Information Technology – Proactive or Reactive Perspectives

Information Technology – Proactive or Reactive Perspectives

I’ve been working in sales and sales management roles in the IT field for my entire career.  Along the way I’ve noticed there are very different perspectives on managing IT infrastructure which boils down to two basic philosophies which are Proactive and Reactive.  I generally can identify which camp a company is in after an initial introduction or discovery call.

I’ll start with Reactive.

These are companies that view information technology as a necessary evil.  These are companies that focus specifically on trying to save or not spend money on technology.  They live by the classic “it ain’t broken don’t fix it” mantra. These are companies where the perspective is if something is working well then why would you want to change it?   Examples are companies where once an IT platform is set up and running it’s left alone without any proactive fixes.  These include not staying current with vendor hardware, operating systems, and software application updates. Companies with this mindset are typically reluctant to pay for software & hardware maintenance and applications software maintenance or support.  They also often roll the dice on using third-party maintenance providers to save cost. These types of companies typically do not emphasize testing backup procedures and implementing Disaster Recovery or High Availability strategies.  In the past, there was something to be said for this perspective as many companies live and die with this approach to IT.  It boils down to the cost versus the risk of managing your IT environment.  Can you live with “flaky” or intermittent software and operating system issues?  Can you sleep at night not knowing if you could recover your IT environment in the event of a disaster?  These are the thoughts that are always in the back of your head or should be.

The flip side of this is taking a proactive approach to IT technology.

Companies with this approach view information technology as a business tool to drive growth, innovation, improve productivity and increase their competitive edge in their markets.  These companies are the opposite of what was previously discussed.  They stay current with hardware, software, and application updates.  They are constantly improving their business processes.  They have established and tested business continuity plans in the case of a disaster.  They should be able to sleep well at night.

So which camp do you fall in?  The reactive crowd thinks they are saving money by not evolving their technology.  But are they?  If you’re not investing in technology and innovation then you are sitting still while your competitors are passing you.  By staying stagnant you are actually losing ground while others move forward.

IT technology as an industry is constantly evolving, accelerating faster than ever, and is getting much more complex.  Security has become a major issue with the proliferation of cybersecurity and Ransomware attacks.  In the past, you might have been able to live in the reactive camp from a security perspective, but today you could also lose your business if you’re not investing in security.  It’s not if but when you could get hit with a Ransomware attack.

So which camp are you in?  Do you have a Proactive or Reactive approach to IT?  Could you recover from a Ransomware attack?  Do you sleep well at night?  It might be time to evaluate where you are and where you could be from a technology perspective.

If you’re running an IBM i environment, please contact iTech to discuss a proactive approach to improving your IT infrastructure.

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