Sharp Office has celebrated a remarkable 50 year history, with many more years still on the horizon. During this time our resident IT expert, Tony Minehan has followed closely behind. Throughout the years he has seen our business grow and change, offering his technical expertise along the way. This year we celebrate his incredible 46 years at Sharp Office. We spend some time with Tony to learn about what lead him to his technical career, working with Sharp Office and what he foresees the future of technology to be.
How would you describe the kind of work you do?
I guess it would be I am the “minder” of the network infrastructure and data that keeps Sharp Office operational each day. We all expect to arrive at work each day and everything from our internal network, file access, Emails, Internet (etc) to work. We often say “it just works”, which is a big part of what I do. Keeping everything running is exciting, challenging, sometimes stressful – but caffeine does help!
What lead you to a career in IT as a career?
It was a natural progression as technology changed. I started as an electronics technician before the days of networks and internet, so it made sense to move.
What lead you to work at Sharp Office?
I was always interested in electronics and technology as a kid. When I was leaving school, I saw that Sharp were looking for a technician at the time so I applied.
What is your fondest memory about working at Sharp Office?
There are a lot of memories over that time, too numerous to categorise. A couple that come to mind is how we helped our customers get back on their feet through some extraordinary times like the earthquake in 1989 and the floods in 2007.
What do you find most fascinating about working in IT?
The constant change in technology, it keeps you on your toes and there are always learning opportunities. There is always something new around the corner.
Of all the changes to technology you may have seen, which was most interesting?
I started my work life before the days of the internet/web or mobile phones.
It’s hard to imagine what we ever did without them (kids and young adults have never known a world without them). Those two things, The web and smart phones have probably had the biggest impact on our lives (working and personal) than anything else.
What do you think will be the next big change in technology?
We live in a world where we want to be always “digitally connected” and the freedom of wireless. I think there will be further advances in WiFi technology to ensure we have the speed for everything to talk to everything else. The next big change to affect the way we transact digitally will be “blockchain technology”. It has been with us for a while now, particularly in governments and financial institutions, but with the recent advances in both blockchain and cryptographic technologies it has gained a lot of traction over the last couple of years.
What advice would you give to local businesses who are looking to improve their IT?
It’s a bit like paying for insurance, you need to consider what and how much do you insure against, or in this case invest in. It’s important to have a good firewall policy to protect you from the outside world.
Also, a lot of business’s neglect to think about other devices that are coming into their work environment and connecting to their networks, such as mobile phones and smart watches for example. Many of them may be personal employee mobiles that have access via a company WiFi. You need a good Virus Protection Policy against anything these devices may be bringing to the network.