There’s an old saying which says “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” The idea is that you can sometimes make things worse by trying to make them better. However, that idea doesn’t really apply to the management of information technology. Because IT is an ever-changing field, it requires constant innovation and troubleshooting. If you simply wait for something to go wrong, it might be too late to fix many problems.
What Is Proactive IT Support?
Proactive support is the kind that doesn’t need to wait for a problem. Proactive support, on the other hand, is all about vigilance and emphasizes prevention strategies over simple problem-solving. The opposite of this is reactive problem solving, which basically means that you don’t make a move until there’s a problem.
For instance, let’s say that you are concerned about the possibility of someone using a software vulnerability to hack your systems. Instead of waiting or that to happen, a proactive IT worker will work to close the vulnerability. A reactive one, on the other hand, will just sit back and wait. When you think about it this way, you can see that a proactive attitude is correct. With that attitude in mind, let’s talk about the benefits of taking a proactive approach to IT support.
Proactive IT Support Saves Time
Ironically, lazy IT workers who stick to a reactive approach are not the most labor-efficient. It usually takes a lot more effort to fix a problem than it does to prevent one. For example, let’s say that your IT team fails to provide a good data backup plan. If a big crash should ever occur, it will take a lot of effort to correct the problem. However, it doesn’t really take that long to set up a data backup plan, so the lazy people are actually doing it the hard way.
Proactive IT Support Is More Cost-Efficient
There are several things that make proactive IT support more cost-efficient. First of all, there is the factor of predictability. With proactive IT support, you are paying a single flat monthly fee that covers all services from your provider. Regardless of how much it may be, this is a predictable expense and that makes it easier to budget.
Reactive IT support, on the other hand, is not predictable at all. Since you never know what might go wrong, you never really know what will be required to repair the problem. If you should suffer a serious security breach, those can get particularly expensive, both in terms of monetary costs and damage to your company’s reputation. The worst part is that many of those mitigation expenses could have been avoided.
Proactive IT Support Offers Security Advantages
If you want someone to keep an eye on your IT situation and spot the problems before they arise, they will require access to your network and some of your data. There is simply no way to get the job done without that level of access. However, that is why you should always be careful to partner with a trustworthy company that has established a reputation for honesty and integrity.
The security advantages of effective monitoring are numerous. For one thing, it gives you an early warning system that is fairly reliable. It is very hard for a network to go down or get hacked without the presence of a warning sign in the data traffic. Network monitoring is also the best way to catch cyber criminals in the exfiltration phase. When they try to steal large amounts of data, it creates a large amount of suspicious traffic that is usually quite easy to detect.
Or, for another example, let’s say that maybe you don’t trust one or more of your employees. A third-party company can provide a good means of fact-checking those people. Since they will have IT access, they can be instructed to watch particular people a little more closely, making it easier to catch a sneaky person in the act. Unfortunately, not all employees have good intentions.
There is something to be said about the value of business morale. If people feel that they are working for a disorganized dog and pony show, it becomes harder for them to stay motivated. They might also feel tempted to look for another job or to cut corners on their present job. On the other hand, a happy worker who is satisfied with their job will probably be more productive. If nothing else, people will have less downtime and fewer distractions when someone is actively maintaining and improving the IT situation.
Examples Of Proactive IT Support
Now that you understand the concept, let’s talk about the specifics. Here are a few simple examples of proactive IT tasks that might be required for any business.
- 1. The IT provider learns of a software or hardware vulnerability and quickly updates/patches everything.
- 2. Someone who is monitoring the network notices a suspicious amount of outbound traffic, so the network is turned off to prevent the transfer from completing. This would then be followed up with an investigation of the source.
- 3. The IT provider learns that you are using outdated software or hardware, and helps you to upgrade those resources.
- 4. Customers are experiencing long hold times when they call for support, so more support personnel are hired before anyone complains.
We hope that we have done an excellent job of explaining this concept. A proactive approach is always preferable to a reactive one, and now you know why that is the case. It is indeed a good idea to fix things that are not yet broken. Most IT support providers offer proactive plans that allow you to implement this idea fully. If you are in need of such a plan, or if you just need some general IT advice, don’t hesitate to call PCH Technologies at (856) 754-7500.