How do you handle network issues? If you’re like many small to medium businesses, you wait until something breaks or goes wrong before getting an IT services company on the phone. At a glance, it makes sense. Why pay to fix something if it isn’t broken?

Sadly, this way of thinking can do more harm than good, and it has taken many businesses out of commission.

When you get right down to it, there are two primary ways to handle network security:

•         By being reactive

•         By being proactive

One of these costs significantly more than the other and is harmful to a business. You can probably guess which one we’re talking about. When you’re reactive with your IT services, which includes cyber security, it means you’re just waiting for something bad to happen. There are many different things that can harm your data and your business, like an employee accidentally downloading malware onto their computer, or you getting hit by a data breach or a power surge occurring late in the night after a thunderstorm.

However, being reactive basically opens the door to these threats.  The proactive approach can be compared to taking care of your health by eating healthy, exercising and avoiding bad habits.  It’s much more difficult and undesirable to treat a disease once you have it than to prevent it in the first place.

Hackers, for example, are a real threat to a businesses’ health. These cyber criminals are relentless in their efforts to steal whatever they can get their hands on or do whatever damage they can. They don’t care if their actions put you out of business.

This is why you cannot rely on a reactive approach to your IT services. When you do, you’re a step behind hackers, malware, disasters such a flood, fire or theft and equipment failures.

In the past, IT services were very reactive. They were built on the break-fix model, which is exactly as it sounds. A business would wait for something to break or go wrong before calling an IT services company for help to fix it.

In the 1990s and even into the 2000s, the break-fix model had its place and it worked. But as technology improved and it became easier for even the smallest businesses to stay ahead of the curve, the break-fix model stopped making sense.  But now the number of external threats has increased dramatically over the last 10 years.

It’s Time to Get Proactive
Today, IT services companies can predict threats. They can stop attacks in their tracks and protect your business and your data. This is called managed services — and it could save your business.
When you work with a managed services provider, you can state exactly how you want to be proactive. Do you want your network monitored for threats 24/7? Do you want them to have remote access to your networked devices so they can provide instant support to you and your team? That can all be done!

A good IT services company can help you make sure all your data is backed up and secure and external threats are spotted before they become a problem. They can make sure phishing emails don’t expose you to harm. The list goes on!

What about In-House IT?
Some businesses have opted for in-house IT which can certainly have a proactive approach if they are wise.  However, in-house IT support also has its disadvantages such as a more narrow range of knowledge and experience as well as difficulty keeping up with rapidly changing technology and threats.

Fortunately the options of in-house IT and proactive managed services are not mutually exclusive. You can choose to have an in-house IT team and outsource partially to a managed service provider.  Co-managed services can be a hybrid option that is ideal for organizations wishing to augment their current in-house IT as well as benefit from the proactive managed services model.

How can you tell if your in-house IT could improve their operations by engaging co-managed services?  Constantly putting off new projects and facing a backlog of user requests are clear signs that it’s time to look into a more proactive approach with the help of managed services.

It’s Time to Upgrade
There are many more benefits of the proactive approach taken by managed services.  It will help your business to be compliant with privacy and security regulations, minimize expenses and inconvenient downtime while improving operational efficiency.

And no doubt, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind knowing that your network is being protected 24/7, allowing you to focus your time and resources on your core business objectives.

If you’ve been putting up with reactive, break/fix IT support, it’s time to  say, “Enough!” Don’t wait until something breaks to make that phone call. Because, as many businesses have learned, waiting to make that call can be devastating!  It’s time to enjoy the peace of mind that proactive managed services will provide.

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