How to tell if your IT company is proactive?

Almost every IT firm says they are “proactive” with their approach but what does that really mean to you and your business? Why is it important that you find an IT company that truly is proactive and how do you tell the mouthpieces from the truth?  

The definition of “proactive” is the planning, creating, or controlling of a situation rather than responding to that situation after the fact.  

So how can you tell if an IT company is proactive?  

Here are the 5 things a proactive IT company will do:  

  1. They meet with you regularly – Does your IT company do Technology Business Reviews with you? Annually at least if not quarterly or monthly depending on the size and needs of your company. These meetings allow for you and your IT vendor to have discussions on a range of items including; where your company is going, what technologies can help you get there, reviews of tickets and any issues and any needs either you or your vendor has to better support you.  
  2. They help you set up a budget – Your computer systems get old and as they age you will want to replace them, we usually recommend 4 years as after that point in time, computer systems start to degrade, and hardware issues start arising. It is more cost-effective to schedule and replace them than to suffer through a crash and have unnecessary downtime. Also, as your company grows and changes you may need to add new servers, or remove servers and move cloud based applications, both of these will affect your budget and should be considered at least annually. 
  3. They discuss your business – Your IT vendor should take the time to understand your business, how it runs, and what it does. This will help them understand the technology that may help to benefit your company, help to automate processes that you do on a daily basis to save you time and money, and help to watch out for new requirements, compliances, and technologies that may help you as you grow.  
  4. They discuss new technology – as just discussed, technology in all industries is changing rapidly, and your vendor should stay on top of the news affecting you and talk with you about ways to improve and help your company run more efficiently and cost-effectively. 
  5. They monitor outside forces – IT providers always talk about security, but what they rarely talk about is when a specific industry or type of business is targeted. With the Ukrainian war, for instance, we have seen a vast increase in attacks on US businesses from Russia, especially in areas of utilities and IT/MSP software vendors. Your IT provider should be monitoring these issues and discuss them with you and what they are doing to protect you. If a focused attack is being enacted on your industry your IT vendor should alert you and offer any additional security that may help thwart a breach.  

Far too many IT vendors do not do these tasks. They patch your computers, they fix your daily ticket issues and they don’t get involved beyond that. You need an IT provider that does more, that is proactive and looking to help you as a partner, not just another vendor.  

As always if we can be of any assistance in helping you look at things you can automate, secure, protect or manage, please let us know!  

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Greg Durnan is the Owner/President of AcaciaIT and very active in the business community of Southern Arizona. One of the founding members of the Greater Vail Area Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce he is very concerned about the needs of businesses in Arizona. He also strives to educate clients on Computer and Network Security through Lunch and Learns, articles, and webinars.

On the weekends he enjoys spending time with his wife and son at their ranch in Vail and working with horses.