It’s the responsibility of any small business to keep up to date with advances in their industry.

Without doing this, you run the risk of ending up like Blockbuster, or Kodak. Ignoring technology and changes in the way your industry operates leaves you at the risk of becoming obsolete.

This is even more important for a software business, no industry changes faster or more often than IT.

Which is why easyFBT keeps track of what’s new. Recently the team headed to Sydney to attend Microsoft Ignite: The Tour which was a two day IT and developer conference.

Here’s what co-founder Matthew Smith thought of the event.

What did you see that surprised you?

Probably the continued advancement of cloud technologies. Having previously attended Microsoft TechEd 2013 where the cloud was only a very small part of the event, to Microsoft Ignite 2015 which progressed to a majority share, then to this event which was for the most part fully cloud-focused has been amazing to see the progression over a short period. The breadth of cloud features is truly incredible and the sheer scalability to grow your business through an online portal offers the ultimate flexibility in this ever-increasing technological world in which we live.

What was the highlight?

While attending many sessions concerning Azure data and DevOps was most relevant to easyFBT going forward probably the most interesting talk was from Troy Hunt, an Aussie based in Queensland who runs a data breach notification service called ‘Have I been Pwned’ (https://haveibeenpwned.com/). This site tracks whether user accounts and passwords (private and public) have been compromised in a data breach – literally, billions of accounts can be checked against an ever-expanding list of breaches all around the world. Tony discussed how his site has changed over the years firstly using automated, scalable Web Servers through to using new advancements such as Azure Functions to handle the massive increases in traffic that can occur - his site tracked a recent breach that gained worldwide attention bringing in around 1.4 trillion!!! requests over a short period. His discussion also focused on how utilising this new cloud technology allowed his site to handle these huge spikes of traffic better than it previously did and how it also seriously reduced the cost of running his site down to around coffee budget levels.

How is it essential to go to these events?

Technology is ever evolving so attending events such as these ensures that we can look towards future technologies that we can utilise to assist not only our product but allow our clients more flexibility to control where their data is located. Cloud technologies available with Microsoft Azure or Amazon’s AWS offer the ultimate control to businesses not only to those currently utilising the cloud but in the future as hosting outside your direct site becomes more financially relevant and is more manageable to scale and maintain.

What’s the biggest take away moving forward for easyFBT’s software?

The biggest takeaway for us is the ability to offer flexibility to our clients in the future to utilise their existing cloud investments or to allow them to plan for any future transition. On the development side of easyFBT, Microsoft DevOps continues to provides us (as it has for some years) with an end-to-end consistent and reliable development process as well as the ability for us to keep to move some of our testing strategies across to an automated process which we can run during code check-in. This will help identify issues before they happen during the development cycle rather than in production where this can affect our users.

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