Out with the old and in with the new! For far too long, small businesses have taken an old-school approach to IT services and security. In other words, they wait until something goes wrong before they call an IT services company and request help.
Back in the day (think 1990s and 2000s), this approach worked, more or less. External threats, such as hackers and viruses, were still few and far between. A data breach wasn't on anyone's mind. So, it made sense to wait until something went wrong before taking action.
In IT circles, this is known as the "break-fix" approach. Something breaks, so someone has to come in to fix it. And they charge for their services accordingly. If something small breaks and it takes a short time to fix, you could expect a smaller bill. If something big breaks, well, you can expect a pretty hefty bill.
The break-fix approach is 100% reactive. As many businesses have learned, especially in more recent years, as the number of threats have skyrocketed, it can get very expensive. IT specialists are an in-demand field. With just about every business relying on the Internet and Internet-connected devices in order to operate, there's a lot of opportunity for something to go wrong.
This is exactly why you can't rely on the reactive break-fix model anymore. If you do, you could be putting your business at serious risk. In some cases, the mounting costs and damages done could put you out of business.
If you're hit by a data breach or if a hacker infiltrates your network (which is a common occurrence), what's next? You call your IT services partner - if you have a partner - and tell them you need help. They might be able to restore lost or stolen data. That is, if you routinely backed up that data. You don't want to find yourself in this position.
And you don't have to.
Instead, take a proactive approach to your IT support and security. This is the new way of doing things! It's also known as managed services - and it's a far cry from the break-fix approach.
If you work with an IT services company that only comes out when something breaks, it's time to get them on the phone to ask them four big questions. These are questions they absolutely need to say "yes" to -
- Can you monitor our network and devices for threats 24/7?
- Can you access my network remotely to provide on-the-spot IT support to my team?
- Can you make sure all our data is backed up AND secure?
- Can you keep our network protected with up-to-date malware solutions, firewalls and web filtering?
If your IT services partner says "no" to any or all of these questions, it might be time to look for a new IT services partner.
If they say "yes" (or, even better, give you an emphatic "yes"), it's time to reevaluate your relationship with this company. You want to tell them you're ready to take a proactive approach to your IT support, and you'll be happy to have them onboard.
Far too many small businesses don't bother with proactive support because they don't like the ongoing cost (think of it as a subscription for ongoing support and security). They would rather pay for things as they break. But these break-fix services are more expensive than ever before. When things go wrong, and these days, things will go wrong, you'll be left with the bill - and be left wishing you had been more proactive!
Don't be that person. Make the call and tell your IT services provider you want proactive protection for your business. Ask them how they can help and how you can work together to avoid disaster!