A world without the internet is unimaginable for its 4.66 billion global users. But with the ever-growing demands for tech comes a damning effect on climate change, and it’s one PRO IT is hoping to change.
Offering 24/7 IT support through its agile global network operation centre (NOC), data centre support, cyber security, cloud solutions and infrastructure services, PRO IT Founder and CEO Bekir Kilic is working to create a more sustainable future for tech.
“The world is changing at a pace that humankind could not have imagined,” Kilic tells The CEO Magazine . “Sustainability in its broad form touches many concepts of business, from service deliverables to environmental impacts.
“Sustainability is needed for present day measures that also carry over and don’t limit future achievements.”
Driven by the pandemic, there has been a greater push for IT to evolve faster and with more adaptive solutions. Working alongside his wife and PRO IT’s CFO, Ireena, Kilic strives to create better solutions on a human level to make the industry more personal as well as sustainable.
“One hard lesson in the IT sector is that there is someone out there who may come up with a better, faster, cheaper solution – so stay awake,” he says.
And that’s exactly how Kilic disrupted the market when he established the business in 1999, just two years after his first venture selling computers with a business partner ended – prompting him to step out on his own.
Prior to PRO IT’s launch, the CEO and his CFO were bound to cross paths all those years ago not realising how a chance meeting would later become a platform for success. Their drive would propel them to reach business and personal goals on so many levels. Their friendship blossomed into romance, and amongst the company founding’s and being blessed with six children, they ultimately created a foundation of stability for bigger opportunities in the blink of an eye.
“Diving into your own business is not an easy journey,” he shares. “Your back-end support system, be it family or friends, are so imperative in that initial space, and there isn’t a day I don’t thank them for always believing in this vision.
“It takes guts to win over clients. It takes a thick skin to absorb knockbacks, but when people can envision what you want to do, the doors open.”
Become an IT leader
Promising to be environmentally conscious is one thing, but for a US$5 trillion industry that’s been susceptible to greenwashing, tech companies have to really prove their actions meet their claims.
One effective way appliance manufacturers do this is through using energy rating stickers on common household items, providing transparency for users (which is mandatory in some countries). However, it’s not the case with tech products.
“Suffice to say no-one wants that sticker on their fancy new device,” Kilic says. “So in the background we have to ensure that if we are recommending a solution to a client, we’ve looked into energy ratings to meet our goals.
“Managing how those energy consuming devices perform in real time and ensuring the price of this peace of mind is also within expectations – that has been a challenge.”
One of the major difficulties of implementing the global tech sustainability strategy at PRO IT was managing IT waste.
“It’s easy enough to get products and services in the door, but what we didn’t measure was what was happening with product disposal,” Kilic explains. “The concept of ‘toss it in the bin’ often meant it would end up in landfill somewhere. These days we have come full circle.
“There are companies out there that are not only recycling parts, they are evaporating parts into fresh air. We ensure our staff know to only partner with vendors that are green and have a scalable service that will not only enable our service delivery but meet our common goals of environmental sustainability.”
The powerful husband–wife team have made it their mission to not only provide eco-conscious IT solutions but also ensure the utmost care and highest standard of service is delivered. And with 90 per cent of their customers achieved through referrals, it’s exactly why clients return.
“PRO IT is what we do, and we do it well,” Kilic says. “The secret isn’t a secret – it’s proof of concept.
“Our vision is to be the IT of choice. We work with our client not for them, we hold ourselves responsible for their productivity, efficiency and satisfaction.”
The Australian-founded business attracts everyone from retired CEOs who need modem support to large-scale global enterprises who need their IT platforms built, managed and monitored. Clients in media, aviation, telecommunications and the financial markets will testify their loyalty to the PRO IT model and reputation.
While its IT offering is diverse, its personal approach to service is what truly sets it apart. In fact, Kilic’s very first client is still with the company today.
“PRO IT at its heart is people orientated,” he says. “We work hard, we play hard, but our people also take time to give their time.
“Sustainability isn’t just about being environmentally friendly, it’s also what you give back. We are hugely involved with charities near and far (including Children’s Cancer Institute’s CEO Dare to Cure). If we aren’t donating our time, we are donating and reprovisioning equipment to schools and community groups.
“Every little part counts in the scale of the bigger picture. If you can create opportunities for others, that’s sustainable thinking with a positive mental footprint on our economy and society.
“Somewhere down the track, the ultimate success will be when we find ourselves retired and say to ourselves: ‘You set the standard, you did the hard yards, you did good’.”
Building a sustainable IT company
The seasoned IT expert founded the company to provide an alternative to conventional support at the turn of the century.
While its original goal was to provide outstanding services unlike anything else, PRO IT continues to adapt to the times – more recently giving its attention to artificial intelligence, security and sustainability.
“PRO IT wasn’t as complex in its beginnings,” Kilic reflects. “Our core and our drive is still the same, however we’ve evolved and keep building on that goal.
“In the future, PRO IT will be a sustainable legacy of values, service delivery and an IT managed services provider that is evolving every day, embracing change, embracing improvements and always tomorrow-ready.”
Growing the business from a humble dream, the CEO believes the three Ps are critical in establishing a more planet-conscious venture.
“It starts with people and ultimately ends with them,” he says. “That’s the challenge for any business. In particular, it’s something we put our energy into at PRO IT to enable accountable staff, promote energy efficient technology and maintain environmental responsibility – and make it all work on a platform that is achievable and deliverable.”
“Our profits and provisioning worked hand in hand,” Kilic shares. “We performed a massive overhaul of our vendors and practices, and had to realign what being environmentally committed would look like in the next five to 10 years.
“Until environmental sustainability becomes the norm, it will always be that much harder to sell, even to the biggest diehard fans of being green. The scope in the initial request may start off as ‘buy green’, and when that price is provided, we suddenly see how going green can quickly turn to ‘meet my budget’.”
“The pursuit of success is never all bells and whistles. The sustainability road is hard and worn thin with trial and error along the way. You have to keep your focus and patience in check at all times,” he explains. “It’s not easy, just remember the bigger picture and why your started what you did.
“Our sustainability goals were never going to be defined timeline goals – it’s an everyday, living breathing goal that realistically has the most impactful longevity alongside our other business goals.
“Sustainability is necessary, it is the future of business and we are so proud to be leading the way towards this legacy in our industry.”