Reactive vs Proactive IT Support - Know the Difference
When it comes to IT services, many businesses still go for the fix-it-when-it-breaks approach. And why not? They think that getting the services of an IT support company only when a problem actually arises will save them money. But does it really?
If you also think that saving your financial resources for a time when something breaks down is the right way to manage your organisation's IT ecosystem, then it's time for you to know all about reactive and proactive IT support. This should help you to determine which would work best for your business. But first, on to the definitions.
What is Reactive IT Support?
Reactive IT support is support for business whose IT services, whether hardware or software, have already broken down and are in need of repair or maintenance. Also called the break-fix solution, it's the IT support approach to which many companies subscribe, as they think it will be more cost-efficient.
However, just as prevention is always better than cure, shifting to a proactive mindset would perhaps, make for smarter business sense.
What is Proactive IT Support?
Proactive IT support is continuous monitoring of your network and equipment, 24/7, 365 days a year. Under this model, a managed service provider (MSP) keeps a close watch on your systems using advanced monitoring tools, ensuring that any potential dangers or malfunctions can be detected and addressed in a timely manner.
As well as detecting possible system anomalies early on, the MSP or IT support company also has the capability to fix these problems remotely, so that there is usually no need for a technician to visit the business on-site.
Benefits of Proactive over Reactive IT Support
Proactive IT support services have been gaining traction in recent years, for good reason. In fact, make that several reasons.
Proactive IT support:
Boosts systems efficiency. With the round-the-clock monitoring guaranteed by proactive IT support, you can rest assured that your systems remain malware-free and run faster and more efficiently. MSPs also ensure that security patches and updates of the latest software versions are installed and are working properly.
Ensures less or no downtime. When your server fails or when your system gets infected by malware, the first thing you would do is get your IT personnel working on it or have a third-party tech support fix it immediately. But, in the meantime, what do your employees do? Simply wait for the computers to get back up. This could mean sitting idly for a couple of minutes (not likely), a few hours, or even a number of days. At any rate, that's employee productivity down the drain. With proactive IT support, this scenario is unlikely.
Minimises loss of opportunity. If your IT systems are critical to servicing clients, then not only will your employees stand by and twiddle their thumbs, but your customers will do the same. For the period of time that customers are unable to access your website, login to their accounts, or contact your support service, your business is losing out on many opportunities. The losses include actual sales, failure to acquire new customers and brand damage to your existing ones.
Lessens the burden on the IT department. Even sizable enterprises with their own IT personnel can use the services of an MSP. Without the help of outsourced support services, internal IT staff will be too occupied with putting out fires here and there, and will lose focus on projects that will bring more business value to the company. In addition, few organisations have the monitoring tools (that IT support companies have) that will allow them to monitor for possible anomalies and/or threats around the clock.
Costs a fixed monthly fee. Many businesses suffer the misconception that the break-fix approach costs less than the continuous services of an MSP. While it's true that you won't have to issue a monthly check to any service provider if there's nothing to fix, the cost of a single instance of server failure, network breakdown, or malware infection is unpredictable and can run very high. Furthermore, this is an expense that is likely to be left unbudgeted. With proactive IT support, there are no surprise bills. The fixed monthly fee often covers not only the monitoring service, but also a provision for break-fix instances.
Evaluate your IT support needs now
In the same way that you take your vehicle for regular preventive maintenance, or you submit yourself to annual checkups, your IT services and equipment also require continuous assessment in order for them to run seamlessly and efficiently. Now that you know the difference between reactive and proactive IT support, it's time to make a decision.