There are countless benefits to using a managed I.T. services provider (“MSP”) to manage all the technology in your business. One benefit that often flies under the radar is how mature MSPs can identify trending issues far quicker than smaller I.T. providers or in-house I.T. departments.
A couple months ago, Microsoft released a series of security updates to computers and servers. These security updates were not unlike most other monthly updates Microsoft releases, but they had an unexpected consequence. In some environments with a combination of specific printers and versions of Windows, these updates broke users’ abilities to print. Of course, Microsoft was unaware of this issue for several days, leaving I.T. teams across the world to create their own workarounds.
The Advantage of Using a Mature MSP
Smaller I.T. providers and in-house teams were forced to react to this unexpected issue. Although most were able to identify and workaround the issue in a day or two, that still meant hours of unnecessary interruption to each impacted business. I.T. teams had no way of getting in front of the problem, and they were stuck in a “reactive” mode.
Mature MSPs, like Digital Boardwalk, that service thousands of users, countless combinations of technologies, and practically every industry have a distinct visibility advantage. In a matter of minutes, our teams were able to pinpoint the specific combination of technical variables, design a fix, and deploy it across our entire client base.
“But doesn’t that mean businesses were still impacted?” you might ask. No – not to the same degree. Mature MSPs expect and plan for scenarios just like this. An essential strategy we employ, named “Patch Staging,” allows us to deploy updates in small groups and proactively identify problems early. In this specific event, although a small number of businesses were impacted, over 90% of those who would have experienced downtime never knew a problem existed in the first place.
Proactivity is Fundamental
When shopping for an I.T. partner, most businesses seek fast response times and a positive customer service experience in these “reactive” situations. Although that is undoubtedly important, it misses an opportunity for the business to overtake their competition by avoiding those reactive situations altogether. Mature MSPs were built on the fundamentals of proactivity and prevention. They support their clients’ missions by focusing on the tasks that often go unnoticed but are critical to the operations and success of the business.