Do you have a love-hate relationship with your I.T. support company? Do you find that every time an issue arises you find yourself looping around the following steps?
- A support call is lodged with your I.T. support provider,
- The support provider responds through remote or onsite support,
- The problem is isolated,
- The solution is applied,
- The solution is explained to the you (usually in high-level technological slang).
Steps 1 through to 5 are usually repeated regularly, sometimes monthly, or sometimes weekly. It all depends on the network size and how much you invest into your I.T. system.
Invest? Your mind goes straight to thinking about MONEY MONEY MONEY… Well I’m not necessarily referring just to money.
In I.T. there are 2 different kinds of support that your business can have:
- Reactive support
- Proactive support
Meaning of reactive: “Done in response to a problem or situation”
What does reactive support mean? Basically it means that whenever an issue arises you react to it. See most businesses will survive with reactive support, but they will find that they are spending all their time and money getting rid of the issues in their system, and no time moving forward. Reactive support causes businesses to spend majority of their budgeted I.T. expenditure on keeping their system alive as they are stuck in the ‘5 step’ process that was outlined above. Reactive support will cause you put up with a system that is never going to move forward and never going to fully benefit your business in the way a proper I.T. system should.
Meaning of proactive: “Acting in advance to deal with an expected difficulty”
So hopefully by now you have figured out what proactive support is… I suggest that you follow the below steps to ensure you (and your I.T. support company) are being proactive:
Have a strategic plan !
- Ask your I.T. support company to perform regular maintenance checks of ALL networking infrastructure.
- Organise staff training sessions on the I.T. system. This will make sure that all your staff are on the same page.
- Set upgrade dates throughout the year, where all software and firmware updates can be applied to your core infrastructure (4 times a year is recommended).
- Ask your I.T. support company to integrate monitoring software into your network, that way you (or they) will be notified as soon as something goes offline.
- Keep a log of all issues that occur on your system. This can be used to look for trends and get to the root of the problem (EG failing infrastructure, staff training etc)
At Precept IT, we come across a number of businesses that are ‘stuck in a rut’ when it comes to their I.T. system. They feel like it doesn’t matter what they do, their network always seems to be behind normal business standards. Situations like this is where valuable time and money goes to waste. Let me encourage you to consider how proactive you and your business are when it comes to I.T networking. It is something that will really make a massive difference to your business.
We have successfully been able to get a number of businesses out of the ‘reactive’ stage of I.T. support. We have integrated many tools into our own business that ensures all our customers get the best proactive support, for example:
A state-of-the-art helpdesk system that offers in-depth reporting and provides clear updates to the client
Monitoring tools to keep a close eye on everything happening within your network
Detailed strategic plans to assist you with understanding the direction of your network AND assists in budgeting
Pre-paid support agreements to help you save more money