Managed services providers (MSPs) offer management and support of IT network-based services, applications and equipment, allowing their clients to focus their resources less on the day-to-day operations, and more on the strategy needed to grow their company. It’s completely understandable that as a small or mid-size business owner, you’re trying to minimize your expenses and stay within your budget. One way you might try to do so is by forgoing the monthly expense of proactive managed IT services, and adopting a reactive “break/fix” philosophy. But is the reactive approach really budget friendly in the long run?
Reactive Managed Services
The reactive managed services model basically embraces the “break it/fix it” philosophy. Some businesses today continue to use the reactive model and handle IT issues as they arise. By adopting this approach, you are managing your hardware and software needs and only call in an IT technician to fix an IT problem. The fixing part can involve more problems such as data loss and extended downtime which can ultimately lead to lost revenue and lowered efficiency.
Though reactive services may be less costly than proactive services, you are getting far less. Instead of protecting yourself in the future, you are essentially running damage control campaign after damage control campaign. You do not stay head of issues, you merely react to them, responding to them as they happen. Even the most basic IT problem can have catastrophic consequences.
Proactive Managed Services
Proactive managed services are beyond responsive: They anticipate issues. They ring true to the fact that the earlier a problem is addressed, the easier and less costly it is to fix. These proactive services do what they can to ensure that your technology is protected on a 24/7 basis, actually preemptively handling and protecting your technology against any issues that may occur. By doing so, the proactive managed services actually avoids disruption to the business flow altogether.
Ultimately proactive managed services should include some combination of periodic audits, maintaining OS levels and patches maintaining microcode and firmware levels, and providing constant recommendations and best practice guidelines that are true and in time with trending options in the technology market.
When choosing between proactive and reactive managed services, you should consider how much your business’ survival depends on your IT system and how much an IT problem will cost your business in downtime. Can you afford to put off maintenance of your system and risk a full-fledged IT fiasco? Or are you willing to pay a monthly fee to possibly keep the problem from occurring in the first place? Only you know what your budget can handle, but keep in mind that paying a monthly fee for a professional to handle your IT headaches not only minimizes productivity disruptions, it can free you to focus on doing what you do best: growing your business.