The truth is that nothing remains in the same condition very long. A new car may be in an ideal condition when you drive it off the dealer lot, but it’s not going to remain that way. This is true for bodies, houses, horses, fences, children, marriages, rocks, mountains, our planet, solar system – anything at all. It is equally true for your business and the computers it uses. A business requires goals, strategies on how to achieve those goals, adequate planning, intelligent coordination and supervision to make it grow. It will, otherwise, contract. Computers get fragmented and this slows them down unless they are routinely defragmented. They are vulnerable to dust, power outages, power surges, what software your employees might put into them and to sinister little pieces of code floating around in cyberspace that were designed to penetrate your business sphere and do some damage. Those computers must be cared for in the same way that you would take care of anything that you want to last.
If you only brought your car into the shop when something breaks, the maintenance method would be purely reactive. On the other hand, if you brought your car to the shop for regularly scheduled oil and lube changes, tune-ups and the manufacturer’s recommended mileage check-ups, the maintenance method would be proactive. If you only engaged in reactive maintenance, two things are very likely: (1) your car will not last as long as it could have lasted, and (2) your car will become problematic, unpredictable and financially burdensome.
Conversely, if you engaged in proactive maintenance with respect to your car you would find that (1) only rarely does anything go wrong with it, and (2) it lasts its full life expectancy. Whereas it may seem like this proactive method would cost more than you would have otherwise had to pay, you need only look at what you didn’t have to spend to keep fixing it.
IT service providers offer reactive support and proactive support for IT infrastructures. Some businesses want only a quick fix when something breaks or starts malfunctioning in some way. This is a break-and-fix (reactive) operating basis and is not the most optimum solution to managing your network. I’m writing this article right now because I want you to know this as well.
A more complete solution – not the ultimate solution but an interim step – is proactive and reactive support (when reactive is required – except that it will be required LESS with this particular combination). Proactive support is done remotely. A technician plugs into each computer via the Internet and ensures that its software is kept patched and updated, its hard drive(s) defragmented, scanned and cleaned of new spyware or other malicious software that has happened to make its way into that system since the previous proactive session. Its system is kept optimized for maximum performance.
With this combination, you will discover soon enough that you need to call a technician to come out less and less and less. In this way, the proactive support begins paying for itself. The return on your small investment in proactive support comes in the form of less cash outlay for break-and-fix support.
The IT infrastructure of your business, even if only 5-10 workstations and a server, is vital to your business. That’s where the company’s memory lies. It only makes sense to ensure it is properly cared for.