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First Focus has become one of only a handful of Australian Managed IT Service Providers to successfully implement and become certified to three ISO standards.

We’re now one of the few Australian MSPs to have all three certifications approved– ISO 9001 (Quality), ISO 14001 (Environmental), and the coveted ISO 27001 (Information Security).

According to First Focus CEO Ross Sardi, the speed of the certification process validated months of effort.

Getting through the certification process for all three ISO standards in less than five months gives us great validation for the systems we already have in place.

Developed and maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the standards provide an internationally recognised means of grading technology, quality and environmental practices. These market-leading standards help provide solutions to global challenges while supporting innovation.

“I often see compliance to ISO and other standards become an exercise in ticking boxes to pass an audit. So we insisted that our process needed to reflect reality from the start. It’s one thing to have the certifications – and another thing entirely to ensure you are delivering secure, quality services. All while managing the environmental impact of doing so,” says Sardi.

ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems

This standard relates to quality management and our commitment to providing exceptional support to our clients. It shows that First Focus can reliably deliver solutions that meet customer needs and any legal or industry-specific requirements.

The quality standard also demonstrates that an organisation aims to increase customer satisfaction by continually improving its quality objectives. First Focus’ best-in-class solutions follow ITIL-based methodologies, with customer satisfaction always front of mind. First Focus’ service model aims to identify and manage issues before they impact workflows. The goal is to minimise expenses in the long term while ensuring customers are using solutions that match their needs.

ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems

This standard shows that an organisation handles its environmental responsibilities in a way that contributes to environmental sustainability. This measure provides value by enhancing environmental performance and fulfilling compliance obligations that relate to our environmental objectives.

Sardi says: “By also adopting ISO 14001 for Environmental Management, we’ve deliberately set out to be a leader in this area. The technology industry can have a huge impact on sustainability. For example, we’ve seen the mass adoption of remote-working technologies over the last 18 months replacing the requirement to travel interstate or even to the office. However, we also need to be aware of the environmental costs involved, from the impact of running power-intensive data centres to the amount of e-waste created by personal and work devices with relatively short lifespans.”

We're going to be doing a lot more in this area over the next 12 months, and I'm really excited to be at the leading edge of delivering sustainable IT services.

In practice, First Focus engages directly with staff on a range of environmental issues via an employee-led council that helps introduce and maintain environmental objectives. Electric company vehicles are environmentally friendly, and a recycling plan is in place for managing all e-waste responsibly. First Focus now moves its sights to become carbon neutral as soon as possible.

“We discussed setting a hard target of 2025 or 2030, but this gives us a license to not become carbon neutral until then. The responsible thing to do is make sure we do it as soon as we can, and we’re already progressing towards this,” said Sardi.

ISO 27001 Information Security

This standard helps organisations implement a framework that protects sensitive data by keeping informational assets secure.

ISO 27001 is particularly relevant to IT. Any organisations that regularly handle sensitive information entrusted to them by third parties need to make sure they’re managing risk responsibly. Such data includes financial information, intellectual property, and employee details.

ISO 27001 Information Security will become an expected standard for any serious midmarket Managed Service Provider in the near future.

On this front, First Focus was well ahead of the curve before it decided to apply for certification. A dedicated Cyber Security team performs regular audits and manages best-practice cyber and information security measures internally and externally.

A rare find

First Focus is now one of a handful of managed IT service providers in Australia to offer services that meet all three ISO specifications – a rare feat that reflects its preparedness and commitment to quality services, environmental protection, and information security management.

Sardi says: “We wanted to make sure our certifications reflected our unique management framework. It’s great to be able to share this news with our clients and give them added confidence that we have quality and security front of mind.”

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