IT is one of the most important aspects of an organization’s infrastructure. IT teams help facilitate efficiency in businesses across the globe and protect some of their most sensitive information. When IT support plays such a fundamental role in organizational success, many have to consider what they want from these teams. Should you expect your IT support to be proactive or reactive?

What Is Reactive IT Support?

Reactive IT support is when IT teams only intervene in organizational operations when technology fails. It’s like only interacting with IT when your printer breaks or if a data breach was discovered. This kind of support tends to have low upfront costs since it doesn’t require much involvement from IT. However, the long-term costs can be high as a result of frequent downtime and security vulnerabilities.

Reactive IT support is most popular amongst small organizations unable to pay for higher-quality IT support or larger organizations that think they are choosing the most cost-effective solution. This would be cost-effective if it weren’t for the inevitable failure of all technology.

When you sign up for cheap IT support services, you are likely signing up for reactive IT support. This is because many IT services can’t maintain an adequate price margin by selling proactive support at low prices. So, for the most part, you get what you paid for.

What Is Proactive IT Support?

Proactive IT support occurs when IT teams get involved with organizational operations before things break. They are constantly analyzing ways to improve current processes while also trying to mitigate system vulnerabilities. Some popular activities amongst proactive IT departments include:

  • Establishing frequent updates and security patches
  • Managing antivirus
  • Establishing ongoing employee training for how to get the most out of technology
  • Troubleshooting and data security
  • Blocking malicious websites
  • Having on-site technical support ready
  • Establishing network intrusion prevention systems
  • Creating contingency plans for when technology does break down or if privacy breaches occur

Proactive teams recognize that, no matter how updated or secured technology is, things will go wrong. That’s why a large part of this practice is setting up contingency plans that help improve turnaround times for fixing technical issues or resecuring their networks.

Proactive IT teams also possess a growth mindset. They recognize how quickly technology’s best practices can change and that they won’t always know everything about their industry. To deal with this dynamic industry, they continue to learn about the latest best practices and aspire to improve continuously. Hackers and scammers will continue to find ways around security systems, so it’s up to IT to be one step ahead.

How Do Proactive and Reactive IT Compare?

Reactive IT support is like only going to the dentist when your teeth are broken or missing. Because you didn’t get your teeth looked at consistently, major problems require drastic and expensive solutions. Proactive IT support is like getting regular teeth cleanings with your dentist. Even though you are paying more than you would if you never went, you are avoiding major issues or catching them before they get worse.

Proactive IT Support

Every minute a piece of technology isn’t functioning properly means a minute of lost productivity. This can add up very quickly yet is unfortunately ignored by many businesses. Most workers waste an average of 22 minutes each day due to IT issues. When proactive IT professionals can train employees on troubleshooting simple problems and how to keep their technology functional, downtime can be reduced significantly.

In 2020, the FBI saw a spike in cybercrime. The same year, a report cited misconfigured security settings as a leading cause of data breaches, especially within the financial and insurance industries. Proper IT security is not simple in an increasingly digitalized world. Proactive security measures help protect data.

Proactive IT support may result in higher upfront costs because of the high degree of involvement and resources it requires. Many companies consider this a worthy investment since it prevents costs from downtime and data breaches.

Reactive IT Support

If nothing ever went wrong with technology, reactive IT support would be the cheapest available option. But as Murphy’s law states, anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Relying on a reactive-only IT model could result in the following consequences:

  • Increased vulnerabilities: The average organization doesn’t notice they have a compromised system until 146 days after it’s been compromised. This metric is likely larger for companies with reactive IT teams since they aren’t routinely checking for vulnerabilities. Most hackers don’t reveal themselves to their victims so they can collect as much data as possible.
  • Risked reputation: When data gets breached, you are hurting your company’s reputation in your customers’ and key stakeholders’ eyes since their sensitive data may also be wrapped up in the breach. There can be significant monetary consequences resulting from a damaged reputation since people may be less willing to trust your services. Put yourself in their shoes — would you be willing to continue working with someone that accidentally revealed your private information?
  • Risked liability: You may also be held liable for these data breaches due to not taking a proactive stance on your security. When a data breach reveals profiles, credit cards, residential addresses, phone numbers and other personally identifiable information, you may have to pay for damages owed to those affected. While it’s true you probably didn’t intend on revealing such personal data, you still are held accountable if you did not have adequate security measures in place.
  • Increased inefficiencies: When you don’t keep your IT support consistently updated, you leave your network susceptible to major cyberattacks that can cause immense amounts of downtime. And when technology slows down or keeps breaking, that downtime adds up. As we’ve said before, every minute of downtime costs your organization money.
  • Lowered standards: While it’s true that failure can happen to any system, no matter how secure or updated it is, it should not be something you expect to occur all the time. Reactive IT is about fixing things only when they’re broken. When things keep breaking all the time, you may stop noticing its effect on your business.

Become More Proactive With Orchard

Proactive IT support should not be considered a luxury but a standard. While reactive support may appear cheaper at the surface level, it will cost your business more than proactive support in the long run. You and your team have worked too hard to let your business fail due to easily securable vulnerabilities exploited by hackers.

When you take a more proactive approach to your IT efforts, you need to identify how poor device management can lead to vulnerabilities. Many scammers and hackers target mobile devices to gain access to organizational networks since these devices are used so frequently by many who don’t know how to secure them properly. When you are ready to take on a more proactive approach to securing your Apple devices, consider having these devices managed by Orchard.

We here at Orchard enable secure Apple management that scales quickly to your needs. Outsourcing your Apple management allows you and your teams to take on more proactive IT support tasks while maintaining your Apple devices’ security. Contact us for a free quote today!