Many people think of IT services as reactive. There's an equipment outage, the Internet is down, or a newly installed software functions poorly and crashes a computing device. Employees then call or email IT professionals, who do their best to figure out the problem and fix it.
Although fixing problems is important, a predominantly reactive approach limits the ways your company can benefit from IT services. When you hire a managed IT services provider, their approach will ideally be proactive. They'll make predictions about problems and work to prevent or contain them before they severely interfere with your business operations. They'll also help you develop long-term IT strategies based on your business goals, expected changes in your industry, and emerging technologies.
When choosing a managed services provider, look for a proactive attitude. The benefits include the following:
Stronger cyber security
A proactive approach to cyber security isn't limited to placing protections around the perimeter of computing devices and networks. Although such measures can repel some attacks, they aren't sufficient by themselves; networks are complex, and involve a variety of hardware and software.
In addition to perimeter defenses, a more proactive approach involves continuous monitoring to detect suspicious activities. Past security breaches get evaluated to determine the source of the problem and the patterns of activities that led up to the problem and that could have served as warning. A proactive approach also involves analyzing different cyber security risks and their likely costs; based on this, the company can determine what measures to take and what risks they can live with.
As described in a recent article from FCW, cyber security should become part of the organization's culture, so that employees understand the risks and receive training to follow safe cyber security practices. All of these measures decrease the chances of severe, successful attacks.
Because the emphasis is on anticipating and preventing problems, rather than simply reacting to them (especially after they become more severe), you can expect less downtime with a proactive approach to IT services. Your business operations will run more smoothly, with significantly fewer unexpected interruptions.
Your managed services provider will regularly monitor and perform maintenance on your network and devices. As soon as they detect an issue, or realize the likelihood of some problem further down the road, they will begin to take the necessary steps to stop it or contain it. Less downtime means fewer financial losses for your business and greater productivity for your employees.
Intelligent planning for the future
IT professionals are continuously learning about new developments in technology, along with potential new threats to your business. Using this information, those who take a proactive approach can help you plan for the future, so that you aren't lagging behind competitors or struggling with insurmountable problems.
For example, as your business continues to generate an increasing amount of data, a proactive managed services provider can plan out solutions that will allow you to back up and store all the data securely. Another trend they can help you accommodate is the increasing use of mobile devices for work purposes. Your IT personnel can help you come up with secure ways for employees to work with each other from different locations and use their devices as safely as possible, in authorized ways.
They can also stay on the lookout for technologies that will boost your productivity or align with the way you want to run your business. For example, if you're thinking of switching to a paperless environment, they'll help you find high-quality solutions for sharing, managing, and saving a variety of files.
Please contact us to further discuss the benefits of proactive IT services. When you hire a managed services provider, you need to make sure they're forward-thinking, and not just stuck in a mentality of fixing the problems your employees are currently struggling with.