Better Safe than Sorry – a proactive approach to your business's IT
14th December 2018
As businesses become more dependent on technology, the traditional approach is no longer adequate. To compete, your IT systems must be available at all times with minimal network downtime. There is a need for newer and more reliable systems to keep your business efficient and secure.
It is tempting, especially if budgets and resources are limited, to continue using your existing IT set up for as long as possible to get the most value out of them, and only take a reactionary approach to their machine maintenance.
This could lead to cost savings in the short term, but with it comes the risk of much greater financial outlay if a business-critical machinery suddenly needs to be replaced. This could result in expensive downtime if new hardware needs to be purchased and integrated into the IT infrastructure, and a huge impact on both the IT budget and productivity of your business.
Waiting until your server or devices grind to a halt is not the best approach to your IT as it will threaten your business continuity and cost more in the long run to fix. That is why it is better to be safe than sorry, and to have a proactive IT management plan in place.
What is Proactive IT Management?
Proactive IT management involves the integration of a network monitoring software into your business’s IT infrastructure. This corrects device and network errors in the workplace to make sure that networks, hardware and software all run at their top functionality with minor impact on operations when errors occur. Measures are put in place to identify weaknesses or areas for improvement to prevent any potentially dangerous and destructive situations occurring.
This approach anticipates future needs meaning your business can change and grow with robust platforms that can handle the different requirements as they occur. The majority of businesses turn to outsourced professional IT support companies to manage this solution for them.
What are the benefits?
Proactive IT management is an important tool within your business with many benefits:
Unscheduled downtime is one of the biggest killers of productivity. If you experience problems with a business-critical system such as a payment processor or a web server, you may even start losing customers.
Most SMEs do not have the budget for a fully dedicated IT department that can called on 24/7 for help, so if something goes wrong the only option is to call an IT support supplier and wait for a visit. And whilst minor issues may not take too long time to resolve, the more complicated hardware failures might lead to a longer period of downtime if new parts are needed to be ordered and installed.
Proactive maintenance solutions can give your business round-the-clock monitoring and backup systems to keep downtime to a minimum, if not eliminate it entirely. Most large outsourced IT support companies have the capacity and set up to run all systems in triplicate across different premises so if an errors occur in one, the switch is seamless and undetectable to your business operations.
One example of this is the cloud - most cloud service providers are obligated by service level agreements (SLAs) to maintain a minimum uptime, usually agreed at 99%, which can be achieved by using redundant data centres and backup power supplies – meaning that you can be confident that your business too will have a guaranteed minimum of 99% network uptime.
No unexpected Costs
If a business-critical system suddenly fails and needs to be replaced, repaired, or upgraded as soon as possible to keep your company operational, you could end up with a significant unplanned and upfront expense.
One of the main benefits of proactive IT maintenance is eliminating the unexpected financial outlay by including all the costs associated with services such as maintaining hardware, procuring replacements parts, upgrading software, back up and security, and monitoring your IT for one set monthly fee. This allows for cost planning meaning that IT support and maintenance may no longer need to be a financial burden.
Plus, with technology evolving at a fast rate, it can be harder for SMEs to keep up with their larger competitors and their apparently limitless IT resources, but by choosing to outsource to a cloud solution, you will be effectively renting your IT resources which gives you support from the same level of experienced resource and full access to the latest technology.
By keeping your software up to date your cyber security measures such as your firewall and other security protocols are able to handle any new threats to your system or network. New viruses, methods of hacking and ransomware can all be monitored and tracked by regular scans and security audits which detect and act upon the latest cyber threats keeping your business’s systems and data safe.
With a proactive approach your systems are constantly monitored with regular IT audits and health checks so you know they are always running efficiently to their highest capacity delivering optimum performance.
Futureproof Your Business
While reactive IT support is enough to keep your business operational in the short-term, it has a limited life span. Eventually, the need to update aging legacy systems and replace old hardware will put a big strain on the infrastructure of the business.
A proactive IT system, however, is designed to anticipate these difficulties and is flexible enough to account for them without placing the same kind of strain on the entire network. Plus your system can grow with your business as future capacity will be built in.
Working with a trusted IT Partner
If you would like to understand how your business could become more proactive with your IT management, talk to us today. We can offer professional advice and give you access to some of the best technology in the market at a reasonable cost.