As an IT professional for the last 10+ years and a technical manager for the past 2+ years, I have seen a lot. I have seen companies infected with crypto-lockers that held the majority of their data hostage. I have seen power outages corrupt server data due to improper shut-down. And, time and time again, I have seen companies endure downtime for something as simple as filled-up hard disks.

What do all these plights have in common? They originate in either insufficient monitoring and maintenance or incomplete implementation of IT best practices. These causes are comparable to running your car without ever changing your oil. Eventually your car starts to act funny, possibly overheating, and you are left stranded on the side of the road. To add insult to injury, you could be stuck with an unanticipated and expensive repair bill.

You wouldn’t drive your car without performing basic maintenance. So why would you run your servers, networks, computers, and laptops without providing the comprehensive maintenance required to support these interlocking systems?

Most companies employ the break/fix IT model, calling IT support only when the system goes down. Once the computers are working again, the job is considered done. While this method looks like a cost-effective solution, it overlooks the hidden impact of downtime, such as the cost of idle employees, lost sales, and delayed billing.

Consider the standard oil change. At $70, the expense looks pricey, but when compared to replacing an engine for $2,000 or more, it’s a steal. Just like a car, your IT system needs periodic maintenance to run smoothly without costly downtime—downtime that leaves you stranded on the side of the Internet highway.

Have you considered the worst-case scenario?

Without eyes on your server, data backups quit working. Perhaps several months have gone by since a complete backup was implemented. Suddenly, your server disk drive fails, and now all your data is gone. How much will it cost to recover this data? Upwards of $5K to $10K—just to send it off to a special data recovery. This expense does not include the cost of idling your business and sending your employees home until the data is recovered and the server repaired.

With an IT team, you get eyes on your servers and backups. You get a customized maintenance program, implemented on a schedule to keep your system resilient.

A Managed Service Provider (MSP) provides assurance. With affordable monthly payments you secure continuous oversight of your business platform—and the preventative steps needed to avoid worst-case scenarios—and recover nimbly from unpreventable ones. Plus, you have access to support for the other bothersome IT problems that crop up day to day.

Be proactive. Change your oil, and maintain your IT systems to prevent downtime.

– Sean Taylor, IT Technical Manager