The Missing Link's newly minted Robotic Process Automation (RPA) unit remains a key investment focus and growth area for the business in the months ahead, among its IT infrastructure and cyber security arms.
The continued investment comes as the managed service provider, despite a shaky market, rides a wave of growth after reporting another record year for the company in FY20, growing more than 25 per cent.
According to The Missing Link co-owner and CEO Alex Gambotto, RPA's emerging materialisation as a commercial reality sparked the company's ambition to establish a dedicated RPA division last year.
“We are certainly experiencing a growth period across all divisions in our business. Cyber security has experienced substantial growth recently. It was growing anyway, but global political unrest and cyber crime will continue to stoke that fire,” Gambotto said.
“The changing work patterns are making businesses realise that technology can save them a lot of money. Many companies have just realised they don't need staff to travel as much, or have as much office space because video meetings and the various chat platforms mean people can efficiently work from anywhere.
“This boost to IT infrastructure is a shift which will mean people will invest more in technology as time goes on,” he added.
Gambotto emphasises one of the keys behind the company’s success is its people and their knowledge.
“We are a people-focused IT business; our sales staff are incredibly knowledgeable and very personable. We employ some of the best technical people in Australia. Their skill and certification levels are exceptional – our people are our difference, and it is why we are one of the most respected and awarded IT companies in Australia from vendors, distributors and clients."
As the onset of COVID-19 restrictions filtered through, Gambotto said it wasn’t a big challenge to adjust to the new ways of working from home, for The Missing Link team members themselves and the company's clients.
“In the short term, a key priority for our clients is to ensure that their infrastructure and security is rock solid,” he said. “Many of our clients have invested in enabling their staff to work from home/remotely - they're continuing to improve these setups right now.
“We had already completed a lot of work with our clients pre-pandemic on this, so most were well-positioned for the change.”
So what are the key attributes of a successful tech provider post-pandemic? Gambotto said the only thing that has happened with the pandemic is the shift in clients' immediate needs.
“Successful IT groups are agile; they move with the market’s evolving needs and technologies all the time. We all know that technology is changing faster than it ever has. Successful groups will understand the evolved technologies, how they can help their client's businesses and importantly, can explain that story,” he said.
As time goes on, Gambotto anticipates companies will continue to invest further into their technology stack, turning towards RPA, with cyber security continuing to remain top of mind.
“Companies are looking to boost efficiencies now more than ever, and that is at the heart of Robotic Process Automation. The fact that a bot can do pretty much any process-orientated task, quick and better than any existing staff member is going to change the way we work,” he said. “Those same employees are now freed up to do more interesting and profitable work, meaning they are more engaged, and ultimately the business's bottom line improves.
“RPA will change how people work; it will be that big. I want to reiterate, it isn’t about replacing staff, but more about having the ability to grow with the same staff.”
But Gambotto stresses that many businesses have not focussed enough on cyber security and with the increase in remote working will, unfortunately, expose companies.
“Mandatory breach disclosure is a big deal and we are continually supporting clients to put the tools in place to minimise their risks," he said.
“We are in an intense growth phase. We have built a business on providing the best service, utilising the best possible technologies which are implemented by the best people we can find. This has led to a demand for our services, especially in cyber security but also in IT infrastructure."
ARN Advance is a centralised editorial resource designed to help partners access forward-looking content as the Australian market attempts to reposition for growth.