Proactive vs. Reactive IT Support: Which One is Right for You?

As business leaders, we constantly struggle with difficult decisions. When it comes to IT, the big question is whether you should invest time and money on improving systems before problems arise or rely on quick and expensive fixes when issues occur.


As IT systems get more complicated and complex, the days of applying quick fixes are numbered. Eventually, the Band-Aids you have been able to use will come loose, and you will be faced with extensive system downtime. Without preventative maintenance and periodic improvements, your IT system might as well be ready to go up in flames.  

Proactive vs. Reactive Support 

When it comes to IT support services, there are two approaches to consider- proactive support services and reactive support services.

When we are explaining the difference between the two, we often use a forest fire analogy. If your IT issue is the forest fire, then proactive services would be the measures taken prior to the fire to minimize its impact and ability to spread; reactive services would be the firefighter’s efforts to stop the fire once it has started.   

Proactive IT Support 

A proactive approach to IT is focused on prevention rather than repair. Technicians will monitor your network and set up alerts to identify any issues before they grow and affect your business. This early alert also allows the technician time to identify the root of the problem and not only stop it from occurring but prevent it from coming up again in the future. Basically, your technician removes the dead or fallen trees from the forest before they can catch on fire. With this approach, you can identify and remove the risks before they ever pose a threat to your business.

Reactive IT Support  

A reactive IT approach is focused on quickly applying fixes to get your systems back online if they go down. This type of thinking aligns with the sentiment that if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. With these services, your technician is notified of the problem, troubleshoots it, creates a plan of action, and works tirelessly to get you back online. Basically, your tech is the firefighter you are calling in to simply put out the fire. He/she won’t be doing any work to fix the issue that caused your systems to go down- merely doing what is needed to get you back online.

The Cost Difference 

When considering the cost of proactive and reactive support services, you have to consider the total cost over time.

The truth is that the reactive approach creates an illusion that you are paying less. While your computers work most of the time, they are steadily degrading in performance and security. This opens your business to an ever-increasing risk profile. When your server goes down, your entire staff is unable to perform their job. You are still paying them, and they are not performing the role you hired them to do. You are also paying for an emergency rate IT provider to try and determine what happened. Organizations with any complexity only need one or two instances of this a year, and you have exceeded the direct cost of proactive maintenance by a huge amount. Additionally, you are at an ever-increasing risk of nefarious actors successfully defrauding your company by spoofing email and sending directives to your accounting team, as well as stealing the personal information of your company and its clients.

On the other hand, Proactive support services is a budget-able investment and includes many services like backup and disaster recovery, updates and patch management, antivirus scanning, 24/7 packet monitoring, helpdesk services, system optimization, dark web monitoring, anti-fraud training, and network maintenance. With this model, we, your technology partner, are working with your team, keep your network in shape, and we will do everything to keep that promise.

Which Is Best for YOUR Business? 

When you evaluate these services, you are basically choosing between investing in your IT now or if you want to gamble on not experiencing significant issues until you invest in your IT later.

As we have explained, proactive-style IT services provide you the peace of mind that your systems are being well maintained and leverages the experience of the IT provider. We make keeping your IT network well maintained our top priority- allowing you to put growing and running your business your top priority.

We understand that the relationship between an IT provider and a business needs to have trust. This is why we lay all the options on the table and give you the information you need to make the best decision for your business. If you are interested in learning more about which approach best suits your current IT needs, you can book a call with us anytime.