In our first post about choosing a managed services provider (MSP), we spoke about one of the major differences between several providers and suggested that you formulate a list of questions that will guide you through the selection process.
We also discussed, briefly, two business models that dominate the MSP field: reactive and proactive services.
While these two models do accomplish a common goal in helping a company with their IT needs, there is a world of difference between the two.
Breaking it down
You’ve been getting pushed around by a schoolyard bully. Do you push them back or move out of the way so you don’t get pushed in the first place?
Pushing the bully back to stop them is an example of reaction, as you are making the move to stop the bullying after the fact. Moving out of the way as they charge at you is being proactive as you are preventing yourself from being pushed around.
It’s a little different when you look at it from a business point of view.
For MSPs like us, the difference between proactive and reactive is all about who reaches out first.
Are you contacting your MSP about a huge problem that could jeopardize business, or is your MSP warning you about an issue that might become disastrous in the upcoming quarter?
Reacting to your problems
If you hire an MSP that uses the reactive business model, you could find yourself dreading any possibility of an IT disaster – because it might very well break the bank.
Austin Thorne of Network Associates points out the danger for the consumer in the reactive business model.
“When a provider utilizes [the reactive] model, they are essentially waiting for something to break so they can react. When something eventually does break, you (the client) are stuck waiting for the provider to roll out a technician and a truck to come investigate the issue, which will be billed at an hourly rate and doesn't guarantee a resolution,” he writes.
Providers that utilize this business model may appear to be at your beck and call, but the opposite is true.
If a problem that your MSP is trying to fix takes more than just a couple of hours to solve, your budget will be drained.
And once you think about the possibility that you could have avoided this by having an IT team nip this issue in the bud before it became a problem, the situation sits a little more sour on your tongue.
Efficient running of your system
On the flip side of this issue, an MSP that provides proactive service, like NSK, works hard in the background to make sure that your system is operating smoothly.
How can you be sure that you’ll need any of the services included in an extensive and inclusive base package?
- We have three words for that: “Oh, you will.”
It’s difficult to anticipate problems before they happen. But that is the reason why it’s useful to enlist an MSP that actively tries to do so – to prevent any disasters that could immobilize your business and send money swirling down the drain.
Focus and proactive service
At Focus, we are chiefly concerned with helping improving your business.
Once a month, we go on site at your business to do an audit (not a scary one, we promise) that determines the standing of your IT.
Beyond that, we will serve as your virtual chief information officer (vCIO) once a quarter. We will provide reports on not only your IT standing but our own extrapolations on what procedures we may need to perform in the years to come.
It’s an evaluation that strives not only to understand what’s going on, but what we need to do to keep your network in top form.
These services give companies an opportunity to educate themselves on their systems and prevent disasters months and even years before they may happen.
The next time a big cyber security breach happens and your company is not affected because your IT team took care of it, you’ll feel a lot better.
Image courtesy of Simply Confirm: http://www.simplyconfirm.com/proactive-vs-reactive-business-strategies-a-quick-primer/