When choosing an IT support service for your business, there are two main options – “reactive” and “proactive”. And once you understand the difference between the two models, it isn't really much of a choice.
But just to complicate matters, there is also the problem of “fake” proactive support services to contend with. So the best way to understand the difference between the services is with a quick role play of what happens when your network goes offline:
The reactive support model
Also known as the “Holy crap, the network is broken - call IT!” support model. Under this system you discover that your computer network is down, and you call the IT department/IT provider to report the problem.
Reactive support is cheaper (according to the headline charge anyway) than the alternatives because you only ever contact the provider when you need help. Unfortunately this means that it is often the slowest in an emergency; the provider needs to first understand the problem, then plan a solution before finally implementing it. If you need spare parts, or a new item of hardware, there will also be a delay while they are ordered and delivered.
And the longer the problem takes to fix, the more money you lose. So reactive support doesn’t really save you that much at all in the long run. In fact, once you factor in the lost productivity, reactive support becomes incredibly expensive. According to Marathon research, smaller companies required on average more than 5.2 hours per incident to recover from application downtime; multiply that up by 5 users, and suddenly your business is looking at 26 hours up in smoke.
The proactive support model
Under a genuine proactive model, the IT support provider not only monitors your company's computer network, but they actively test it for problems too. Finding and fixing problems before you even realise.
The key difference is that a proactive support provider is always looking for problems to fix. You can think of this as the ‘Yeah, your network nearly went down on Tuesday – but we fixed it before you even noticed.
Proactive support by Kimbley IT
Here at Kimbley IT we take things even further. As well as providing your business genuine proactive support services, we try and assist with developing IT solutions that drive your business strategy. If we see a new product or development that will help your business be more effective or efficient, then we’ll suggest it. And in some cases go right ahead and implement it.
We also believe in helping your employees use IT properly to help your employees become more effective in their roles. So we are always more than happy to show them how to do something, or even arrange a full-on training session if required.
Also unique to IT Support by Kimbley IT is gamification of support where we encourage your employees to suggest IT improvements. By combining their experience and our expertise, your team can suggest ideas that will create new efficiencies or improve the overall operation of your company, and in return the best proposal each month will win an experience voucher. Everyone gets involved in actively improving your business operations - again at no additional cost.
IT Support by Kimbley IT is a three-fold investment in your IT strategy. First, issues are fixed more quickly because your systems are actively monitored for potential problems so that they can be resolved in advance. Secondly, we work hard to prevent future problems and implement new IT systems and efficiencies that help your business – actually saving you money in the long run. Finally your business growth plans form the core of our design considerations when building you new IT solutions.
Not all support services are the same – and it pays to know the difference.