How Does Proactive IT Help Avoid Budget Surprises?
Every business leader knows the importance of accountability. This is especially true when it comes to budgets. Unexpected expenses can make or break a business and it’s important to have a strategy in place to minimize them.
As businesses increasingly rely on their technology infrastructure to keep things moving, aligning technology with business goals and strategy is critical.
Using a proactive IT strategy will pay productivity and financial dividends by:
- minimizing the expense of emergency repairs
- preventing the loss of productivity associated with downtime
- and providing predictability for your technology budget.
As vice president of managed IT at Kelser, I’ve seen firsthand how proactive IT strategies have helped our customers achieve predictable financial and efficiency advantages.
After reading this article, you’ll understand proactive IT, so you can evaluate whether it might be a good solution for your business.
Before we go any further, I want to assure you that this article is not a marketing ploy to convince you to work with us. Instead, it will present honest information you can use to decide whether this approach makes sense for your business.
The truth is there are options for IT support and we know that managed IT isn’t the right solution for every organization.
What Is Proactive IT?
Proactive IT involves comprehensive planning and strategy. The most common form of proactive IT is managed IT support services.
Related article: What Is Managed IT? What's Included? What Does It Cost?
What's Included In Proactive IT?
As the name implies, proactive IT involves getting in front of repairs and planning. It includes:
With proactive IT, your systems and devices are constantly monitored. This makes it possible to spot unauthorized access and potential performance issues before they impact your users.
In the same way that proactive health care can spot and mitigate health issues, proactive IT helps provide valuable information you can use to mitigate threats.
When developers push out updates and patches for performance or security enhancements, they are automatically pushed to your network so that your devices, systems and infrastructure are constantly running the latest and safest versions.
What sets proactive IT apart from reactive solutions is the planning phase. Planning allows you to get ahead of issues before they impact your users.
Whether you need to be planning for a partial or complete infrastructure refresh or the latest regulatory framework like CMMC 2.0, you are working from a position of organization and schedule, not panic and emergency.
Related article: What Do I Need To Know About CMMC 2.0? Your Comprehensive Checklist
But proactive IT isn’t all about hardware and software. Strategic alignment of your business goals and your technology budget is another component of proactive IT.
With the increased role of technology in today’s business infrastructure, knowing the strategic direction of the organization is essential for any IT team to be prepared.
Related article: Why Is It Important To Align IT And Business Strategy?
Whether you are anticipating a hiring frenzy or a staff reduction, the IT organization will only be able to budget effectively if they know what to expect from an organizational standpoint. It’s not just about devices, it’s about infrastructure, bandwidth, licensing, and so much more.
Many organizations back up their data, but how often is it done? Could you access your data and system backups in an emergency? Proactive IT ensures that you back up information regularly, you know where it's stored, and you have a procedure in place to help restore your information quickly in an emergency.
Related article: Data Backups Are Key To Disaster Recovery
In short, proactive IT means anticipating and getting ahead of issues, so that you minimize costly repairs and downtime.
How Is Proactive IT Different From Traditional Break-Fix IT?
We’ve explained what proactive IT is, so you may already be seeing some differences from traditional break-fix IT support. But the main ways the two are different is one puts you ahead of the curve, and the other addresses an existing issue.
Another way they differ is that proactive IT support allows for more accurate and predictable budgets.
Related article: Break/Fix vs. Managed IT: 4 Key Differences
How Does Proactive IT Save Money?
Proactive IT saves money in several ways. It avoids unplanned and costly repairs. It minimizes downtime and cyber incidents. It also adds predictability to your technology budget.
How Does Proactive IT Contribute To Budget Predictability?
Proactive monitoring and IT service significantly reduces the number of unexpected IT security and repair incidents. You minimize disruption, avoid downtime (and related loss of productivity), and eliminate costly emergency fixes and data recovery efforts.
All of these factors contribute to a more stable and predictable IT budget (and a more secure environment).
Related article: IT Budgeting: A Planning Guide
How Can My Business Implement Proactive IT?
Your organization may have the staff needed to implement a proactive IT strategy. There are monitoring tools and software that can provide some of the required elements.
Many small and medium-sized businesses that don’t have a full complement of IT professionals on staff may find it challenging to switch to a proactive service model.
When that’s the case, businesses may decide to engage an external IT provider to help them make the switch. This relationship is important, so we encourage you to explore several options so that you find an organization that is the right fit for you.
You want to partner with an IT support team that understands your business and serves as an extension of your internal team.
What Role Does A vCIO Play In Proactive IT?
One of the key elements of a strong IT partnership is the work of a virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO).
This person serves as your C-suite advisor combining technical knowledge with an understanding of your organizational goals to create a customized technology roadmap that is tailored to address your specific needs.
Your vCIO tracks every element of your infrastructure to provide a strategic overview of everything from devices to access points to cybersecurity and everything else that keeps your technology backbone healthy, efficient, safe, and available.
Related article: What Should I Expect From A vCIO?
This oversight maximizes your return on your technology investment and also provides visibility to makes it easier to forecast and control IT expenses.
What’s The Bottom Line?
In this article, we’ve defined what proactive IT is. We’ve explained how it differs from the traditional break-fix philosophy.
We’ve explored how proactive IT saves money and contributes to predictable budgets. We’ve discussed how businesses can incorporate it. We’ve investigated the important role a vCIO plays in proactive IT.
At this point, you likely have the information you need to make an informed decision about proactive IT. But if you like additional detail, learn more about the differences between proactive and reactive IT and whether they really matter.
Still have questions? Click the link below and a member of our team will reach out to schedule a 15-minute call at your convenience to answer your questions. No hidden agenda. No sales pitch. Just honest information you can use to decide which IT support option is right for you.