Why it’s important for your business
For most business leaders the IT world can be a scary place. It’s full of the unknown. Most of us at some point has run into a pile of problems while trying to navigate IT infrastructure in the darkness. For this reason many business leaders have chosen a hands off approach. They’ve chosen the reactive support model. What is the reactive support model? They choose to pay for the initial installation, and then hire technical assistance as needed when problems arise, but charting your company’s path through the unknown using fear is seldom a sound long term plan. Proactive management always works best. We believe this about our teeth, and our own personal healthy. Who of us would go years without checkups? We believe this about car, and homes also, but somehow when it comes to technology it seems harder to make the connection.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But IT guy, I don’t have the budget for that kind of fancy-schmancy service!” Well, my friend, let me tell you something. Choosing reactive IT management can actually end up costing you more in the long run. Being reactive when it comes to IT issues can be expensive, like a luxury car kind of expensive. You don’t want to be that business owner who has to scramble to fix a problem that could have been easily prevented. I’m talking about lost productivity, lost revenue, and a big hit to your bottom line. For example, let’s say your server goes down and your employees can’t access critical data for a day. That’s 8 hours of lost productivity for each employee, and if you have a team of 50, that’s a whole lot of wasted time and money. However, with proactive IT management, we can catch potential issues before they become major problems, saving you a ton of cash in the long run.
Why IT Devices are not Toasters
If you’ve been in or around the IT service industry as long as I have you’ve likely been able to witness its transformation from consultants, to simple reactive customer service, and finally to proactive management or MSP’s. In the consultant/reactive days the philosophy was simple: IT resources like computers, servers, switches etc were typically viewed as toasters. “The power goes here, and the user presses this button”, “Tada. We are done.” After installation endpoints were expected to simply work when we press the lever. This was the way with IT also.
As time went on data started to accrue and it was clear that this strategy wasn’t a good approach long term. Business owners were exposed to reports detailing how much downtime was costing them. I’ll let you in on a little secret. The eye watering price of having to reboot that old desktop frequently far outstrips the benefits of keeping that desktop one more year. In fact according to one study ” The total cost of owning a 4+ year old PC is US$2,736 . That’s enough to replace it with two or more newer PCs.” It literally costs more money to hold on to hardware because IT devices are not toasters.
That’s when MSP’s started to appear on the scene. MSP’s or Manage Services Providers like Syslogic are companies that exist to bring a holistic and stable approach to managing IT. The idea was that a company should focus on business growth and productivity and allow the MSP to consult on and manage IT processes. Using an MSP to offer proactive support can significantly reduce all the unknowns that make IT such a headache for business owners. So what are the benefits of choosing a proactive approach to support?
Downtime: The Ultimate Productivity Killer
Picture this: you’re in the middle of a big project, and suddenly your computer freezes. You wait a minute, then restart it, but now your files won’t open. You call your IT department, but they’re already swamped with other issues, so they tell you they’ll have to get back to you later. Meanwhile, your deadline is approaching, and you’re stuck twiddling your thumbs. Sound familiar? Downtime is a major productivity killer, and it can cost businesses thousands of dollars in lost productivity. A proactive approach means that potential issues are solved before they pose problems.
This is the ultimate goal of proactive IT management: you can catch nascent issues before they become major problems. Your IT team can monitor your systems 24/7, so they can detect and fix these issues before they cause downtime. They can also perform regular maintenance and updates to ensure your systems are running smoothly. This means you can focus on your work without worrying about IT issues bringing you to a grinding halt.
Potential threats are part of this holistic proactive approach. It’s no longer enough to monitor the hardware. In today’s security climate monitoring for a data breaches and network intrusions. Having a team with real people looking over data security logs is an investment that pays for itself by thwarting even one potential attack.
Clients Hate Excuses
Which one of these excuses would you accept?
- The dog ate my homework
- I left my card-key in my other slacks
- I slept through my alarm so I didn’t annotate that proposal
None of these excuses would pass muster in a modern organization so it’s reasonable to expect that saying “Sorry Mr. Client, I didn’t opt for proactive support so I wasn’t aware that our systems were down” would equally unacceptable.
The Proactive Approach Keeps the team happy.
When your systems are running smoothly, your team can work at full speed, getting more done in less time. This not only improves productivity, but it can also enhance morale, as your team members feel empowered to get their work done efficiently. Additionaly, proactive IT management can help you keep your clients happy. If you’re in the service industry, you know that clients expect quick responses and reliable service. With proactive IT management, you can ensure your systems are always up and running, so you can meet your clients’ needs without missing a beat.
Some of the benefits will have nothing to do with security, or stability. They will be purely focused on process. Having the benefit of managing the IT infrastructure of many businesses the MSP can recommend solutions to customers that they would have never imagined possible, or didn’t know existed. In theory if you pay only to resolve problems you are paying to return your company to a zero state from a deficit state. When you engage a provider to implement solutions on a monthly basis your software, network, and hardware stack will constantly be improving.
A Happy Ending or a Great Beginning?
This doesn’t solve everything or absolve the company from making decisions about its’ IT future, but it does provide the benefit of having a trusted partner that brings successful solutions, and experience to the table. The result is that less time will have to be spent making decisions about tools, and less time will need to be spent on support. If you as a business owner or stakeholder ask yourself, am I missing something critically vital by choosing ad-hoc IT support? Can an IT support provider help me avoid the pitfalls of the past and help me keep my organization safe from data loss and data breaches while minimizing downtime? If the answer is yes then it literally pays to switch to proactive support.