Productivity Hacks And Methods That Will Change How You Work

Looking to boost your productivity at work? There are plenty of hacks and methods that can help you do just that. You’ll be able to reduce the time it takes to finish a task, or streamline a complex process.

Clearing the air: Is now the time to start thinking seriously about cloud tech?

The cloud is utilised across the globe and yet still misunderstood by many. It’s capable of ensuring greater security across organisations both small and large, and yet can still strike a sense of urgency and confusion into many business owners.

With the substantial growth of cloud only set to continue for the foreseeable future, it’s time to clear the air around this trend.

It’s time to clear the air around this trend.

A sector set for massive growth

According to the International Data Corporation (IDCWorldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker, vendor revenue from sales of IT infrastructure products (server, enterprise storage, and Ethernet switch) for cloud environments, including public and private cloud, grew 11.4% year over year in the first quarter of 2019 (1Q19), reaching $14.5 billion.  It’s certainly no small increase, and shows many businesses are now turning to cloud-based systems.

“As the overall IT infrastructure goes through a period of slowdown after an outstanding 2018, the important trends might look somewhat distorted in the short term,” said Natalya Yezhkova, research vice president, Infrastructure Systems, Platforms and Technologies at IDC. “IDC’s long-term expectations strongly back continuous growth of cloud IT infrastructure environments. With vendors and service providers finding new ways of delivering cloud services, including from IT infrastructure deployed at customer premises, end users have fewer obstacles and pain points in adopting cloud/services-based IT.”

Total spending for this year is expected to sit around US$44.5 billion, accounting for a third of all IT spending. That’s spending across the globe.

Long term, IDC expects spending on cloud IT infrastructure to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5%, reaching $94.5 billion in 2023 and accounting for 57.6% of total IT infrastructure spend. Public cloud infrastructure will account for 66.2% of this amount, growing at an 6.6% CAGR. Spending on private cloud infrastructure will grow at a CAGR of 9.4%.

How can businesses use the cloud?

With growth surging upwards, and more providers starting to offer better cloud services, there’s no better time for businesses to start using the new technologies. But how can businesses actually use them?

Bringing staff up to speed

Businesses wanting to adopt cloud technologies don’t face an altogether difficult path, as third party providers can handle much of the installation and ongoing upkeep of the systems. There’s an opportunity to take cloud adoption one step further, however, by allowing staff to gain accreditation with an IT framework.

This means they’ll have an understanding of IT best practice – key when using new technologies.

To find more about leading IT frameworks get in touch with the expert trainers at ALC Training today.

Related Training:

ITIL 4 Foundation

CCSP Certified Cloud Security Professional

Office 365 Security & Compliance

Cloud Computing Foundation

The changing BYOD landscape

Bring your own device (BYOD) offers great promise for businesses willing to implement the strategy, with benefits including lower device costs and less hardware training for staff.

The ability for workers to bring their own smartphones, tablets and laptops into the workplace means companies can cut out hardware expenditure as staff are using their own technology. What’s more, they’ll also be more familiar with the devices (understanding the operating system), meaning greater productivity.

Changes are coming, however, which are certain to have an effect on this trend over the course of 2015 and beyond.  

A growing security market

When companies allot devices to staff there’s often little risk of data security being compromised, as the business controls what services the equipment can access. What’s more, the company can also recall the hardware and wipe it or secure it further if necessary.

This isn’t so with BYOD, as staff are bringing personal hardware from home. It’s easy to see how a staff member could bring in a phone or tablet that has been compromised by a virus. There is then a risk of the virus spreading onto the business network.

Companies are aware of this risk, however, as a report from TechNavio at the end of 2014 found that the global BYOD security market will grow at a combined annual growth rate of 35.23 per cent through to 2019.  

“As BYOD policy is gaining popularity, implementing BYOD security solutions is highly important. [Such solutions] allow remote management of the mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones,” the report explained.  

Tablet sales slowing down

BYOD isn’t limited solely to tablets, but could slowing tablet sales have an impact on the trend? A Gartner report released in January found that demand for the devices is continuing to slip, and growth in 2015 will only see an eight per cent improvement over last year.  

This certainly doesn’t equate to low unit shipments, as Gartner estimates 233 million units will be delivered during the year.

“In the last two years global sales of tablets were growing in double-digits. The steep drop can be explained by several factors,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.  

Mr Atwal explained there’s currently a lack of innovation in the space – something that is causing consumers to hold back. While smartphones continue to include ever-advancing cameras and functionality, tablets have only seen superfluous changes since initial growth in the past few years.  

“One [factor] is that the lifetime of tablets is being extended – they are shared out amongst family members and software upgrades, especially for iOS devices, keep the tablets current.”  

It’s likely that while tablet sales are slowing, the impacts on BYOD will be minimal. Staff will continue to bring the devices into the workplace, and similar two-in-one devices will take up any slack.

Managing the trend in a business environment

Key to the success of any trend in IT is a strong management strategy, ideally one implemented from the outset. Such plans ensure that areas like security are not left out in the cold, and instead are placed in the spotlight throughout use.

With BYOD it’s a good idea to use the ITIL method, a renowned framework for using IT for business transformation. Essentially, this framework means BYOD implementations are correctly managed from as soon as the project starts.  

If you’d like to find out more about the ITIL framework, get in touch with ALC training today. Courses are held throughout Australia, in cities including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.  

Minimising service disruption with ITIL

In today’s fast-paced world, neither consumers nor professionals have any patience for technical faults which may prevent them from completing important tasks.

Technology is expected to work, and when it doesn’t, users are left feeling frustrated, disappointed and unproductive. That’s why it’s important that your organisation has a comprehensive system in place for minimising service disruption.

As one of, if not the most popular IT service management frameworks in the world today, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is the natural choice for businesses looking to improve in this area.

ITIL’s incident management and problem management processes are designed to ensure that any disruption to critical services are remedied as quickly as possible.

Not only that, but ITIL also takes a forward thinking approach to incident response, providing your organisation with the processes and strategies required to conduct fast and effective incident reviews post-disruption.

By investigating and addressing the root cause of a service disruption as quickly as possible, your organisation can work to prevent future problems of this nature from occurring.

The benefits of taking such action are numerous. Not only will you be improving customer experience and building stronger relationships with your key clients, but you’ll also be saving time, money and energy by ensuring problems are dealt with in an effective and productive manner.

ITIL is widely regarded within the information technology industry, largely for the fact that it is not organisation specific, and can be customised and tailored to the unique needs of your business.

There are currently ITIL training courses running in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, so if you are ready to improve incident response and minimise service disruption in your organisation, considering getting in touch with ALC Training today.

10 ITIL Implementation Tips

10 Tips for ITIL® Implementation

ITIL can help business leaders to streamline business processes or improve overall operations. There are many different ways to implement ITIL in a business or company. Here are some of the tips and recommendations on how to implement ITIL in your workplace.

Tip 1

Get yourself a GREAT Project Manager.

Be picky.  Yes, I know they are hard to find, but look out for someone that can easily enlist people to just do the job.  Don’t settle for less than the best.  Pay them what they are worth.  They should be natural leaders and have a natural command for authority.  Acceptance amongst their pears and an optimistic outlook to the project is going to get you far.

Tip 2


This is not a top secret project so therefore no need to be so hush-hush about it.  Risk is defined as the uncertainty of outcome.  Now, the uncertainty of the intended outcome is then also a risk, isn’t it?  Please communicate your plans at all levels.  We need people to get excited about the project and don’t let them feel they were not part of the idea.  Knowledge is power and we want power throughout the enterprise.  From the moment we are born and for some of us even before, our parents try to communicate and teach us these vital skills.  It’s part of survival and this is the last place where you want to drop the ball.

Remember that you have to identify your audience, know what you want to say, identify the need for communication (not just because…) and ensure that the communication path is set both ways.

Tip 3

Where does it hurt?

Identify your IT organisation’s pain points and a set a course of action for improvements.   To start the ball rolling,  identify those most painful  – related to incident, problem and change management.
Enjoy the smiles on your colleagues faces when a brilliant band-aid or better, has been applied and sanity is restored!

Tip 4

Ensure you have a well defined baseline of your current capability of each process before you get carried away with an improvement project.  Once you start making improvements/changes to your processes, there will be no means to prove your success if you haven’t measured it before.  Document your current baseline and compare at a later state to show your improvements.

Tip 5

Password-changes – Mondays are best!

Do you struggle with high call volumes on Mondays? Even though self-help service is in place, the calls still keep coming…
Make a simple change in policy. Restrict password-change messages to appear only on Mondays and Tuesdays. This way they will be more likely to remember it by next Monday. Also, never implement password changes before a long weekend. A simple change in the policy can work wonders!

Tip 6

Stop… scope… creep….!

Just when you have just had your project finally approved, additional work hits your plate!
We have all had this issue, I’m sure. This will add cost, undefined risk and most definitely delay your project. How do you stop this? A good starting point is to clearly define and communicate what is in the scope and what is out of the scope. Put necessary boundaries in place!

Tip 7

Relationships are the Key!

To truly benefit from using ITIL consider each process and its link. We all know each process consists of inputs, activities and outputs.  An input generally comes from a process and the outputs are then again needed for another.  It is important when designing and building these processes to think how they link.  There is no value in a process that stands alone.  How we link in relationships is the key.

Tip 8

Training is vital!

Create a great Service Desk team by giving them the appropriate ITIL training they need to successfully fulfil their roles.  Businesses require skilled people to make good decisions.  The  delay of a good decision by even a few minutes or seconds can have devastating affects on the business.  A well trained and happy ITIL team at the Service Desk sets the tone for IT and provides effective communication for the users and customers alike.  Don’t skimp on their training. Strengthen and support them with good skills so the rest of your IT organisation can optimise its resources.

Tip 9

Can I see the Menu?

Imagine going to your local supermarket and asking for a 5m x 3m sheet of steel?   Or trying to buy a new set of tyres for the old tractor in the barn at the post office?   So why do our customers sometimes come to us with very difficult and absurd requests?   

You need to focus on what it is you do best to know and understand your customer so your services will be able to meet their needs.  Many ITSPs rush in trying to fix processes and forget the most important step.  What services do we deliver?   If you don’t have a menu, the customers will just ask for anything and everything.  

Tip 10

Welcome Bad News!

Have an open door policy to invite bad news. Welcome it and react in a positive manner. If you do, you will reduce the risk of finding the issues too late and incurring unnecessary cost.

We are promoting continual service improvement and helping educating our cutomers all at the same time.