If you've never experienced a preventative-oriented IT plan, then you might not understand all the benefits it provides. In contrast to reactive maintenance, preventative care seeks to catch problems before they become major issues and slow down your business.
Let's take a look at some of the reasons that preventative care is so important and worth the time and money it costs.
Your Equipment Lasts Longer
It's easy to run equipment until it fails and you have to replace it. But paying attention to warnings can help you catch potential issues early and extend the life of your equipment.
Say that you have an employee whose hard drive is producing errors. A reactive response would reason that since the computer is still working, this issue isn't worth looking at. But two weeks later, when their hard drive dies and IT has to spend two hours replacing the drive and migrating all their data, it's a costly decision.
With a preventative approach, you could have run a scan on the drive, thus fixing the issue before it flares into a bigger one. Most of the time, taking action before you're forced to leads to your equipment working for longer -- because it doesn't succumb to avoidable issues.
Reports Confirm Positive Results
In a reactive plan, you know that you're charged for fixing the issues that did pop up. But you don't have an ongoing idea of how your entire infrastructure looks at any given point.
Getting regular reports, like you do with preventative maintenance, lets you know that the month's work was successful and that potential issues didn't become worse. At the end of the month, you know that your machines are up to date, backed up, don't have security issues, and the like. If you have any questions about why IT made a certain decision, the reports give you a perfect basis for discussion.
Spare Devices on Hand Reduce Downtime
Imagine that an employee tries to boot their computer on a Monday morning and find that it's not working at all. Without a spare device on hand, this employee could waste upwards of an entire day. Ordering a new machine takes some time, and in most cases, an employee without a PC is not productive at all.
Part of preventative IT is making sure you have enough emergency supplies on hand. This isn't limited to just computers -- if a monitor, hard drive, keyboard, or other device gives out, having a replacement ready to swap in is vital.
Catch Potential Dangers Ahead of Time
When your IT team is regularly working with users and your equipment, they're more likely to catch problems before they flare up. For instance, when doing a routine check on a server, they might find a frayed power cable that could become a fire hazard. Catching this before it causes damage saves a lot of hassle.
Or, when helping a user with a small question, IT might notice some suspicious programs installed on their system. They can easily take care of both problems at once, before the malware can cripple the employee's productivity. In a reactive setup, IT has no reason to see the employee's computer or check the server, so they wouldn't know about the impending issues until it's too late.
Monitoring Provides Huge Benefits
If your IT is only reacting to the problems, it can't possibly prepare for all the possibilities ahead. Monitoring can catch many major issues ahead of time, including events like wireless access points becoming unresponsive, a mission-critical machine going offline, or a virus alert on a machine.
It makes you feel valued as a customer that your IT provider will start working on these issues before you even have to report them.
Preventative Care Is an Insurance Plan for IT
In summary, reactive IT might sound like a good deal at first. However, when you look at the long-term, it's clear how vital preventative care is to IT. Small checks (like scanning a hard drive for errors) take time, but they're a lot more efficient than having wasted downtime when something dies.
Preventative maintenance acts as insurance so you know that your IT needs are taken care of. Don't risk a preventable issue becoming a catastrophic event because your IT provider wasn't ready for it. Your time is worth more than that -- and your business deserves better.
To learn about what Houk Consulting can offer you, we invite you to view our approach to Managed Services.