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Moving from reactive to proactive service management

Published: 01 July 2019

The modern managed services provider must be proactive. Being proactive means that you know about issues before your customers do and you have greater control over the future direction of their IT needs. Reactive management, commonly known as break-fix, is dealing with issues as they crop up, resulting in lengthy downtime and frustrated customers.

Firefighting and working without planning leaves your IT department feeling disempowered as they spend too much time in operational tasks rather than focusing on strategic ones. As the managed services marketplace competition grows every day, providing a great customer experience is absolutely vital, and proactivity is one of the pillars behind achieving this.

Whilst taking a leap forward in this approach to service management is easier said than done, it’s evident that it boosts productivity, profitability and benefits both you and your customers. Analysing the need for change and ensuring that your IT department is working together with your customers to achieve the best results is critical. With end goals that equal: increased customer satisfaction, increased revenue, higher uptime guarantees, lower operating costs and fewer system failures, you can trust that your staff will be the enablers to smooth changes and overall digital transformation.

Firstly, you need to assess the current state of your service management:

  • Which tasks do your staff spend most of their time on?
  • Are they consistenly dealing with the same/similiar end user problems?
  • Is there clear ownership for issue management?

It's also worth assessing the following:

  • Are there simple fix solutions available on an online help portal?
  • Are there various methods of communication available for your customers to contact you?

Having a consolidated list of problems that your staff regularly face will help with choosing what automated and integrated remote network monitoring and reporting solution you need to invest in.

Automation and integration are the way forward for managed service providers to keep costs down and gain efficiencies. The ability to quickly identify and resolve issues will result in superior service delivery and exceed customer service level agreement expectations.

You need a soluton which:

  • Conducts oversights of your customers' networks 24/7
  • Alerts you when an issue is about to occur
  • Enables you to see from a centralised dashboard the information that facilitates immediate diagnosis and accelerates issue remediation

In summary, what does this help with?

Operational efficiency: maximise productivity by focusing on more critical issues as automation takes over routine, repetitive tasks, reduce the time it takes to resolve a ticket, tickets are prioritised correctly, alerts to boost responsiveness

Cost reduction and control: smaller staff requirements with reduced stress and workloads

Enhancing customer satisfaction: they experience faster, more accurate issue resolutions, downtime is minimised, online self-help capabilities also reduce the interactions customers need with your staff

It doesn’t just end there though. Proactive management is not just about addressing operational issues. Superior managed service provision must differentiate by effectively engaging in the same language with your customers and showing them that you offer more than just simply fixing issues. Your service management team must be able to offer guidance on how to support business goals, make improvements and strategic decisions using a solution which provides complete performance visibility.