s the swooping sound when you refresh your Facebook feed and the click of your keyboard when your phone’s not on silent.


Are we saving time just to do too much?

The digital revolution and its onslaught of overstimulation is rendering us less and less capable of concentrating on a single thing at a time. The average attention span in a human has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds since the turn of the century. That’s less than a goldfish.

Have you ever felt the urge to punch your computer when it freezes?

This is where we see how impatient tech has made us. We are already so accustomed to technology and the swift lifestyle which comes with it that when it lags we tend to curse at it.

As tech grows, so do our expectations.

Whereas our ability to multitask has improved thanks to tech giving us the means to do more than one thing at a time, it comes with a cost to our ability to do just one task effectively.


So what does this quickening mean for us professionally?

The World Health Organisation has recently announced that it will be adding ‘Burnout’ to its International Classification of Diseases. This will make burnout a globally-recognised medical condition from the year 2020. Burnout is defined by the WHO as “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”.

In trying to keep up with new technologies, we may be overdoing it.  In constantly being connected, we never really get a break from the office anymore. We can access emails and our workload all from home, meaning we are never really completely free from our office.

On top of that, when do get a small break from our working hours, we’re spending it mindlessly on social media and the internet.

Are we ever really able to rest?

4IR can both worsen and alleviate our energy. It allows us to work continuously, yet it also allows us work faster and then rest.

So how do we go forward?

The answer therefore lies with people and their intentions. When advances in tech quicken our schedule, we must not forget that resting offline in our saved time is not wasting it.

Managers need to evaluate productivity in terms of quality of work done, and not time spent working. Employees need to recognise that time spent online is not as restful as time spent offline.

We need to disconnect daily – from our work, and from the internet.

Machines are going to take over tedious and time-consuming jobs, not so that we can fill our time with working more, but so that we can free up our time for more creative pursuits. The fourth industrial revolution will bring with it more options for spending our time.

What are you going to do with it?

To request more information on our digital skills course, click here.

Understanding Gen Z

Understanding Gen Z

by Alex Kinmont

The new generation is here. Defined as being born after the mid-90s, Generation Z is finally entering the working world. With the eldest in their early 20s, Gen Z have grown up in an age of dramatic social and technological transformation. As the advent of smartphones and social media occurred in their developing years, new technologies have shaped the way they see the world.

For any business owner, understanding Gen Z is key to managing them effectively. Recognising how Gen Z can contribute towards a company’s future is the next step in moving your business forwards, as they are your future workforce.

So how do you understand a generation whose teenage years were wired by Facebook and childhood pictures were taken on smartphones?

As the digital generation, young 20 somethings coming into the workplace have a much better understanding of the world than you may think. In the past decade, we have seen a dramatic rise in social awareness. Minority rights, gender equality and the ‘hot’ topic of environmental concerns are at the forefront of what the new generation sees as important.

But why do these things matter to Gen Z?

The answer is access to information. Let’s start at the beginning.

Back in 1973, Martin Cooper from Motorola made the first mobile phone call. By the time the 21st century hit, cell phones were publically accessible and equipped with internet access. Technological development began to skyrocket, and with it came social media. MySpace was created in 2003 followed by Facebook in 2004, the most widespread social media platform to date. Twitter came in 2006 and in 2010, Instagram, Gen Z’s digital Bible, was launched.

Social Media drastically encouraged the spread of memes. As a humorous image or Gif (a short, looped video clip) accompanied by a catchphrase, it’s how Gen Z communicate. As an example of the power of the internet and its ability to affect the real world, memes have altered comedy for the new generation.


The rise of the internet and exponential advancement of technology has resulted in younger generations being far more aware of current affairs and far more informed on social woes than any generation ever before them. Social media not only brings awareness to social and political injustice, but it gives its users a place within the conversation. Students in particular are collectively challenging historical norms whilst being more aware of the dangers of echo-chambers than their parents.

Information is power, and Gen Z are swimming in it.

Thanks to the mobility of smartphones, this doorway into the world’s database is with us constantly. Access to information is teaching the new generation that they need not, and should not, simply accept things the way they are.

So what are the consequences of this, and how do you deal with them?

As the information rich generation, Gen Z should not be undermined. Their knowledge in tech and social fairness, although seemingly pretentious at times, is invaluable. There is more to the Social Justice Warrior than you may think. For anyone in the position of managing the newcomers, it is crucial to understand and respect what matters most to the digital generation.

Then what needs changing?

Be Caring

Gen Z will appreciate any action that preserves the environment. The effects of Climate Change have never been as prominent and as threatening as they are today. One needs to look no further than Southern Africa for current examples – Cyclone Idai in Mozambique has negatively affected close to two million people, and last year Cape Town was on the brink of becoming the first major city in the world to run out of water.

As a growing problem threatening the very near future, how it is dealt with will affect generations to come. Young enough to suffer the most loss, yet old enough to be conscious of what’s coming whilst still preventable, Generation Z has every reason to be hyper aware of the changing tides.

Your business needs to show a vested interest in fighting Climate Change. From simple changes like adding recycle bins to more prominent changes like publically promoting eco-friendly actions, no effort will go unnoticed. Disregard this, and Gen Z loses their faith in you and your care for their future.


Champion Diversity

As if the imminent threat of both human and environmental annihilation weren’t enough to get the new generation engaged, realising that the world still favours heterosexuality and white skin is. Diversity is key, particularly in transitional countries such as South Africa. Women need to be heard, people of colour must be included, the disabled have be accommodated and personal pronouns should be respected. If you wish to have Gen Z’s support then you need to engage in their conversation.

Value their Technological Expertise

Gen Z have grown up with technology. Navigating smartphones is as natural to them as brushing their teeth. They live on Instagram. As experts on what media works and what doesn’t, their input in any social media campaign cannot be swept aside. Take what they say into account as they understand social media better than you do.

Gen Z may be young, but they are the future and they are here. Who better to entrust the success of your business to than those who have the most reason to invest in what’s to come?

The key to effectively managing Gen Z is to understand them and what they value. You and your business need to show an interest in their future, which means caring about the environment. You need to champion diversity, demonstrating your support in their quest for equality. You need to recognise their innate talent for navigating technology and give them the space to utilise it.

Show them your support, and they’ll show you theirs. You may be surprised by what they can do.