Proactive IT Support vs. Reactive IT Support: Why Being Proactive Matters

In today’s fast paced business environment, small and medium Australian businesses reliance on IT has never been higher. Almost every business relies on IT systems and computers to complete their day-to-day work. It is critical that IT support is efficient and proactive to ensure smooth business operations. The traditional IT support model of reactive support just doesn’t work for many businesses. This is where a proactive support model comes into its own. With the aim of minimising downtime and a joint goal of keeping your business running and smoothly and efficiently as possible.

What is reactive support?

Reactive support is a traditional model where issues are fixed as they break. This model operates on a break-fix mentality; when something breaks, IT fixes it. This approach causes challenges including:

  • Downtime and Disruptions: Because problems are only addressed after they occur, reactive support can lead to significant downtime and operational disruptions.
  • Higher Costs: Fixing issues on the fly can be more expensive due to emergency service fees, potential overtime, and IT not having an expert knowledge of your individual business, meaning they have to learn everything as they go.
  • Increased Stress: Constantly dealing with unexpected IT problems can create a stressful work environment for both IT staff and end users. You don’t want your staff to stress about the cost of calling IT or wasting their own time trying to fix simple issues.
  • Risk of Data Loss: Reactive support may not prioritize regular backups and data protection, increasing the risk of data loss.
  • Reduced Security: There is typically no one taking a holistic view of your business to plan and evaluate your IT and cybersecurity needs. Meaning you can be vulnerable to potential threats and ransomware.

What is Proactive IT support?

In contrast to reactive support, proactive support focuses on taking a holistic overview of your IT and preventing issues before they occur. This approach involves continuous monitoring, regular maintenance, and strategic planning to ensure IT systems run smoothly and efficiently. This involves several functions including:

  • Regular Maintenance and Updates: Keeping all IT systems up-to-date with the latest patches, firmware and updates to prevent vulnerabilities. This includes Desktop, Laptops, Phone Systems, NAS and Servers, Routers and network equipment.
  • 24/7 Monitoring: Using advanced monitoring tools to detect and address issues before they impact business operations. We can then reach out before the client even notices they have an issue.
  • Security – At FordhamIT we ensure all clients have a baseline of security. Using our advanced EDR solution to protect you from threats. We can also employ advanced, enterprise level security such as application allowlisting to safeguard your business.
  • Strategic Planning: Aligning IT strategies with business goals to anticipate future needs and challenges. We work with business owners to address concerns collaboratively.
  • Data Protection: Implementing robust backup and disaster recovery plans to safeguard critical data. Ensuring everything from servers to cloud applications such as Microsoft 365 are easily recoverable.

What are the benefits of Proactive Support?

Adopting a proactive IT support model offers many advantages for small and medium Australian businesses:

  • Minimising Downtime: By identifying and addressing potential issues before they escalate, proactive support minimises downtime and ensures continuous operation of your business. Through patching and regular maintenance, we also ensure that devices are operating at their best.
  • Cost Savings: Preventative maintenance and early problem detection can save money by avoiding costly emergency repairs and reducing the risk of major system failures and downtime.
  • Future planning: Your Managed Service provider should be looking to the future. Working with you to constantly upgrade and improve your It and security. They should work closely with you to plan out a roadmap for the future.
  • Improved Productivity and Staff Moral: With fewer disruptions, employees can maintain focus and productivity, contributing to overall business efficiency. Employees also don’t need to worry about the cost of calling IT. Most managed services contracts include unlimited support, meaning staff can call as much as they need. At FordhamIT we foster a culture of collaboration, we get to know our clients personally and want them to call us for any issue or question.
  • Enhanced Security: Proactive support includes regular ongoing security and updates, reducing the risk of cyberattacks and data breaches. We monitor your systems and can recommend security upgrades that could benefit your business or industry.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that your IT systems are being actively monitored and maintained provides peace of mind, allowing you to focus on core business activities.
  • Unlimited support: Unlimited support reduces the burden on your Team. Staff are able to call for any issue no matter how small. We foster a culture of reporting, we want to know about every issue. This allows us to better help your business and identify pain points for staff.


Case Study

Before coming to us, one of our clients had a security incident and needed their server recovered. As they were using a reactive approach with their previous IT provider, they were charged per hour. The total recovery took days and ended up costing them thousands of dollars in the process.

Shortly after this is when they sought a better solution. They came to us and we were able to offer them Managed Services. This is where they would pay a fixed monthly fee for all their IT Support. Regardless of how much they used our services, staff were able to call for any issue.

This gave the owner peace of mind. Not only that we were constantly monitoring and proactively working behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly, but also that if there was an issue they wouldn’t be charged a large fee at the end of it.

This also encouraged their team to create a culture of reporting and to not worry about the cost of calling IT. We were able to build strong rapport with the staff, gaining their trust and opening a dialogue to quickly solve any questions they had.

Wrap Up

As you can see, there are many advantages to a Proactive IT Support model (Managed Services). They allow a much deeper partnership between the business and the IT team. The joint goal is to minimise downtime and keep your IT humming along. It allows your staff to focus on their core business work, rather than dealing with IT issues. If you are looking for a service provider to work with you and provide an holistic approach to your IT, please get in touch.