Proactive vs Reactive SupportWhen it comes to choosing an IT support service, there are two main working structures to choose from – proactive and reactive. So how can you choose which is right for your business?

What is reactive support?

Reactive support is built around the idea of supplying IT help and guidance only when it is needed. The reactive service is like a safety net to be used when something goes wrong; if any business application or server fails, you call the IT support provider and they will prioritise troubleshooting the problem.

Why choose reactive support?

Because reactive support is used on an as-needed basis, the cost of a provider agreement tends to be lower than a more full-maintenance based equivalent. Where IT budget is tight, or your business already has some internal staff to provide general IT maintenance, a reactive support agreement brings upskilled, reliable resources at very good cost benefits.

There can be a slight downtime issue if selecting a reactive working model. Engineers need to analyse the problem before they can begin remedial work, sometimes creating a short time-lag between break and fix. If updates or replacement hardware were needed, this could potentially prolong business downtime until the upload or order is completed, so forestall this by having your IT support provider professionally audit your systems as a valuable additional service.

What is proactive support

Proactive support services monitor your IT environment, actively looking for problems to fix, and also providing maintenance which forestalls issues. The aim of a proactive support provider is to know what is wrong before the business does – and in most cases to fix problems before they cause any business impact.

The proactive provider will also use a battery of tools that monitor systems and services automatically, alerting them when something may be failing and giving them early warning of potential problems that need to be addressed.

Why choose proactive support?

Proactive support is usually more expensive than reactive because it relies on your provider employing staff to monitor and analyse your systems, to identify and fix problems in advance. That said, proactive support helps reduce incidences of system failures and outages, keeping productivity levels high.

Proactive support is the perfect choice for businesses who do not have an internal IT support team, and who need to be sure that their computing resources will be available at all times.

Making the final decision

Ultimately each business must weigh its budgets against its IT needs when deciding what level of support is required. You may have relatively nimble systems, which only need specific skills input infrequently, and in this case a reactive service can give you the highly professional support you need without a heavier budget commitment. Alternatively, if you have several key systems under heavy use, and do not have exclusive in-house resources to maintain these, then your business would definitely benefit from a more hands-on proactive support team, dedicated to helping you.

For more help and advice about support services, and how they can help your business IT stay up and running at all times, contact the Broadband Cloud Solutions team today.

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