15

A Guide to choosing your next IT provider – Proactive is preferable!

Your IT system is integral to your business’ success. It’s your window to our increasingly digital world, your staff rely on it to do their jobs and increasingly it is the main interface through which customers purchase goods and services.

While good IT can be a springboard for success, an unreliable, poorly managed network can damage your business. Significant downtime can mean you’re not there for your customers, which in turn can lead to a loss of confidence and ultimately a loss of revenue. A poorly managed system can put data at risk of cyber-attack or hardware failure, resulting in situations that could have dire financial and reputational penalties for your business.

For many, partnering with an IT support provider offers reassurance that their systems will be carefully managed by industry professionals. And while there are many highly competent, diligent IT support providers out there it can be difficult choosing the one that’s best for your business.

One thing you should be wary of is the support that is overly ‘reactive’ rather than ‘proactive.’ This is often the case with providers who either do not offer proactive monitoring and maintenance at all or simply aren’t very good at it, resulting in lots of faults developing and a build-up of support requests

What is ‘reactive’ support?

As the name suggests it is the support that reacts to problems after they’ve occurred, also often referred to as ‘break/fix support.’ It’s the IT equivalent of performing little to no preventative maintenance to your car and having it towed to a garage for repair every time it breaks down.

For years it was the only type of support available. But now thanks to modern analytics and system management platforms, businesses can benefit from more comprehensive IT support that catches issues before they result in disruptive downtime.

Why Reactive support doesn’t cut it anymore

Issues get addressed after causing disruption

With a reactive approach, your employees will be on the front line when it comes to identifying issues because they’ll be the first one to encounter them. Sometimes these issues will be minor, but on other occasions they will stop your Team in their tracks and undermine business functions until they are rectified. This approach to support also relies on employees reporting issues they encounter, which they may be reluctant to do if they can spot a workaround.

Your customers will be acutely aware of IT-related issues

A huge variety of scenarios could unfold that could negatively impact the customer experience. Hardware failure could result in data loss, a scenario that could be both embarrassing and reputationally damaging. A cyber-attack affecting your web server could cause your website to become non-operational. Customers could be locked out of their accounts resulting in frustration and a loss of faith in your business. Ultimately, you could lose customers if IT issues are frequently coming to the fore and resulting in a poor experience.

Small issues can spiral out of control

Reactive IT relies on issues being noticed and then reported. This concept, therefore, relies on issues having an impact on the experience of end-users, meaning small errors often remain concealed until they have snowballed into much larger issues that have disruptive consequences.

For example, a daily backup is a great way to ensure your data is recoverable in the event of a cyber-attack and so you have one set up. Then, one day one of your employees fall victim to a ransomware attack so you access the backup platform to recover lost files. Due to an overlooked error message, the backup hasn’t been running for the past fortnight, so you end up losing 2 week’s worth of data from the infected device. During the last 2 weeks, you’ve signed several new clients and entered vast quantities of sensitive data into your system – all of that data is now unrecoverable.

Hidden threats go unnoticed

When you think of cyber-attacks things like ransomware and DDoS come to mind – both highly visible and disruptive. However, the majority of malware moves stealthily; often migrating slowly beneath the surface of a network, stealing or corrupting data before presenting itself.

Absence of proactive monitoring allows malware of this nature to run riot for longer, resulting in a much more devastating impact when it comes to light.

  • Left unchecked, Spyware will be able to steal more data, resulting in a greater number of affected customers and a greater financial penalty in the form of GDPR fines.
  • Given time, Ransomware often migrates across a network, encrypting as many files as possible to extract a higher ransom.
  • A virus allowed to settle in a device over a longer period will be able to bury itself far deeper. This makes removal more expensive and time-consuming.

System failure becomes the norm

A flurry of minor issues on a regular basis soon adds up to a feeling of frustration and irritation among staff and customers. The implications from a customer’s perspective are obvious, but occasionally a poor IT system can cause employees to become restless and even seek to leave a company.

A slow, unresponsive, fault-ridden IT system can also have a damaging effect on company culture. If system failure and business disruption become normalised, employees may feel that they are working for an unprofessional, complacent, somewhat haphazard company and this may reflect in their attitudes to work.

IT issues kill productivity

Every time an issue comes to light, the employee that encounters it has to take a little time out of their schedule to either submit a support ticket or call the helpdesk. Individually, issues often don’t take much time to resolve but if such occurrences are frequent you could find many hours or even days of staff time are being lost each year to rectifying minor issues.

Fear not, there is a solution at hand!

Proactive Monitoring and Maintenance is now widely available and should feature high on your list of priorities when seeking an IT support provider. A proactive IT partner will be able to keep on top of your system’s health, covering all bases:

  • Internet Connectivity. They’ll be able to monitor and maintain connectivity devices such as routers to maintain a fast, reliable connection to the internet.
  • Anti-Virus measures. They’ll ensure that anti-virus software is active and up to date across all your devices.
  • Backup monitoring. They’ll keep an eye on your backups, ensuring your vital data is being backed-up on a regular basis without fail.
  • Patching. They’ll keep on top of system updates, ensuring operating systems and software are secure against hackers.
  • Servers. They’ll continuously monitor the health of your servers, ensuring the best possible performance so your team can work productively.
  • Disk management. They’ll keep an eye on disk space, freeing up storage as necessary by removing unnecessary files clogging up your computers and hampering performance.

 

We’re Netplatforms.

We’re Net Platforms and we have years of experience in supporting small-medium businesses across London and Essex with such technology challenges. We’ll get to know your business and create the most appropriate solution to meet your technical requirements while being commercially sensible in cost. Why not get in touch with our team today and explore how you can prepare your business for the future of telephony with VoIP technologies.

0207 993 9035 or hello@netplatforms.co.uk.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Book a no-obligation discovery call with a member of our team today by calling 0207 993 9035 or hello@netplatforms.co.uk