Focus on Key Technologies for Maximum Gain

Mike Watson, Senior Systems Administrator, IGY Marinas
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Innovation in the Energy Landscape

There are several innovations that I am personally excited about, including sustainable energy. I am very passionate about the outdoors and hope to see a clear path towards sustainable emission-free energy, as it keeps our environment clean for future generations. The growth that the Tesla brand has made in this industry with their Gigafactory, Powerwall and SolarCity projects are also interesting innovations to take note. 

Working with IGY Marinas, I am fortunate enough to visit some of the most beautiful destinations around the globe. In the Caribbean specifically, many islands rely on diesel generators for energy, resulting in high-cost high-pollution energy.                                     

Technology Everywhere

From the moment I am awoken by my Smart Home devices to the time I go to sleep, my life is dictated by technology. In the mornings, I receive weather reports and my schedule for the day. I also utilize a smartwatch every day, which tracks my movement and alerts me to phone calls, SMS messages, emails, and appointments.

  Carefully studying your business and staying on top of industry trends is key, while aligning yourself with great partners who can help you achieve your goals  

As it relates to business, I have the ability to manage IGY’s entire IT infrastructure from my mobile device anywhere in the world; work from any location with internet access; receive messages and video conference with people from around the globe. 

Driving Security via Knowledge and Collaboration

It is imperative to be well-educated when it comes to information security. With the proliferation of our connected world, everything is becoming a security concern. In the past, we just needed to protect our computers, servers, and network gear, but now everything is connected. From thermostats and refrigerators to phones, fashion accessories and TV’s, each of these is an inherent security risk that needs to be protected. Evolving your knowledge around security, and teaming with the proper vendors is a must. 

In the beginning, we built a large IT team and managed all of our IT functions in-house. This was the traditional IT model of the time, however, it presented challenges when it came to productivity and rapid response. It was when we decided to transition to an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) model where we became much more cost efficient and agile. At the rate technology changes, it is more efficient to allow a vendor who specializes in a certain platform to manage the services than to continually re-train internal staff.

A large issue in an agile environment is predicting your own future. In this type of environment, you need to be able to predict where you’ll be in the next 12, 24 and 36 months. Carefully studying your business and staying on top of industry trends is key, while aligning yourself with great partners who can help you achieve your goals. Shifting IGY Marinas to an IaaS model has solved this problem from an IT point of view. This has allowed us to easily and securely grow our service, while maintaining a 99.999 percent uptime against the rest of our corporate network.

Shifting towards an IaaS platform has allowed my team to remain focused on delivering the high level of customer service that our customers have come to expect with the IGY Marinas brand. We have reduced the need to source hardware, navigate the increasingly complex software licensing models, plan and build out networks, and more. In the past, it would have taken our team several weeks to plan, purchase and build, followed by an additional week of implementation to bring a new marina online. Working with our IaaS vendors, this can all be completed in a matter of days. 

For IGY Marinas, the ever-evolving need for security greatly impacted our shift in this movement. It was becoming cost prohibitive to continue purchasing hardware and licensing to pace with the ever-changing security climate. Now that we utilize an IaaS platform, it allows our team to stay focused on our core business, as we rely on our providers to focus on their business of security and uptime.

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