When it comes to Information Technology (IT), too often organizations take the reactive, rather than proactive approach. Sadly, we have seen too many businesses make the mistake of spending more funds maintaining their grounds or cleaning their office than they do on keeping their key information systems up to date and working to maximum efficiency. Let’s put things in perspective… Your business can still run despite there being too many weeds in the lawn, smudges on the window, or too much dust in the office. However, when your computer technology breaks down, or your network is compromised, or data is stolen for ransom or inadvertently deleted, your business may come to a grinding halt! Maintaining things that you do not see (like your computer network and infrastructure) is thus even more important than things you and your clients can see.
When personal computers first burst onto the business scene in the mid-1980s, they were a nice-to-have office peripheral but not essential to the success of the business. So as that era progressed, the reactive model to IT management made sense. In a nutshell, that means…wait till something breaks and then fix it. Over time, reliance on computer-based management information and operational systems grew and the growth has exploded since 1999. Today, the marketplace is so competitive and the business environment so fast paced that the smallest of IT issues can cause a myriad of problems, sometimes bringing an organization to its knees. Thus, the proactive approach has become essential.
With computer and network technology there are a great many benefits to a forward-thinking approach. Budgeting for and executing maintenance plans for key hardware and software is paramount to the success of the organization.
Proactive IT support is usually provided by an outsourced IT management firm like IT Radix. It includes a variety of ongoing monitoring and servicing to ensure smooth operation of your network and workforce, be it mobile or stationary. Proactive management increases productivity and reduces the thing most feared by most business managers: DOWNTIME! Key elements of proactive, forward-thinking support include the following:
- Hardware and Software Patching and Updates – This includes critical patches to resolve issues due to security holes. These patches improve the stability of your software, remove updated features, etc. Typically, the result is not only enhanced and updated security, but an improved user experience as well.
- Firmware Updates – Firmware is what carries out the most crucial functions of the hardware. Essentially, it is the core programming of any machine. Updating optimizes performance and often adds new features. Keeping it up to date reduces the need for a big fix after a breakdown.
- Anti-Virus Updates – Computers are regularly threatened by new viruses. Updates ensure that your computer network will not be susceptible to the latest viral threats. More specifically, they ensure the software recognizes the most current threats and maintain the scan engines safeguarding against vulnerabilities.
- Licensing Management – All organizations must be confident they are using software legally and have the correct number of licenses in place. Proactively monitoring and managing this licensing helps you avoid surprise shutdowns and/or easily get through an audit from a software provider.
- System Optimization – The focus here is always on maximizing the user experience, whether onsite or remotely. This lessens the likelihood of latency in the network. The major benefit is that the network is more protected and the staff more efficient in everything that they do involving technology.
- Backup Verification – This is important and might be the most underrated function that proactive IT management provides. Most backups these days are automated. Backup verification checks to be sure that files are not corrupted before they are backed up as well as ensuring that the backup process actually has taken place daily so that you are prepared if a disaster or ransom event occurs.
The list above is certainly not exhaustive. Many organizations have taken the further step of outsourcing most of this proactive work to a firm like IT Radix. This provides further benefits, including:
- Cost Savings and Reduced Risk – Leveraging the expertise of a trusted advisor who is incented to provide all the benefits of proactive IT maintenance at far less expense in pay, benefits, and training.
- Advanced Expertise – An expanded and updated knowledge base using outsourced support ensures that the organization does not fall behind technology’s ever-moving edge. It also means quicker problem resolution because outside experts have often “seen that movie before.”
- Added Benefits – Ability to troubleshoot and resolve issues remotely, faster response times, and freed up management time and resources.
Look ahead and let IT Radix enhance your vision with proactive IT services. Contact IT Radix today!
First published in our February 2020 IT Radix Resource newsletter