Growing together

  • Contributed by Steve Massaro

    Steve Massaro is president of IT Kaua‘i.

LIHU‘E — The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a shift toward hosting meetings and conducting business online, and local technology company IT Kaua‘i has grown through the last few months by helping small businesses keep up with the trend.

President Steve Massaro is part-owner of IT Kaua‘i, and described his business as a MAS, or managed service provider, an IT company that takes the place of an internal part of a small business.

“A lot of small businesses need an IT (information technology) department, but they don’t have the money to pay for an IT person,” said Massaro. “We supply IT service. People would call us and say ‘my Excel doesn’t work, or my Outlook, or I need a new server.’”

He continued: “During this pandemic, we are getting more calls from people who are starting a new business, and they need advice on how to run one technically.”

Acknowledging the technical needs of the business community, IT Kaua‘i has been offering discounted services during the pandemic to help out the community, recently donating work on a number of webinars to the County of Kaua‘i.

While IT Kaua‘i has lost some of its revenue stream due to business closures, their new position aiding businesses in the transition toward online operations has helped keep their business strong, he said.

“Now we are getting calls from businesses that want our help with the transition of their employees working from home,” said Massaro. “We set it up, making sure everything is safe and their data is backed up.”

Massaro said the most challenging part of the last few months has been keeping his staff safe during the pandemic.

“For right now the question is how to keep everybody safe when they are not in the office” said Massaro.

IT Kaua‘i has two offices in the Kukui Grove business area, and he rotates staff members through the buildings to help ensure everyone stays healthy.

“If one person gets sick, the whole company has to shut down. Almost three weeks before the (stay-at-home) order came out, I told my staff we need to work from home,” said Massaro.

“We have to be intelligent, careful and patient. The safest thing for my employees is to do the minimum that the government says to do. Whatever it takes to keep everyone safe, our clients and staff, that’s the No. 1 goal.”

To keep the morale of their employees high, IT Kaua‘i uses Zoom meetings to stay connected.

“We play games together. In our core we are a group of nerds. During lunch, we have a Zoom meeting to talk, joke around, and just hang out,” said Massaro.

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Stephanie Shinno, features and community reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or sshinno@thegardenisland.com.

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