The Importance of Proactive IT Management

We have all heard, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but when it comes to IT that is not going to be the winning strategy. Following this motto is “reactive IT management” or a “break-fix” strategy, which focuses on fixing problems as they occur. The opposite, proactive IT management, is used to stay ahead of issues with a focus on prevention. Any negative connotations you may have of IT support in general, probably stem from “reactive” experiences. It’s important for a business to have an IT team whose goal is to be proactive.

To be proactive, your IT team should keep up to date on best practices and put the right measures in place. This may seem like common sense, but there are some businesses that are simply not prepared for an IT crisis. Let’s look at the deeper benefits a company can realize if they have proactive IT management.

  • Reduced downtime - Downtime is costly. If you’re not taking active measures to prevent downtime, you’re bound to experience it more than a company who is. Any system that goes down is likely to cause a major decrease in productivity, customer satisfaction, and ultimately revenue.
  • Better security - Cybersecurity attacks are continually getting more sophisticated. Being proactive in this area means taking steps to protect your data and avoid threats. It is your reputation and finances that are on the line.
  • Reduce costs - If you don’t act until a problem occurs, there may be longer resolution times and higher costs associated with resolving the issue. Especially in this digital age, where technology is more complex than ever before, and businesses often use multiple integrated systems.
  • Better management - If you are proactively monitoring your IT, you have a much better “bigger picture” and can manage all your systems more efficiently and cohesively.
  • Stay ahead of the competition – Proactive IT management means keeping updated on the latest technologies that will help your business stay ahead of the curve while also continuing to be reliable.
  • Proactive employees – Employee training is an important piece to proactive IT management. Although we are relying increasingly on technology, there is still plenty of room for human error in most business environments. By teaching your employees best practices and helping them to be proactive themselves, you are setting yourself up for smoother sailing.

So, where to begin? The best place to start is with an IT assessment, where you can assess all your systems and technology and note the potential pitfalls. After performing an assessment, it becomes much easier to design a technology roadmap, or a business plan for future technology needs and goals. To be proactive, your roadmap should include upgrades, plans for new technology, and maintenance.

Leadership expert John C. Maxwell sums it up well, “If you're proactive, you focus on preparing. If you're reactive, you end up focusing on repairing.” Not taking steps to prevent and prepare is not worth the risk.