Reactive vs Proactive IT Support

For years, small businesses have taken a reactive approach to IT support: waiting until a problem arises, and then putting resources toward solving it. In recent years, however, more companies are moving to a proactive approach. Companies that leverage this method work with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) who continuously monitors a company’s infrastructure in search of potential problems – and mitigate those issues before a major problem occurs.

There are a number of powerful benefits to proactive IT support – here’s a brief comparison that outlines the value for your organization.

Reactive IT Support

Reactive support, also known as the “break-fix approach,” is when organizations only react to issues after they’ve occurred – and potentially done damage. Most often, an organization’s server will go down or an application will fail, and an outsourced IT service is called to the business, diagnose the issue, order any necessary replacement parts and, eventually, fix the problem.

This leads to operational downtime that can end up costing thousands of dollars, if not more. The time it takes for the problem to be noticed, then fixed, can be hours or days, and in that time significant damage could be done. Not only do organizations using this approach see the loss of income due to operational downtime, they also receive a bill for an unknown amount from the outsourced IT company that was not budgeted for.

On top of the costs of repair, downtime can lead to frustrated employees, dissatisfied customers and damage to your reputation.

While some organizations may feel that their IT infrastructure is impenetrable to failures and the resulting costs, the truth is none is, and unfortunately this approach to IT has few upsides.

Proactive IT Support

In a proactive IT support model, an MSP monitors the status of your networks and equipment – 24/7, 365. It’s the job of these skilled computer experts to test your systems regularly and evaluate thoroughly for a wide range of potential problems. When they locate an issue, they will work behind the scenes and fix it, without you ever noticing it.

Another benefit of proactive Managed IT service is that your provider actively check for system and software updates that often failed to get installed. The MSP will first test the updates, make sure they’re working properly, and only then will they update your network with the latest versions.

Other benefits of proactive IT support through an MSP is around-the-clock helpdesk support, which allows your internal IT staff (if you have one) to focus on projects that add value to the business rather than running around putting out fires. If an issue arises, help is just a phone call away no matter the time. Proactive Managed IT also simplifies budgeting with a fixed cost each month. In the case of an emergency, such as a server failure or cyberattack, the MSP will certainly “pay for itself” many times over.

As IT infrastructures become more complex – and hacking more sophisticated – organizations are opting for a proactive approach that ensures optimum uptime and productivity, helps mitigate risks, and resolves problems before they ever occur.