Our business started by providing on-site service and support for local businesses. With service options now ranging from 'per-incident' to fully outsourced support, we can provide our customers with a one-stop source for all their information systems support needs. By working with skilled technicians on a regular schedule, preventive maintenance can provide reliable systems while avoiding costly down time. Additionally, by outsourcing the systems maintenance work, the business can concentrate on its core competency. Keep in mind that the annual maintenance on some systems can actually cost more than the original purchase price.
Whether it is a Windows, Mac or Unix system, all PCs and servers need regular maintenance to function reliably. It can be as simple as periodic drive de-fragmentation and anti-virus scans, and as laborious as cleaning out the 'dust' that builds up inside the systems to prevent over-heating. Without this maintenance, the systems can start to develop unpredictable failures resulting in lost productivity. Additionally, the diversity of hardware and software available can cause unpredictable results, ranging from simple problems with user settings to internal driver conflicts. Troubleshooting these problems is often hard to do, especially if the user is not familiar with the system and software.
Preventive maintenance is particularly important on servers. Unscheduled down time on a server could bring an entire department or office to a grinding halt. Publicly accessible servers, like internet web servers, should be treated as mission critical systems, since any downtime could be witnessed by current or potential customers. We suggest that critical systems be serviced at least once a month.
Support and maintenance is especially important to small businesses where there may not be any information services or technology (IS/IT) specialist on staff. Frequently, these tasks are then taken on in addition to existing responsibilities and are ignored or considered as low priority until something fails. Although this may initially appear to be a cost cutting measure, the problems that develop can take significantly more time to fix, and usually cause unscheduled down time. Depending on the role the computer systems play in the business, a failed system can have devastating effects to productivity.