Proactive IT Support: How Managed IT Services Can Prevent Downtime

Proactive IT Support: How Managed IT Services Can Prevent Downtime

In today’s modern digital landscape, every business depends on technology—regardless of size. From self-employed entrepreneurs and small teams operating remotely to international organizations with seemingly countless employees, technology is the backbone of growth and operational efficiency. This reliance underscores the importance of uninterrupted system functionality. 

Whether adopting a reactive or proactive approach to IT support, preventing downtime is crucial. It ensures ongoing operations and enables businesses to continuously deliver results. In this post, we’ll explore the topic of downtime and how you can incorporate processes into your existing systems to prevent it.

Understanding Downtime and Its Impact

Downtime in an IT context refers to when a device, server, or system application cannot be used in some capacity. This could mean it is fully non-operational, or it could be a partial loss of functionality. There are two types of downtime: planned and unplanned.

  • Planned downtime is when you temporarily take down your system to perform maintenance or updates.
  • Unplanned downtime occurs when your system or IT infrastructure goes down without warning. 

Unplanned downtime can have detrimental effects on your business, so preventing this from happening should be top of mind for all organizations. Some adverse effects of unplanned downtime include, but are not limited to:

  1. Impaired system security. Files could become damaged, and customer data could be compromised, depending on the source of the unplanned downtime. 
  2. Reduced team productivity, as your staff could lose access to items necessary for their work. 
  3. Undermined customer satisfaction if your customers cannot access your services for a prolonged period. 
  4. Damaged business reputation, especially if you suffer a data breach or your company becomes associated with routine unplanned downtime.

It can be especially damaging to your business if your downtime is due to a cyberattack, as demonstrated in February 2023 when Indigo was unable to process debit or credit payments for a few days in-store; in addition, the brand was completely unable to offer online orders for nearly a month. Due to the attack, Indigo lost an estimated $50 million. 

IT expert answering a call on their headset as a helpdesk associate

What is Reactive IT Support?

Reactive IT support, also called the ‘break-fix’ or ‘pay-as-you-go’ approach, refers to when you only provide support or a solution after an incident has occurred. This guarantees a dip in productivity since there is no immediate solution or service level agreement (SLA), as the issue must be resolved after it happens. Most IT companies have outlined response times for requests based on urgency, for example, how long it takes to acknowledge a request, respond, and resolve the issue. If you have a break-fix agreement with an IT company, you’re not guaranteed a prioritized response, especially if they are busy.

Relying on reactive IT support may be feasible for some companies, but keep in mind that operations may be stalled frequently depending on the severity of issues that arise.

The Limitations of Reactive Support

In a reactive IT support environment, IT is often outsourced to project-based services. This can mean a different professional is sent to resolve issues when they occur. They must then take time to familiarize themselves with your IT infrastructure before tackling the problem, which can add to the existing downtime. 

Reactive IT doesn’t often include proactive systems maintenance or monitoring and can also be more costly due to unexpected incidents, such as viruses, and hourly fees rather than a set monthly cost. It is generally most suited to small businesses and start-ups with minimal support needs.

What is Proactive IT Support?

Proactive IT support is based on preventing problems before they happen, ensuring system updates and maintenance are frequent and robust. By using proactive IT solutions, you can:

  • Detect and resolve potential issues before they happen.
  • Continuously monitor IT systems.
  • Maintain updates and patches for proper system protection.

This strategy significantly reduces service interruptions, benefiting employees and customers by maintaining smooth and efficient business operations.

A hand stopping blocks from falling to demonstrate proactive IT support.

The Power of Proactive IT Support

Using proactive IT solutions can benefit your business in a number of ways. As we’ve mentioned, it will reduce the amount of downtime your business may experience, but there are more upsides that you can take advantage of:

Continuity of Support

Proactive IT solutions typically use either an internal IT department or an outsourced managed IT service provider, giving you a dedicated team familiar with your internal systems. This differs from the reactive approach, where we mentioned you may be sent a different contractor after every call, disrupting the continuity of your IT service. A managed IT service provider only needs to be trained on your systems once, allowing them to gain an in-depth understanding and experience as they integrate within your system rather than a currently affected issue. 

Fixed Monthly Cost

Consistent IT support can save you time and money despite the monthly cost. It may seem counterintuitive in months when no major system issue occurs, but that means your proactive IT support is doing exactly what it should be, ultimately offering peace of mind. The benefit comes from the prevention and maintenance that a consistent team can provide. 

Staff and Customer Satisfaction

When your organization experiences minimal downtime, your staff will maintain a high level of productivity as they can complete their duties as normal and won’t have to wait for computers or applications needing updates. If you have an online store or service, proactive IT solutions can ensure customers always find your website operational—preventing them from turning to competitors.

Protecting Your Data

Finally, if you take the steps to monitor and manage your IT services before issues happen, you can keep employee data, customer data, and sensitive information secure. Downtime and compromised systems can lead to data leaks, damaging your reputation and potentially causing compliance concerns in the process. By working with a proactive IT solutions provider to minimize the possibility of downtime, you’re protecting your organization and the people who use it.

Managed IT Services: The Proactive Approach

Managed IT services are a comprehensive range of outsourced IT services which can be tailored to your organization’s needs. With RevNet, our contracts outline detailed IT services, such as data backup and disaster recovery, to protect valuable information against system failures or security breaches. Other details included in our contracts can include:

  1. 24/7 Network Monitoring and Security: As the name suggests, this allows for constant monitoring of your systems
  2. Cloud Services and Infrastructure Management: This involves managing and maintaining cloud-based services and infrastructure, allowing for efficient and scalable IT services.
  3. Help Desk and Technical Support: This is a point of contact for your company to get quick resolutions and ongoing support for any IT issues that occur. 
  4. Cybersecurity Services: We help you monitor, detect, and resolve cybersecurity threats.

When determining what managed IT services your company might require, consider your current operations and most immediate concerns regarding potential downtime threats. Using a managed IT service has the benefits of a proactive approach but with the flexibility and scalability of reactive support.

Choosing the Right Managed IT Service Provider

If you’re considering adding managed IT services to help support your business goals and safeguard your information, it’s essential to review the details you’ll need to know to select the right provider. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Research providers, either by asking for recommendations from colleagues in your industry or by searching online. 
  2. Check the experience and fields of expertise of those providers and evaluate the services they offer to confirm if they align with your needs. 
  3. Compare your budget to the costs of the service provider. Also, consider the third-party technology vendors they use and how that reflects your current operational needs. 
  4. Contact your top choices and ask how they respond to cybersecurity threats. Inquire about their response time and verify if they offer 24/7 support.
  5. Determine if their services are flexible or scalable enough for your needs; if your business experiences a growth spurt, you’ll want to know if your managed IT services provider can keep up.

In today’s digital landscape, using technology to the best of its abilities is crucial for business success, but it carries with it a few risks. That’s why choosing the right managed IT service provider is critical. A proactive approach to IT management can safeguard your business, preserve your reputation, and foster trust among your customers and employees. Contact us today to explore how our expertise at RevNet can elevate your business and keep it ahead of IT challenges.

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Revolution Networks

Revolution Networks is here to provide your business with solutions to all of your technological needs. No matter how big or how small your company is, our services are always perfectly tailored to fit the individual requirements of your business practices. Whether you are looking to simplify company workflow by switching to easy cloud computing, need help recovering from system meltdowns, or require professional IT consulting to learn how to improve your business, Revolution Networks has got you covered.

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