News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

The IT Genius Story: A 15 year old upstart builds one of the country’s fastest growing IT companies

Peter Moriarty was just 15 years old when he started what is now known as IT Genius Australia, he loved computers and would spend his lunchtimes skipping school occasionally to assist his ‘customers’ with their PC issues – back then, a cloud was a white fluffy thing in the sky and not even Moriarty quite grasped where this IT gig he performed for pocket money would eventually lead to just over a decade later.

Fast forward to today and IT Genius is one of Australia’s fastest growing IT companies – it now specialised in helping customers streamline their IT processes, moving everything to the cloud – IT Genius is currently one of Australia’s leading authorised resellers for the Google Apps Suite of products.

Moriarty has experienced rapid growth in the last 24 months of business, and along with growth comes the hiring of new staff, more urgent jobs and systemised marketing activities to keep the numbers moving up and to the right.

In order to handle the extra work loads that constantly arise, the IT Genius team have established a network of online workers to help them scale up and down at a moments notice. Moriarty has a virtual assistant nowadays to keep himself on track and to allow him to just focus working on top of the business, he also has tech people located in Asia and France as well as a video editor and producer for their multimedia content located in the USA.

Moriarty turned to Elance-ODesk to connect with and manage what he says is an important part of his business.

“Although we are based in Australia, I really see IT Genius as being a global business. When urgent and time critical jobs or projects arise that need to be completed overnight – I am able to tap into my team located in different time zones to fulfil the work and keep our customers happy” he says.

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Kyri Theos is the country manager for Elance-ODesk in Australia and says that the company is seeing many fast growing startups like Moriarty’s using the platform for efficiency and 24 hour coverage. In fact there are over 170,000 Australian businesses registered on the platform – we are actually the second largest market in the world in terms of market spend by clients on the platform – the biggest if you look at the metrics per capita.

“The reason startups in particular are turning towards online talent is because, in those early stages of getting your business off the ground, it can be challenging to make the commitment to hire somebody on a full time basis” says Theos. “But something we are starting to see more on the platform is businesses developing long term relationships with their online staff hiring them multiple times or on an ongoing basis”.

According to Theos, Elance-oDesk saw a rapid increase in online freelancing activity in the Australian market, with the demand for online workers growing by 230% over the last 3 years.

Last year, Australian businesses hired more than 84,000 freelancers on Elance alone, showing that the market is embracing this new model of hiring.

As for Moriarty, his use of online workers is as much strategic as it is cost effective and convenient – especially now he has started to use a lot of video content for the marketing activities that he is doing across the internet.

“Our video editor is based in the United States, she is in an area where there is super fast cable internet. Once we film what we need to here in Australia, we upload everything to our Google Drive and she is able to download it fast because of the speed, put everything together and then upload in minutes to platforms such as YouTube, Wistia and Vimeo ready for us to publish. This avoids us having to download and upload here again which currently in Australia can take between 30 minutes and half and hour for larger files” says Moriarty.

These days all you need to get a business off the ground is access to the Internet, and a great team to get your idea off the ground. Whilst you might not want to commit to hiring full time staff immediately, a platform such as Elance-ODesk gives you access to the talent you need online. Whilst you figure out your business model, you can have a relatively risk free time using project based staff until everything clicks into gear. After that – you might even want to have these people as part of your extended online team like Moriarty does.

Get started using Elance-ODesk today here 

Elance-ODesk are offering our readers a $50 voucher code to kick things off on odesk.com.

The code is: AUStartups2014

Here are the conditions on the code:

  • $50
  • Expires 12/31/2014
  • New clients only
  • One credit per company
  • Client must post a job in order for the credit to be redeemed
  • Redeemed credit expires within 90 days of the redemption period




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