“Prevention is always better than cure.” This is exactly what you get in a proactive IT support model — your IT support team or IT provider prevents potential technical issues before they become a problem. But how does this compare to the more traditional reactive IT support approach?
Small to midsize businesses are creating a competitive advantage in today’s highly competitive market place by increasing productivity with innovative technology solutions. However, the increased complexity of IT environments and the need for big data analytics makes it necessary for full IT support teams. Outsourcing some or all of your IT support duties gives small to midsize businesses a similar level of IT security and support as larger organizations with full in-house IT teams.
Proactive Support Vs. Reactive Support: What’s the Difference?
What is Reactive IT Support?
Traditionally most businesses use outsourced IT companies when faced with IT challenges or issues that can’t be fixed easily in-house. This type of support is known as reactive support. To easily understand the concept of reactive support, let’s compare this type of IT support to car maintenance. When you wait for your brakes to ware off before you take your car auto repair shop to get it fixed that’s reactive. You’ve waited for a problem to occur before you take action to fix it.
The main disadvantage with reactive support is that, there is no visibility into the entire IT infrastructure of your business. And to top it all, your outsourced IT team has do a lot of digging around to get to the root of the problem. This is a time consuming process that creates room for potential human error and even insoluble mystery.
What is Proactive IT Support?
Proactive support is based on prevention. To go back to the car repair example, instead of waiting for a car to break down, you bring it in for regular service, get the brakes and oil checked. That way, you are at far lower risk for breakdowns. With proactive IT support, IT support teams perform regular maintenance and constant monitoring. IT security vulnerabilities, and potential server crushes can be prevented before they occur. Proactive IT support gives your IT support professional ability to gain full visibility into your current IT infrastructure including, your entire environment, network, and workstations.
Benefits of Proactive IT Support
Effective Decision Making:
Proactive IT support gives your business the insights needed for effective planning and analysis to improve your current IT processes. With IT health dashboards and monthly reporting, IT managed services companies providing proactive IT support can help you gain full visibility into your current IT system. Easily answer core IT business questions such as:
- Which of my workstation applications are coming up for license renewal
- What is the overall security level of our current system?
- Are we running low on disk space?
- When do we need to plan for a server replacement?
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Budgeting and Planning:
Employing proactive IT support practices helps you plan and budget your IT spends better than you can in a reactive model. With proactive support usually offered in a managed IT services model, you have a fixed monthly fixed fee for IT services which typically incudes monitoring and continuous health checks. This allows for effective planning, budgeting and resource allocation to other areas of your business that needs it the most.
IT Support Cost Savings:
In the earlier example, just like fixing your car when it breaks down can be more expensive than just getting the oil changed regularly. When you operate using a reactive approach to IT support, you run the risk of having to spend more to fix something that is “broken.”
Frequent IT Health Checks:
Is your IT system secure? With proactive IT support, your IT vendor can easily identify areas of vulnerability and fix them without you even ever having to worry about them. Managed IT services with proactive support and monitoring equip IT support teams with automatic alerts whenever there is a potential issue or maintenance need.
In unfortunate events such as, fire, flood or cyber attack, a proactive system is far better equipped than a reactive system to respond instantly with disaster recovery procedures. This is because, most managed IT support plans are bundled in with remote backup and disaster recovery plans to ensure that your critical business data is safe even with partial or total data loss.
The Bottom Line
As always, the main driver for any business decision is usually centered on cost savings, efficiency and productivity. A proactive approach saves valuable business dollars in the long run. You don’t get catastrophic issues that disable the workforce for hours while IT goes looking for a needle in a haystack. And rather than wait until everything falls apart, proactive IT professionals ensure that the system is running smoothly, 24 hours a day.
Download the Managed IT Services Whitepaper to learn about how growing businesses are turning to Managed IT Services for Proactive IT care.