Proactive Prevention

What is it, and Why is it helpful?


  One of the services we offer is called Proactive Prevention, and it can be a lifesaver in many ways. However, you may not understand how it helps. Or perhaps you understand what it does, but don’t see that it provides sufficient value. That said, I learned through experience with my blog post about Password Managers – which was more popular than I expected – that sometimes all we need is a little more clarity.  


“I don’t get what this is.”


  First off, what does it do? Proactive Prevention provides, in a nutshell, housecleaning for computers. We clear out system junk, temporary files, and various cache, giving the hard drive some TLC. This not only clears up some space, but it clears up the right kind of space. This allows the hard drive to not waste unnecessary time just trying to load folders. You can think of this in one of two ways: as a housekeeper coming to clean up a house, or a mechanic performing a routine oil change. Either idea works. The house will get grimy and unattractive if no one cleans it. The car will begin to break down simply because it isn’t kept in optimal shape….leading to more expensive issues later.  


“I get it. I just don’t see the value in paying every month for this.”


  So now you know the point, but not what makes this so valuable. The immediate side effect we all understand fairly easily is that the computer runs smoother. But when you don’t mind the computer being a little slow, it’s easy to wonder where the value truly lies. So I came up with a few examples to provide some illumination:  


It’s less expensive than typical IT work


  There’s an opportunity here to be found, if you’re interested in cost savings. We can come and clean a slow computer to speed it up. But it takes at least a couple of hours the first time, and longer if the computer is particularly slow…and that’s why you’re booking a cleanup anyway, right? Well, get this: on average, it’s about 5x more expensive for us to perform a one-time computer cleanup than each subsequent monthly maintenance window. Additionally, you lose much of the benefit found from a computer cleanup if it’s only done once. If you’d like to use the housekeeping example, the house would look great if you paid someone to come out and do a deep clean. But it stays clean with regular and frequent visits to maintain it.  


Computers have fewer issues


  We as humans often require positive reinforcement to keep good habits. While we can agree that computer maintenance is a good habit, it’s hard to still feel good after several months of nothing happening. But remember, no news is good news. For example, a client from a few months ago contacted us because one of his programs was freezing up and he couldn’t get work done. The computer was noticeably slow, so we cleaned up the caches and temp files a bit. Not only we speed it up, but we also fixed his program’s freezing issue at the same time. Because the computer had been so slow at first, however, it took a few hours to clean it up. Instead of facing a day battling the issue himself, followed by a few hours of downtime while we fixed it, he could have paid for over 6 months worth of Proactive Prevention and saved himself the stress.  


Risk of data loss goes down


  Sometimes we’re not that lucky. When a hard drive fills up entirely, everything grinds to a halt. This is also a common symptom when we don’t properly maintain computers, and when things fill up that fast, we need to start deleting data. Without getting too technical, sometimes we don’t have many choices in what we delete. And sometimes, we have to delete important data just to make room (side note – always have backups!). Regular service typically prevents this. Even if not, we can discover and fix a full hard drive issue much quicker when we are cleaning it up every month.  


Knowledge is power


  Every once in a while, particularly nasty issues can come up that are difficult or impossible to resolve quickly. A common approach to troubleshooting in these situations is to perform routine maintenance, as it can resolve many issues. However, if we already know the computer is regularly serviced, we are able to jump ahead to other steps and tactics.  


Prevention > Reaction


  A moral of this blog is the core idea that prevention always trumps reaction. We see this often in medical scenarios, but the mechanic analogy also works well. Failing to get that oil change can lead to worse trouble later. Even if you saved a few hundred dollar a year at first, it only takes one serious – and preventable – issue to undo all those savings. I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion around our Proactive Prevention, and why we recommend it for all of our clients!

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