When I joined the Smart Dolphins team this year, I came in with 24 years of IT experience under my belt, and 15 years of experience being in business. What I was about to learn – not just about IT, but about business – was momentous.
In short, it’s this:
People think about IT all wrong.
I was on that list of “people”, so don’t feel bad if you still are too.
It’s actually quite rational, given the changes within our society for the last several decades, that the thinking hasn’t caught up with the reality.
Twenty years ago, technology was either absent from our day-to-day job, or somewhat supplementary to it. We’d go on our computer from time-to-time throughout our work week to perform some specific task.
Now, no matter what industry you are in, from office worker to blue-collar worker to barista, chances are you are using technology as part of your job every single day, throughout the day – whether it’s sitting (or standing) in front of a computer all day, using your tablet as you go from place to place, or answering email’s and text messages on your cell phone.
It’s no longer “supplementary”, it’s “mission critical.”
Similarly twenty years ago, when you had a computer problem, you’d drop your computer off at the computer store, and wait a few days for them to fix it. No problem – you had other stuff to do anyway, that didn’t involve a computer.
Now, chances are you are part of a number project teams in your organization, and if you lose your computer for a few hours (much less a few days), it’s chaos for you and your colleagues – not just chaos, but probably also lost revenue, lost productivity and general frustration in your workplace. If your server goes down? Well, let’s not think about that.
In short: Our technology is up to date… But, is our thinking?
Beginning in 2010, Smart Dolphins evolved from reactive to a proactive managed service provider. We understand just how critical data is and how increased productivity can drive a businesses’ success. Here’s the difference between the two services:
Reactive: The client calls the Reactive IT Service provider (often referred to as a “Break-Fix” provider) when they perceive a need, usually when something is broken or when there is a change in the business (i.e. a new computer is added to the network for a new hire). The client is ultimately responsible for the network performance. These IT service providers typically charge a variable rate for their IT support and therefore, make more money when there is more work to do.
Proactive: The Managed Service Provider (MSP) leads the relationship and generally determines what IT Support the client needs. The MSP is ultimately responsible for the IT Solutions. These IT Support providers normally charge a fixed monthly price and, therefore, have the incentive to reduce the amount of problems and reactive IT support over the long term.
When considering the different approaches to IT, start by deciding from a high level, what kind of IT Support relationship is most valuable to your business. Stay tuned for Part 2 on the importance of preventing IT problems before they arise.