small business outsourceIt must be nice, being able to have a budget dedicated toward building out the core teams of your business. For many small businesses, this is a luxury they simply can’t afford. It’s a hard place to get stuck in. You want to make that next leap up in the food chain, but your funds just won’t allow it. That’s why outsourcing is often perceived as being a luxury for enterprise companies.

Let us indulge our inner Morpheus for a second: what if I told you that outsourcing actually is a viable and smart strategy for small businesses? This is especially true for your IT team and support. It may seem contrary to what you’ve previously heard, but outsourcing can be key to taking that next step in your business. Here’s how.

Outsourcing Reduces Costs

Let’s get the money out of the way first. Outsourcing goes well beyond that old adage of “you gotta spend money to make money.” In fact, it’s really about spending less money. When you’re working on a small budget and trying to build your business, you’re often looking for ways to cut back costs without sacrificing your long term goals. Along the way, you’ll also find that one of your biggest costs is hiring your staff – especially full-time employees with benefits. Outsourcing is an effective way to bring in the manpower you need to get work done without worrying about draining the payroll account.

This can either mean fully outsourcing your IT team or maybe you have a small team that needs some additional support. Especially with IT, you can find yourself needing all the help you can get to keep up with the increasing demands of ecommerce, maintaining apps and your website, etc. An outsourced employee or team can help keep these functions moving forward.

Scale for Your Needs

But you also might not always need that much support. Say you hit a busy season so you hired on another full-time employee. What happens when things slow back down again? Will you be able to afford keeping that person on? That gets messy really fast. With outsourcing, you have the luxury of living in the moment. While we’ll always advocate for utilizing outsourcing to strategize for the long term, we also know that there’s just times where you won’t need as much support and don’t want to pay for it. Outsourcing makes this easy, clean, and with a whole lot less awkwardness.

Expertise You Need

Trying to become an IT expert overnight isn’t going to happen. There’s a steep learning curve, even for the most savvy of business owners. And even if you have an IT department, there may be blind spots in their own training that they’re not equipped to handle. Rather than try to wing it and hope for the best, bringing in an expert will ensure you get exactly the support you need. An outsourced IT expert will be able to point you toward tech to grow your business, offer critical advice for maximizing your practices, and gear your efforts toward ROI and efficiency.

Small businesses think can’t have it all due to their size and scale, but with outsourcing you can. ISOutsource is happy to support you as your build your business and fill in those gaps that you need. You’ll save money in the long run and prime yourself for success. Give us a call today.

business growthAs a business owner, every move and decision you make comes with the subtext of how it’s going to grow your business. Whether that’s a new hire, a new office space, or new policies. Chief among these, especially today, is new technology. If you even glance at TechCrunch or Gizmodo, you’ll know that there’s new emerging software and apps popping up every day. Who has the time to go through it all and assess what’s worth investing in for your business?

Instead of trying to grasp the entire world of emerging technology, lets look at just a few different advancements that you should absolutely be using now. Some may sound more daunting than others, but they can all provide you with immense value and that coveted, allusive ROI. Here are some great tools and solutions to start with.

A Robust CRM Platform

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools are essential to your sales team. That’s not an overstatement, either. In 2017, if you’re not using a CRM then you’re pushing a boulder up a hill during a snowstorm. Services like Salesforce and Oracle Netsuite give your sales reps immense insight into their own work with lead tracking, collecting data on prospects, and building funnels that will lead to closing deals. These platforms can be a bit overwhelming at first if you haven’t used one – massive dashboards with so many settings and functions that it’s hard to figure out where to start. However, it becomes much more intuitive as you go along. Plus, dealing with the learning curve is much better than staying behind the times and letting your competition swoop in on your prospective clients and customers.

Cloud Services

Your business is not tethered to tangible tools. In fact, it’s almost better the less physical tools and devices you have to deal with. As we’ve discussed before on this blog, cloud services like AWS and Microsoft Azure give you more fluidity in your business. Being able to work via the cloud allows your employees to work quickly and efficiently. There’s no more trying to track down files or even needing to keep everyone tethered to a physical server. The cloud is meant to scale, meaning you can continue to upgrade and build it out as you go without having to do a serious overhaul and pausing activity. It’s great for your clients too, using the public cloud to give them access to critical assets without any headaches.

Project Management Tools and Apps

Do you hate email? We all do. Cluttered inboxes are the death of productivity and the bane of business growth. How are you expected to take on more clients when you’re still struggling through piles of email threads? We’re not talking about spam either – it’s easy for vital emails to get lost in a barrage of communication. That’s why project management tools are becoming even more essential. Apps and services like Basecamp allow you to organize and prioritize your myriad projects. They allow you to zoom out far enough to see what all your colleagues are working on, but also zoom in on your personal to-dos. It streamlines communication and turns all those complicated threads into sleek, streamlined processes.

Sold on these ideas but not sure where to start? We can help. ISOutsource can come alongside your business and help install and implement these new technologies into your business and help you prime them to get the best ROI. Interested? Drop us a line today.

vCIO-Consulting-ISOutsourceThe role of a Chief Information Officer (CIO) is becoming increasingly essential to business operations. But finding a good one that fits your company’s specific needs – not to mention your budget – can be hard to find. So, what do you do? Do you opt to go without and deal with the repercussions? Do you make cuts to other departments to squeeze a CIO into the mix? Do you settle on someone cheap to keep the train moving?

None of these are ideal. Thankfully, you don’t have to put yourself in that uncomfortable and potentially detrimental situation. If you’re asking those questions to yourself, it may be time to bring in a vCIO. (more…)

ISOutsource-How to Decrease Inconvenience and Cost of Managing IT

At this point, we probably don’t have to convince you on the value emerging technology can bring to your business and office spaces. Even in your life outside of work, you’ve probably seen technology provide you with unprecedented levels of convenience with everything from organizing your schedule to providing you with virtually limitless entertainment. But managing the IT for your business is a totally different story – and a costly one as well.

Investing in new IT is a big leap. However, you might find yourself feeling like you’re getting stuck into a money sinkhole. Your employees and IT team keep telling you about new updates and upgrades they need to be more efficient. Sometimes this doesn’t quite lineup with your checkbooks. How do you stay current, get the most out of your current IT, and not break the bank? Here are a few key concepts to keep in mind. (more…)

Why Should I Do a Technology Assessment?

why should I do a technology assessment | ISOutsourceWe’ve talked previously about how to do a technology assessment and how to parse through the results. But there’s another key component that we haven’t looked at: why even do a technology assessment in the first place? As with anything in your business, nothing should be done arbitrarily and a tech assessment is far from just another thing to scoot to the bottom of your to-do list. It’s a crucial process in determining your the tech needs of your business. To put this into perspective, we’ll show you why a technology assessment can give you vast insights all across the timeline. (more…)

Cloud ServicesMuch like an actual cloud, the cloud is hard to grasp. For those who don’t work with it regularly, It feels amorphous and indefinable. You’ve probably heard enough buzz to know that it’s something worth investing in for your business, but it’s hard to pull the trigger if you’re having trouble understanding exactly what it’s going to do for you. The scope of the cloud is massive, so let’s look at just a few features and how they alone can have a dramatic impact on your day-to-day operations and bottom line.

Safe Data Storage

This is a feature that most understand about the cloud – being able to host all your data. But it’s more than just an expensive, confusing thumb drive. When you’re working with large amounts of data, especially with clients and customers, you need to make sure everything is safe and organized. Hosting your data on a private cloud server does this for you. You can adjust the settings so only those who need it can access the information. No trying to search for that external hard drive or sifting through someone else’s computer trying to find that document.

Apps, Apps, Apps!

Enterprise apps are quickly moving over to the public cloud via Amazon Web Services and Azure, such as the renowned SAP environment. Just like there’s an “app for everything” on your phone, the cloud takes it further to having an app for, as Janet Jackson once said, “any time, any place” (including thunder and rain!). These apps are crucial in helping with data migration, deploying applications for your customers, managing your CRMs, etc. There are quite literally limitless possibilities.

Containers

The cloud isn’t just about what other people have built for it – it’s what you can build as well. If you have developers on site, the recent addition of cloud containers can be a game changer for them. Containers allow them to manage software code for their cloud apps, allowing for seamless collaboration as they work to make your business even more efficient.

Costs

Not only are these solutions massively beneficial to your business, they’re surprisingly cost effective as well. Instead of investing in bulky, expensive hardware that will get outdated and need to be replaced every few years, you can invest in something scalable like the cloud. You’ll lose the maintenance costs as well and even have more room in your office. You only have to pay for the features and functions you actually use as well, customizing your cloud experience only to what your business needs – these can be adjusted later on as well as your business grows.

Still mystified by the cloud? That’s okay. ISOutsource is here to help. Our team of experts have a firm understanding of this still emerging technology and can help you get the most out of it. It may be tempting to stick with what you have and what you know works, but you’ll also be missing out on a wealth of opportunities that can help make your business better, faster, and stronger. Reach out to us today and we’ll help you get there.

Remote Team TechnologyWe’ve talked at a high level about how technology can help you communicate in remote workplaces, but what does that look like in practice? These apps and software platforms put those core concepts we previously discussed and make them tangible. Each offers transparency into your business and assists you on your goal to effective coworking even when you can’t be in the same office – or even the same country. (more…)

Technology in Remote WorkplacesWelcome to the world of telecommuting. Thanks to technological tools, you have the option to let workers have a home office. Remote workers have a benefit of taking on their job duties from the comfort of their own homes rather than trying to make it to the office on time every morning, spending more money on gas for the long drive into work, catching a cold, calling in sick or worrying about whether they can pick up their kids from school at 3 p.m. (more…)

IT Objectives | ISOutsourceAs a business owner, you’re always thinking about growth. Sometimes that means improving your on-site technology, other times it means outsourcing work that your team isn’t equipped for. Cutting costs can help in the short-term, but generally this will have a greater effect on a company’s bottom line for the future. If you’re committed to long-term success rather than these types of Band-Aid solutions, consider prioritizing these IT objectives in your business. (more…)

Virtual Tech Support with IsOutsourceThe phrase “virtual tech support” alone may sound like science fiction to some. Having your tech support offsite can save you a lot of money and stresses for your business. But it also may raise some concerns as to best practices. How do you keep a consistent and successful tech support team when they’re not even in the same room as you? It’s easier than it may sound, but it does take a little bit of preplanning and setting parameters. Here are a few to consider as you work toward efficiency with your virtual tech support. (more…)