When businesses think about IT Support they almost always gravitate towards the subject of monitoring, response times, and closing tickets – the reactive stuff.
While most IT Providers will tell you that monitoring is part of their “proactive” service offering, this simply isn’t the case. Knowing about problems quickly is reactive. Preventing those problems from happening in the first place, that’s proactive!
We see this often, when businesses look to engage with an outside firm to handle their IT services, their focus in on the wrong things. Response time normally leads the conversation, and while important, doesn’t really have a positive impact on the business long-term.
It is great when your IT services company picks up the phone quickly (and I’ve heard lot’s of horror stories where that isn’t the case) but in the end, taking care of problems when the arise should be a basic “permission to play” subject.
True business impact comes from looking at ALL the issues that arise and asking – “Could this have been prevented or the impact minimized?” The answer to this question, when applied to all reactive issues, is the secret to becoming “proactive” versus installing some newfangled monitoring application.
But just knowing the root cause and preventative measures is only the first step – applying what you’ve learned at each customer across ALL your customers (even those that haven’t experienced a particular issue) is where the rubber meets the road – it is what being truly proactive is all about.
How do we do this – by consistent application of our IT Services Best Practices. We do this over and over, each quarter – fine tuning the things we can, learning from what we see coming from our customers and using this information to improve our best practices then implementing what we learned for the benefit of each customer.
This iterative approach is what allows us to drive down the number of reactive support issues over time, create a more stable and predictable environment for our customers and avoid nasty surprises that have become common place as technology evolves.
I wrote about how we do this in Week 13 Insight Administrator meeting.
There will always be issues; things that fail when least expected, technology that doesn’t work properly or changes that create unintended consequences. No one can predict the future but with a disciplined approach to reviewing these issues and a consistent application of what is learned with an eye towards prevention, we’ve proven that a truly proactive IT Services company can indeed have a dramatic impact on driving down issues.
So, next time you are faced with evaluating options for IT Support, ask this simple question; “What is this companies process for driving down issues?” versus “What is their response time?”