Alongside accounting, IT services are the most outsourced business function among SMEs in the USA today, and it’s not hard to understand why. Providing access to a range of skills and proficiencies, IT managed service providers offer the capabilities of a full-scale internal IT department without the associated costs and commitments.
While these cost savings alone can help smaller businesses grow by creating greater financial headroom for other projects, there are many less-obvious ways outsourced IT support can help businesses achieve success. Whether you’re looking to outsource your IT needs for the first time, or you’re keen to share IT management responsibilities between your in-house team and an external partner, choosing the right IT support provider for your business is critical in achieving the best outcome. That’s where we come in…
Centarus – Growth-driving IT Support and Solutions for San Francisco Businesses
From our home at the heart of the San Francisco bay area, Centarus helps businesses in some of the most demanding sectors take advantage of the best technology in order to grow and prosper. From detail-focussed IT support and management to a range of cyber security services designed to conquer compliance challenges, our large team holds the skills and experience necessary to keep your IT system dependable, stable and secure.
Over the years we’ve seen how IT support outsourcing can help businesses reach their growth objectives, but how exactly does it enable that? Here are 5 ways IT support can help you grow your business.
More Time for Business-Enriching Activities
According to a survey by Gallup, almost 40% of small business owners report working 60 hours per week or more, with another finding that 43% fail to take vacations. It goes without saying that time is a commodity in short supply among the small business community, which makes it all the more important that that time is used to maximum effect.
By outsourcing your IT support you’ll spend less time wrangling with hardware and software issues, and more time on activities that develop and grow your business. Develop compelling marketing strategies, nurture your sales pipeline, invest in staff training, refine and improve business processes and provide the best possible customer experience – all while secure in the knowledge that your technology is being properly maintained and supported.
Synchronised Workflows for Enhanced Productivity
The daily demands of running a business can leave little time for strategic IT development. While initially this can present few problems, over time inefficiencies can become entrenched as technology and process grow further and further apart. But with so little time to spare, what can you do to achieve strategically alignment between your IT and your business objectives?
An experienced IT support provider can help you find ways to streamline business processes using the latest technologies. This process typically begins with a workflow analysis: an exercise designed to get under the skin of your business’s processes in order to identify inefficiencies and bad practice. This will allow them to draw up a list of improvement actions, which might include ways to better integrate data for a more seamless information sharing experience, as well as opportunities for automation in order to eliminate time-consuming manual tasks.
An IT support provider with experience serving your sector will be able recommend the best solutions to address the challenges you face, helping you remain at the forefront of your industry. By helping you get more done each day, your whole team will have more time to spend on value adding tasks like reaching out to new customers and managing relationships with existing ones.
Proactivity that Minimizes Downtime
IT outages can severe financial damage on businesses, with the average minute of downtime thought to cost businesses $5,600 according to a 2014 Gartner report. While the figure for SMEs is much lower (in the low to mid hundreds), smaller businesses are often the least able to absorb such a financial penalty, making it all the more important to prevent outages arising in the first instance.
IT downtime can occur for a variety of reasons, ranging from system misconfigurations and network traffic bottlenecks to poor software maintenance and compatibility issues. An IT support provider can monitor the performance of your network remotely to take action in anticipation of critical issues, and apply the fixes and updates necessary to keep your software and operating systems secure, cross-compatible and stable. They can also engineer redundancy into your IT network, so that should one component or node fail you’ll have at least one alternative to fall back on. Using a range of measures and practices, an IT support provider can dramatically improve the uptime performance of your network, helping to keep your team productive and your business profitable.
Scalable Solutions that Expand in Line with Your Business
In San Francisco’s fast-paced business community, organisations require lean, agile and scalable tech solutions that can easily adapt to changing business demand. Despite this, over 66% of US businesses continue to use legacy applications for vital business processes according to a recent study, with many using such programs in customer facing channels. While these solutions were often cutting-edge when launched, today such systems are often expensive to maintain, difficult to adapt to modern practices and tough to scale up.
Guided by a wealth of IT experience and industry-specific insights, an IT support provider can help you source or develop the right solutions to replace ageing, inflexible technology. Today, one of the best ways to do this is to migrate to the cloud. Through cloud service providers like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, you can build databases, store files, develop custom applications, launch virtual machines and much more, with computing resources that can be provisioned in line with point-in-time demand for optimum cost efficiency. Leading enterprise software can also be accessed via cloud subscriptions, from industry-leading CRMs and accounting solutions to multipurpose workplace productivity services like Microsoft 365. An IT support provider can source, configure and manage best-fit solutions for your business, to provide cross-platform integration, flexibility and remote capabilities for improved productivity and value for money.
Data Security that Inspires Confidence
Data is a valuable asset for any business, but one that requires a range of controls and measures to ensure its security. Failure to adequately safeguard the data your business holds could result in fines for regulatory non-compliance, damage to your reputation, as well as the pursuit of legal action by affected parties.
A security-conscious IT support provider will be able to offer a range of managed security services and measures to aid in your data security efforts, including firewalls, encryption, endpoint threat detection and data backup. They should also be able to develop your security architecture in line with the requirements of leading data protection regulations and security frameworks, including HIPAA, PCI DSS, the GDPR, the NIST framework and ISO 27001. By demonstrating commitment to data security best practice, you’ll instil confidence in both existing and prospective clients, leading to improved client retention and a better chance of winning new business.
We help San Francisco businesses leverage technology for maximum reward
Looking for value-adding IT Support to help grow your business? Operating from the heart of the San Francisco Bay area, our multi-talented, 20-strong team has the skills and experience required for the most ambitious projects. Our strategy-driven IT support is guided by our extensive experience helping organizations in some of the most technically challenging and compliance-laden sectors, with a desire to allay operational challenges, address regulatory hurdles and overcome commercial constraints central to everything solution we implement. Get in touch today, and find out how proactive, strategic IT support from Centarus could transform your business.