Education must meet future website needs and broadband must deliver the benefits
If Geelong is to become Silicon Bay as many in the ITC community hope, the city’s education and broadband infrastructure must be streamlined to meet fast-emerging new requirements, says Karl Morris.
As managing director and founder of Geelong website development business GOOP, Mr Morris joined ICT Geelong following his recent attendance at the Pivot Summit.
“For some time before that we weren’t sure if we would fit in because we see ourselves being in the communications business, not in information technology.
“But the key factor in our decision to become a member of ICT Geelong was that we may now be able to influence and help address what we see as shortcomings in infrastructure and education of those coming into a sector of ICT like ours.”
From humble beginnings in 2007, GOOP has acquired more than 700 clients across Australia. While the majority are in Victoria, GOOP has clients as far afield as Hobart, Darwin and Perth. The business name GOOP means fluid and sticky, to suggest the evolution and functionality required for any website to successfully serve businesses of any type.
Strongly endorsing the importance of search engine optimisation which is included in every website it develops rather than being treated as an extra function, GOOP invests significant upfront effort in keyword research, site structure and content, regularly revisiting Google results to fine tune client websites.
Mr Morris says the business has recently created a new staff role designed to ensure the right website structure is in place to help achieve the benefits of search engine optimisation.
“The responsibilities of such a position are yet to be fully defined, but we see it as critical to ensuring optimal benefits for client websites which in turn means our business will continue to grow.”
GOOP has grown to 12 staff members.
Mr Morris said “our staff are self-starters with initiative and are genuinely passionate about web design and online marketing. This is testament to the fact that many of them are self-educated in this field as there is little formal education available to provide the advanced skills in web design that we require.
“We have made local educators aware of the gap between industry needs and the current deficiencies in the education system. Yet there are logistical issues in getting teachers with the required skill levels.
“We need to have the research in hand that points towards the competencies that will be required as business communications tools like websites evolve. In turn, we need to have the appropriate broadband infrastructure for a regional area like Geelong so that businesses can get the best return from their websites.
“Apart from networking being a benefit of our membership, I am optimistic that ICT Geelong will do all it can to champion the cause of education and infrastructure as high priorities for the region’s emerging digital economy,” Mr Morris said.
Author : Mike Vanderkelen
Mike Vanderkelen has extensive experience as a marketing and communications consultant, writer and journalist specialising in the information and communications industries. Through his company Infotech Marketing & Communications he has consulted to Australian and international providers of ICT products and services, as well as to end users of information technology in industries including building products and services, manufacturing, mining services, medical systems, hospitality, financial services and tourism.
To see more about Mr Vanderkelen visit Click Here.