Today’s workplace is more complex and dynamic than ever before. Employees, armed with a myriad of devices and applications, demand IT support that is fast and dependable. Customers, short on time and with high expectations, will not tolerate downtime or slow service. They want convenience, reliability and a seamless interaction that addresses their needs.
Accessing IT support services for both customer and employee is usually time-consuming, and support requests often take place after the disruption or event has occurred. While reactive IT support services work well to a degree, proactive IT support is essential for the business that seeks to maximize productivity, enhance the customer experience and stay beyond the curve.
The True Cost of Downtime
The cost to user morale, customer experience and business productivity can be difficult to quantify but can be considerable. In a market study by Forrester, a number of main drivers and causes of disaster recovery and downtime were revealed. Of the organizations surveyed, only two percent managed to recover from their latest incident in under an hour. Loss of productivity, lost business opportunities and low staff morale were the biggest casualties of downtime. That’s not to mention the damage to reputation and revenue.
The Transition from Reactive to Proactive IT Support
An IT company that offers proactive support is able to monitor the most complex of IT infrastructures and identify failing devices, network issues and slow services before they create bigger problems. Using a range of tools and processes they will be able to jump on emerging issues early, taking proactive steps to resolve the problem and prevent negative consequences. These processes can be taken one step further with predictive support features that automatically resolve issues or set disaster recovery procedures in motion.
Moving to a proactive support model can bring many benefits to the business including cost savings, better decision making, almost zero downtime and efficient management of hardware and software. Let’s take a look at those benefits in more detail.
Smarter Decision Making
Proactive support provides your business with the valuable insights required to make better decisions across your business. Using tools such as monthly reporting, IT health dashboards and managed IT services, IT teams suddenly have full visibility across the entire infrastructure and are able to easily address core corporate IT questions such as:
- Which licenses are due for renewal?
- Is the email server running low on disk space?
- When do we need to plan for more cloud storage?
- Are minor security alerts likely to signify a bigger problem elsewhere?
- Do we need to consider a replacement server, and how do we plan that?
- A customer has raised an issue with the website. Are all customers affected?
These are just some of the key questions that proactive IT support can help to address quickly, more efficiently and before they cause a huge impact on the organization.
Planning and Budgeting
For years, IT teams have been faced with the same conundrum; how can we scale our IT infrastructure to meet the growing needs of the business? It’s impossible to predict the future, and the solution to the problem has often been to simply throw more money at hardware and software and repeat the process to infinity. This changes under a proactive IT model featuring managed services that allow you to easily and quickly scale IT services so they are aligned to the needs of the business. These services also includes continuous monitoring and health checks as standard, and allows for efficient budgeting, planning and allocation of resources to the areas they are needed the most.
Savings On IT Support Costs
Proactive IT support is all about identifying problems before they happen. The costs of resolving these issues early will be significantly lower than dealing with major network issues, security breaches and downtime. According to research, just one hour of downtime can cost an organization $100,000. However, downtime isn’t always just about dollars. A negative experience can be all it takes to unnerve a customer. Unplanned downtime means you are no longer delivering value to your customers, and if your industry is teeming with competitors they will simply find what they need elsewhere.
Having the right disaster recovery procedures and processes in place will ensure that you are protected and prepared for events such as flood, fire or cyber attacks. A proactive infrastructure is able to respond to these events by using failover and resilience processes that keep the network running on-premise, or which transfer operations seamlessly to another location away from the disaster area.
Educating Users on Best Practice and New Systems
Transitioning to a proactive approach to IT support often means reviewing existing systems and making improvements where necessary. For example, a proactive IT company may recommend changes to internal monitoring and reporting systems and arrange training for employees on security and data protection best practices.
Proactive and preventative IT support, smart diagnostics and 24/7 health checks provide a much more efficient and effective route for organizations looking to improve dependability and productivity. However, tools alone are not enough. This technology needs to be combined with the knowledge of proven IT experts committed to delivering value and providing a greater return on investment. Preventing issues from occurring — at a lower cost and with less disruption to the business — just makes good business sense.