How to Stop Firefighting: Transform your IT from Reactive to Proactive IT
(updated Feb 15, 2023)
The easiest path to becoming a proactive IT team
Is your end-user IT tired of fighting fires? The best way to make the shift from being reactive (firefighting) to being proactive is by making use of data. But how should you get started?
In fact, becoming proactive is not as daunting a task as it might seem. All it means is taking action before you’re asked to – according to a plan. But how do you build that plan? That’s where data comes into play.
Transforming your IT from reactive to proactive to improve end-user satisfaction starts with becoming data driven. Without a good set of always up-to-date data providing visibility into your computer environment, you cannot know what needs doing. Good quality, actionable data is at the heart of adopting a proactive approach.
IT organizations that want to leverage the power of data and stay ahead of the curve need to start building a data-driven culture.
Transforming to proactive IT is not as difficult as you might think
Traditionally, when people hear the word ‘transformation’, they think of some big difficult change which takes a lot of time and effort - where you need to adopt a new mindset, new habits, and a new set of tools and technologies. Well, we have good news for you: with the right data becoming proactive can be easy and smooth.
For example, if your data tells you that 8 employees’ laptop batteries have significant wear, then you can order them new batteries – voila! You’ve been proactive. I particularly love this example because it’s one which impresses the employees. It improves the digital employee experience because employees really feel that IT is really taking care of them.
Another example is when your data tells you that you have a lot of software installed that is never used. Here, you can proactively uninstall unused software and save on software fees.
A third example is when your data tells you that your software updates have not been installed. Here, you can proactively improve both user experience and security by digging into the reasons why (never distributed? Computers not re-started?) and solving them.
And each time you take action based on the data, you are becoming more and more proactive. As you address issues before they become big problems, you will notice that your IT is doing less firefighting (which makes their workday more pleasant), and your employees productivity will improve. They (end-users) will be able to work uninterrupted as their most important tools – their computers and software – are humming smoothly. It’s win-win.
Becoming proactive starts with getting your hands on up-to-date actionable data
But to be able to start being proactive, you need that actionable data. You may be wondering where to start. Our experience with the over 1000 companies we work with is that the following data is great for getting going on cleaning up your computer and software environment proactively.
What to check first:
Often IT teams are swimming in data and don't really know where to start as far as what to look at to make improvements to their computer and software performance. Here are 7 things that we recommend you check first - these are often low-hanging fruit.
Software Versions: ensure you don’t have software sprawl going on
Windows 10 builds: ensure OS versions are up-to-date
OS & software updates installed: ensure that all the updates you’ve sent out have been installed – this is an important security concern. Often, it’s just a matter of having users re-start their computers - so easy to fix with some internal communication.
Bitlocker enabled: important security check
Performance degradation: affects end-user experience with the computer
Battery wear: affects end-user experience. And, as mentioned earlier, a wonderful way to show end-users that IT cares
High memory usage: can lead to crashing software and other hassles, and easy to fix by upgrading RAM
Once you have collected this actionable data, you can roll up your sleeves and get to work fixing and updating as needed. You’ll proactively improve your employees’ IT experience while improving the performance and security of your computer environment.
Now that does not sound too hard – does it?
Data mining made easy
One of the things which many companies have noticed is that actionable data is not so easy to come by. While the data is there in the IT management systems, downloading it and then analyzing it to get the insights takes time. On top of that, the analysis is only of a snapshot in time, so the insights are quickly outdated.
We noticed this too. And to make up-to-date actionable data available to you at all times, we created Applixure.
Applixure pulls the relevant data about your computers and software into intuitive dashboards and clearly indicates high-impact yet easy-to-fix issues - enabling your IT to be more proactive. Set-up is quick, so you can start reaping the benefits almost overnight. If you are interested in an easier way to get access to that actionable data, you can learn more about Applixure Analytics on our product page >
Whichever way you decide to access your date, be sure to look up which computers have high battery wear, and replace those for your users – they will love you for it!