The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-05-05T07:07:54Z Canopy Tools Group acquires Melbourne IT consulting firm ACG 2020-05-05T07:07:54Z canopy-tools-group-acquires-melbourne-it-consulting-firm-acg-1 Tuesday, May 5, 2020 – Brisbane Canopy Tools Group is strengthening its client value proposition in the Australian IT market through the acquisition of Adams Consulting Group (ACG), a Melbourne IT consulting firm. Canopy Tools Group is a leader in IT services and IoT software with a wealth of expertise, operating in 7 countries.  The acquisition is the next chapter in the ACG story, after setting out in 2003 to provide quality IT services for SME and industrial clients. “Our ambition is to be a leading private cloud & IoT software provider in Australia and we are pleased to welcome the ACG team onboard for this exciting journey. Combined with our investment and growth in our IoT software products, the acquisition of ACG puts us in a strong position to build lasting partnerships with our clients and to deliver quality, integrated services and software products to the market.” said Customer Success Manager, Tegan DeClark. Canopy Tools Group acquired both CT4 and Canopy Tools in 2019 and will continue to acquire strategic companies with complementary missions (ACG).  The group will continue to grow and evolve with the mission of providing Simple and Smarter IT services. CT4 was formed in 2009 as one of the first Australian private cloud providers.  CT4 rapidly expanded to Singapore, UK, Philippines and Canada.  Canopy Tools was formed in 2017 to develop Canopy Manage software. This next-generation Internet of things (IoT) and IT asset management platform went on to be co-funded by the Australian Government through the prestigious Commercialisation Australia program and is now at the forefront of IoT software and is identified as Microsoft’s globally preferred IoT solution. Canopy Tools Group has built long-term client partnerships, experienced strong growth and expanded its geographical footprint and IT services capabilities across the globe. Business Continuity During Social Isolation 2020-03-19T02:21:40Z business-continuity-during-forced-quarantine As countries around the world enforce social isolation during the Covid-19 Pandemic, business owners in Australia are looking at how their business will survive and are currently rushing to enact business continuity plans to allow staff to work from home so business can continue as usual. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends business owners develop contingency and business continuity plans to prepare for employees being required to work from home either due to local travel restrictions, illness or at-risk health conditions. According to their website, The WHO recommends employers promote teleworking or work-from-home arrangements. Global Big Tech companies such as Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Hitachi, Apple, Amazon and others have all recently initiated mandatory work-from-home policies amid the spread of Covid-19.  But what about Australian SME business owners who have to continue to run their business while protecting staff and customers from this pandemic? There are strong indications that businesses may shut down entirely and potentially permanently if they can’t quickly plan for their employees to work from home.  The challenge for some; how to enable employees to work from home, when data and applications are office based and working from home means there is no access to systems needed to keep the business running. The $25,000 PAYG offset Stimulus Package announced by the Australian Prime Minister on March 12 is a start, but more will need to be done to support small businesses in Australia said Founder and CEO of the Australian Small Business Association, Anne Nalder.  Nalder said that some business owners are concerned they will go bankrupt if they have to close down for a period of time and if their staff can’t work from home. Australian Cloud Services IT company CT4 is an expert on remote working solutions with the company having been built on a remote first policy.  This ensures their customers have no interruption in service during challenging times, such as we’re seeing today, when Australia’s workforce is potentially facing wide-spread quarantine. CT4’s General Manager Wayne Moore indicated that businesses looking for quick solutions should consider cloud based virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to provide immediate access to staff who have any old computer and internet connection at home. He said the simple solution is to lift business applications and data to a secure, Australian based cloud platform which will allow staff to logon to desktop-based CRM’s, financial software and corporate applications from anywhere at any time, including whilst in home isolation.  “It’s essential for businesses without current cloud or web-based applications to quickly move to take on services such as virtual desktops, back-up of applications, cloud hosting and secure data storage. An entire business can be set up within days to run operations remotely, without the health risk to employees and customers and the cost is very affordable”  he said. In unpredictable times during a global upheaval; businesses who can ensure their employees can continue to service customers will come out the other side of this global health disaster relatively unscathed.  Gartner: Skills Gap is the top emerging risk globally 2020-02-05T02:16:57Z gartner-skills-gap-is-the-top-emerging-risk-globally The survey of 137 senior executives showed that concerns about “talent shortages” now outweigh those around “accelerating privacy regulation” and “cloud computing”, which were the top two risks in the previous Emerging Risk Monitor. Every year the gap between jobs and a trained digital workforce grows wider. Plans to encourage untapped talent pools to consider a career in IT is growing in momentum globally and Australian IT company CT4 is leading the way, now into its second year of the Digital Apprentice Program (DAP) located in Ballarat, Victoria, is building a skilled talent pool for Australia’s digital future.  The next tranche of the DAP is open and accepting applications. CT4’s Customer Success Manager Tegan DeClark said the DAP is an excellent way to introduce people into IT and address the global skills gap. “CT4’s DAP traineeship provides regional Victorians a great opportunity to reskill or upskill to enter a booming industry, and the program to date has been a great success. We’re proud of our most recent cohort who have just completed the initial phase of the program”.  DeClark also strongly encourages women looking for a career change to consider IT as a career path and to join the program.  “We believe that diversity is the lens through which unique problems are solved and we value the different backgrounds and life experience which contributes to our organisation and the industry as a whole. Upon successfully moving through the first phase of the program, trainees begin to do more specific work on current and new technology with CT4’s DevOps team.  Among this recent group, is Elizabeth Eldridge, who is a mature-aged student, making a career change from a non-IT background and as a result of the program, has a promising future in IT. Eldridge joined the program in 2019 and said it has given her an advantage with future work opportunities, with a level of exposure to IT which she didn’t have otherwise.  “Women of my age often don’t have much to do with IT.  This program has given me confidence and I’m starting to now understand the background of IT and what technology can do.” Craig Adams, Group Managing Director said that both the program and the industry at large can be challenging at times but for those successful candidates, opportunities abound with the current digital skills shortage  “CT4 is proud to be a flexible, fast paced, diverse and dynamic workplace with one major criterion for staff to be the best they can be within their role. For trainees who have display a good work ethic, team work and the ability to work in a secure and sensitive IT environment, the rewards are palpable.” When asked if Eldridge would recommend the program to others, especially women looking for a career change, she wholeheartedly says yes. “Definitely, I’d say go for it!  It’s been fantastic and I’m glad to have had the opportunity, I’m in it for the learning and to see how far I can go” Applications for CT4’s 2020 Digital Apprentice are now open to all candidates interested in a paid traineeship in IT.  Go to https://jobs4ballarat.com.au/ and keyword ‘CT4’ for more information The Gender Gap: Is IT the golden opportunity for women? 2019-09-20T03:38:09Z the-gender-gap-is-it-the-golden-opportunity-for-women According to the Australian Computer Society’s (ACS) recent digital pulse report, the female share of total technology workers in 2018 increased slightly to 29%, with the gender pay gap declining slightly from 20% in 2017 to 18% in 2018.  The information technology workforce continues to see underrepresentation by women. Participation of women in technology roles is 29% of the overall workforce, significantly lower than other professional occupations more at 44%.  The good news however is there has been small signs of improvement with 29% share of females in technology roles represented a marginal increase relative to the previous year – the first increase in female representation in the Australian technology workforce since the first Digital Pulse report was published.  The golden opportunity for women in IT is in the current and projected skills shortage identified with the expectation that there will be a requirement for an additional 100,000 technology workers by 2024.   The report also indicated that the highest priority for the Australian digital economy lies in solving this shortage and the current rate of IT graduates and skilled migration alone is unlikely to meet the significant future demand for technology workers. Which requires greater investment in developing workers’ technology skills.   The Queensland State Government has put a long-term plan into place, the Hon Kate Jones, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development said that they have a plan to encourage girls to take up STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects, as she believes interest starts early it at home and in schools. In 2019 there was a roll out of specialist STEM teachers in primary schools in Queensland.   “We know that most people are considering whether to go into those disciplines from an early age so if we can get dynamic women and men teaching those skills in the early years, then I think you are going to change the path.”  In the short term, the best method is a collaboration of private enterprise and business working with communities, Governments and tertiary institutions to provide an opportunity for immediate change.   Australian IT company CT4 has developed an approach to bridge both gaps facilitating entry level training and jobs for those new to IT through their DAP earn and learn program.  With a particular focus on women joining the program and due to demand, are expanding the program with support of state Governments and tertiary education providers.  CT4’s Customer Success Manager Tegan DeClark encourages a change in perception of what it means to work in IT, having previously entered from another industry.  “The IT industry typically provides better opportunities for flexible work arrangements, remote working, increased earnings, and work-life balance for families compared to other industries, particularly for those re-entering the workforce after a career break or located in regional areas”  In Australia according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), data released in August 2019, shows women the Information media and communications industry is on average the second highest for fulltime weekly earning behind only the mining industry.   DeClark says that instead of just a job or just study, their DAP program gives people accepted into the course a way to get a foot in the door to a growing IT industry, with work experience and a certificate at the end of it.    “The program is broadly targeted at not just school leavers and graduates but those upskilling or reskilling.  We truly believe that diversity be that culture, ability, gender, background and life/work experience is the lens in which through, unique problems are solved, so it’s not just talented computer enthusiasts we encourage to enter our training programs”  As digital technologies continue to provide Australia with opportunities to grow and innovate as emerging technologies become more integrated into the operations of our businesses and everyday lives of Australian citizens, Australia’s future prosperity in an increasingly digitised world will depend upon ongoing investment in these technologies and further development in the digital skills required to operate them.