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Cost of Doing Nothing vs. Doing Something in IT

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Every business decision is made based on two important factors: the cost of executing the decision and the possible benefits it brings. If the benefits do not justify the cost, a logical business person will conclude that there is no need for any action. As the saying goes, ‘Why fix something that is not broken?’

But often, you might fail to realize that the cost of doing nothing can be quite high in the long run, especially regarding technology adoption. While it is established that every business needs some IT footprint, not many businesses are sure about the continued evolution of their IT operations.

What comes after you have set up your initial IT infrastructure and resources? Do you continue proactively updating your resources and processes or only take reactive approaches? Which approach will suit your business model and cost constraints? Well, the answer must be nuanced and highly dependent on your business.

Let us help you better understand how to compare the Proactive IT and Reactive IT approaches and make the best decision for your business.

The Cost of Inaction: Risks and Potential Losses

Let us start with the risks and potential losses you get from inaction. You simply carry on with your IT operations as is without investing in improvements and updates. Your IT strategy is Reactive, where you act once you discover an issue.

For instance, if you face a cybersecurity breach, you respond by blocking your network traffic, quarantining your systems, rolling back to a safe point, and ensuring no data is corrupted. But while you take these reactive measures, you will already be facing quite a significant amount of downtime, disruption in business continuity, and serious consequences from critical data leaks.

Besides the financial losses of such cyberattacks, you also risk losing your reputation and customers, and facing compliance penalties. Over the years, studies have shown that preventing cyberattacks is always more cost-effective than reacting to any unexpected incident.

It is not just cybersecurity where proactive strategy pays off better. Consider customer support. Ensuring you have the means to provide the latest innovations in customer support, such as chatbots, an up-to-date knowledge base, automated workflows, and smart tools, can help you get ahead of the curve and not lose out on your leads and existing customers. 

The Benefits of Proactivity: How Taking Action Can Lead to Gains

Proactive measures can help you be better prepared and ensure you work confidently regarding your IT operations. Here are some of the major aspects of proactive IT strategy that make it a worthy investment:

  • Highly effective in preventing cyberattacks
  • Early detection of cyberthreats and vulnerabilities
  • Helps avoid costly reactive procedures and reputational damages. Investing in proactive measures with upfront costs will save you from losing more in remediation efforts. Proactive measures also make it easier for incident response measures to be more cost-effective and efficient.
  • Helps adhere to compliance and regulatory mandates. Many regulatory frameworks have made it compulsory to include proactive measures to stay compliant with their data and security standards. Failing to keep up with these standards can actually accrue more cost in the form of penalties.
  • You can improve your customer relationship and trust by taking proactive measures. This could show your commitment to securing their data and thus improve your reputation.
  • Predict and avoid hazards before they become bigger issues that are too costly to handle
  • A proactive approach helps you with better decision-making in alignment with your long-term goals and sustainability in the long run.

Real-Life Scenarios: Examples of Both Approaches

A good example of the proactive vs reactive IT approaches would be how companies handled the recent ransomware attacks. Companies that employed the reactive approach often found themselves at the deep end, unable to access their systems unless they paid huge sums to the hackers. Incident response systems can only do as much as possible with any possible backups. The recovery process can be slow and disrupt your business operations.

A Sophos survey has shown that ransomware payments totaled almost $1.54 million in 2023. And this cost was as high as $7.5 billion in 2019. Ransomware attacks are better handled now despite evolving attacks because more and more companies are undertaking proactive measures.

Companies that employed proactive measures as listed below can fare better in cases of hacking attempts:

  • Employee security training
  • Penetration testing and regular security testing
  • Installation and up-to-date maintenance of antivirus software and firewalls
  • Email protection
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Continuous monitoring of the network for suspicious activities
  • Endpoint security management
  • Regular auditing and continuous improvement plans

Conclusion: Emphasizing the Importance of Being Proactive in IT Management

Being proactive in IT management requires a fundamental reset in your thoughts about IT investment and management. You not only look at the upfront costs it takes to make a change, but you evaluate the number of hours it saves, the productivity it brings, and the possible losses it prevents.

You need to start using technology as the powerful tool it is rather than consider it as an expense that needs to be cost-controlled. A proactive approach ensures smooth functioning across all your business operations and helps you stay on the curve.

Proud To Deliver Game-Changing IT Support in Toronto: Trust VBS

Our IT Support services can help businesses in Toronto, Mississauga, Markham and Richmond Hill transform technology into an empowering asset for their success and profitable growth. Our expert team of friendly IT Support & Cybersecurity specialists keeps your day-to-day IT running efficiently and smoothly, while empowering your strategic success and Cybersecurity. With a unique offering that configures and integrates CRM capabilities with your existing tools and workflows, we help businesses to sharpen their competitive edge.

Curious to see the difference that VBS can deliver for your business and goals? Digital excellence is just a click away, contact us today!