Managed IT Services: Proactive vs. Reactive IT Support

Small and midsized businesses have been experiencing technological upheaval for over ten years. First, the cloud upended the way people purchase and use computer technology, then mobile devices, the COVID-19 pandemic, and work from home came and forced companies to rethink their work arrangements all over again.

Let’s not forget the growing security threats, like ransomware and spear phishing, which has compelled businesses to keep cybersecurity a top of mind.

These developments mean that the IT management paradigm has had to evolve as well. According to conventional wisdom, you hire a consultant or IT firm to come on-site and fix issues after they occur. This is the “break-fix” or reactive support model, and it’s simply not effective for today’s connected digital businesses.

Proactive IT support from a managed service provider (MSP) allows businesses to shift their focus away from reactive problem solving to maintaining uptime and ongoing network optimization. Let’s explore why that shift is so important.

Maximize the Uptime of Your Network and Staff

In every industry sector surveyed by Siemens’ The True Cost of Downtime 2022 report, the cost of unplanned downtime has risen at least 50% compared to two years prior. Even with the best IT systems, your business can still fall behind your competition if your maintenance methods fail to meet your system’s needs.

NSN Management and other MSPs don’t provide just network uptime and availability; we provide business uptime and availability by arming them with the tools and support they need to stay efficient and productive.

Here are two examples of how a we help business clients reduce downtime by staying ahead of system failures:

  • Continuous monitoring: We’ll continuously monitor your business’s IT status and usage to predict issues and manage performance. If we see a warning sign, for example, high CPU usage, low disk space availability, or any unusual errors, we’ll get ahead of that bottleneck in your technology before they become costly downtime in your operation.
  • IT help desk: A proactive support desk increases productivity by the work of managing and resolving common IT support issues. Communicating with a well-trained IT help desk who knows the ins and outs of your operations is far more efficient and cheaper than hiring internal IT staff, and exponentially better than asking a consultant to deal with every little issue.

Compared to reactive support, proactive support continuously ensures that technology is updated and operational. Working with an experienced MSP, businesses can prevent costly downtime caused by IT issues before they occur.

Streamline Your Technology Budget

Poorly managed IT puts businesses at financial risk by slowing digital workflows, harming production, and failing to meet security or regulatory compliance standards. In addition to the support costs of maintaining outdated systems, businesses must also pay for downtime when these systems break down!

Budgeting for all these situations on a break-fix basis is the major problem with the reactive IT support method.

In contrast, an MSP charges a flat monthly rate to monitor and manage the system proactively. This allows businesses to budget for IT support without worrying about cost spikes for each cyberattack, employee error, or hardware failure.

A trusted MSP will know your systems and operations in detail, so that whenever a challenge arises, they’ll have the knowledge they need to troubleshoot the issue quickly. In comparison, when you hire an IT consultant to fix a problem, he, or she must learn about your business and technology after the problem occurs, reducing productivity to a crawl.

In practice, proactive IT support solves the major pain points of reactive IT budgeting, which include the following:

  • Eliminate Unexpected Bills: Budgeting for IT services on an emergency basis puts strain on accounting and management. MSPs charge monthly so your business can always budget accurately for the IT support it needs without any surprise bills.
  • Minimize Downtime: Waiting to fix IT systems until they fail robs businesses of productivity. When relying on reactive IT support models, businesses never know the extent of the damage until they get the quote from the service provider. In contrast, the proactive models stay ahead of service issues to keep productivity high. When issues occur, they no longer pose a threat to productivity.
  • Business–Vendor Alignment: Reactive IT support creates a divide between the goals of IT consultants and their clients, because the consultants only get paid when the IT systems fail, while the business wants to avoid paying for their services until it’s necessary.

    Proactive IT support reverses this relationship for the benefit of both the client and provider by aligning their interests. MSPs are more motivated to provide effective IT support, since preventing issues saves them time and money. Meanwhile, businesses are more likely to take advantage of IT maintenance services since they no longer need to pay for every crisis separately.

Long-Term IT Partnership

To compete in the new digital landscape, businesses should start thinking of IT support as an investment in their growth, not just as a cost to be managed on their balance sheet. Proactive IT solutions help you achieve competitive advantages by centering on the partnership between the MSP and the business, a relationship based on shared interest in win-win partnership.

To help promote close, strategic partnerships, reputable MSPs will provide what’s known as a Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO), who will work with your leadership to perform vital technology management functions, just like a CIO performs at an enterprise.

Here’s what that includes:

  • Strategizing your company’s IT goals
  • Planning your company’s technology budget
  • Analyzing and improving current workflows
  • Securing or updating current systems
  • Managing transformations to new technologies
  • Analyzing your industry to stay ahead of your competitors

A vCIO from a trusted MSP functions like an IT leader, working to support your company’s needs without the unwanted troubleshooting and high costs of old-fashioned consultancies. Armed with their IT roadmap, your business can receive planned upgrades to technology workflows while keeping your IT budget predictable.

NSN Management: Oklahoma’s Proactive IT Support Provider

Tired of the cycle of break-fix IT support? If you want to develop a strategic, proactive approach to business uptime and availability, contact the friendly and helpful NSN Management team. We are a managed services provider who’s been making the satisfaction of our clients a top priority for almost 20 years.

Contact us any time at: 918 262 4060