The Need for IT Support to Evolve From Reactive to Proactive

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Today’s business end-users rely on a growing number of applications and IT services to perform tasks that are critical to the business and to better serve customers.

For IT departments, the most visible indicators of success are making sure employee end-users can access critical applications and IT services whenever and wherever they need them and with sufficient performance to do their jobs.

Too often, IT departments find out about issues affecting availability and performance from the end-users themselves. According to a recent study of IT decision makers by Forrester Research, IT support is reactive rather than proactive. In over one-third of cases (35%), IT support learns about issues when end-users contact the service desk and open a ticket.

The reason IT support is reactive is that they don’t have the right tools in place to monitor the end-user experience and instead rely on issues being reported as they arise. The lack of data available to IT support is the barrier to becoming proactive. IT support needs a continuous monitoring and IT analytics solution that provides real-time insight of the IT infrastructure and endpoints from the end-user perspective (or from the “Outside-in”).

The challenges of reactive end-user support

Reactive end-user support is delivered on-demand and reliant on end-users reporting issues that need to be fixed, which means IT departments are operating in a fire fighting mode making this approach both time-consuming and costly. With IT staff having to spend time trying to diagnose and troubleshoot issues, reactive end-user support can mean longer periods of downtime.

With IT software and services so critical to the business, any downtime can create major disruptions to business productivity and the company’s bottom line.

In addition, IT departments that work in reactive mode will not discover the root-cause of issues and therefore they are often likely to reoccur. Most organizations can survive with reactive support, but they will discover that they are investing a lot of resources addressing recurring issues in their IT environment, and not move forward on other IT projects to improve service delivery to their end-users.

The benefits of proactive end-user support

The survey by Forrester Research reveals that only 2% of IT decision makers have end-user monitoring tools in place to detect downtime or failures. Without an end-user monitoring tool, IT departments cannot see the effects on end-users that can help them analyze the impact on revenue or customer satisfaction.

Proactive end-user support is a seamless process, where IT departments perform routine maintenance to ensure optimal performance. As they are constantly monitoring their IT environments, IT staff are immediately alerted to any issue enabling them to respond faster. Solving problems proactively before end-users are impacted is much less costly for IT and for the business as a whole.

The need for visibility from the “Outside-in”

The key to maintaining the availability and performance of IT services and applications is the ability to stay ahead of potential problems, and fix issues before they can impact end-users. By understanding the end-user perspective, IT departments can benefit from a reliable and predictable IT environment.

End-user IT analytics solutions provide visibility of the entire IT infrastructure and end-user endpoints, allowing IT departments to determine what is happening and why. Having “Outside-in” visibility enables IT to understand the satisfaction gap between what business end-users are experiencing and the IT support and services that are being delivered.

With a clear understanding of the IT environment, IT departments can proactively solve problems before they impact end-user productivity. Comprehensive IT analytics can not only proactively monitor IT services delivered to end-users, but also ensure that the end-user experience has returned to normal levels after problems have been addressed.

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