Sep 07 2023

Proactive vs Reactive IT Support

We have all been there. Something happens and we were not ready for it. As we are looking for a solution (sometimes desperately), we realize it was bigger than we thought and now we are kicking ourselves for not taking the time to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Let’s take for example, a small coffee company ships out bags of coffee beans to their customers every day. They box the bags and ship them to a customer only to have the customer receive a broken bag. The bag must be shipped back to the company and replaced with a new bag and then shipped back to the customer. This is an unpleasant situation for both the customer and the company. A more proactive approach would be to test and make sure each bag is properly sealed before boxing and shipping to the customer. This way the company can avoid the time and cost of replacing a faulty bag and an upset customer.

Being proactive means being able to anticipate what the future will be, and to react accordingly before it happens.

Much like the coffee company and their method of shipping coffee bags to customers, IT support can be offered reactively and proactively. Let’s dive into what you can expect from each type.

What is Reactive IT Support?

Also known as the break-fix approach, reactive IT support is when a solution is provided after the damage is already done. Let’s say we have Karen in the finance department, and she is experiencing issues accessing her QuickBooks program. She calls her IT Guy, Frank, for help. Frank logs into her computer, makes a quick fix and logs out then sends her a bill. Frank doesn’t spend any time getting down to the nitty gritty of what the actual cause of the problem is and assumes the problem is solved. The next week, Karen experiences the same problem but this time it is month end and its payroll. She can’t get a hold of Frank and she can’t access anything! Karen is losing time and is stressed about missing her invoicing deadlines. Wasting time on finding a solution to a problem that has already occurred decreases productivity and potentially a loss in revenue.

What is Proactive IT Support?

This approach is several steps ahead of the problem. Let’s look at our example from above but with a more proactive approach. Frank installed a new patch over the weekend to fix a security threat and understood that some finance software programs like QuickBooks might break. To fix this, Frank updated QuickBooks and made an adjustment on the firewall. Karen didn’t even know there was a problem because Frank was already thinking about it. Karen does not have any issues with her finance program and is able to get her month end and payroll done. This is a much more efficient approach because it put a plan in place before it became a problem, saving the company both time and money.

The Yardstick Way

At Yardstick, we provide a complete solution for your business’s technology. The purpose of having a reactive support team is to help your employees with items like forgetting their password or installing a software program. The purpose of having a proactive support team is to identify your risks and put a plan in place to reduce them. With a plan in place to prevent issues from happening, you can expect less of a need for reactive IT support. At Yardstick, we assign a dedicated proactive account management team to your business who works to understand your technology, what is important to you and helps you meet your goals.

What you can expect from proactive IT support includes:

  • Annual IT Planning & Budgeting
  • Scheduled Monthly IT Meetings
  • Technology Life Cycle Management
  • Quarterly Reporting & Trend Analysis

In a nutshell, proactive IT support increases productivity, reduces downtime and makes sure issues are identified before they have a chance to hurt you. Sometimes things are out of our control, but IT doesn’t have to be. Contact us to find out more!

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