Many times when we speak to businesses about managed services, we get hit with the counter response of “we are happy with our IT guy that we call when we have a problem”. This is known as a break/fix model. Many people already think that they are getting some kind of level of managed services with this, but in reality they are receiving a totally reactive approach to information technology.
As an MSP, we already know the issues with a break/fix model, but it is important as business owners to understand how this model can affect your organization. Reactive models for IT management present several problems to not only the efficiency of your IT systems, but to your organization’s bottom line.
The Break/Fix Model
What is the real problem though? You have a guy that comes out and fixes issues when something derails from the normalcy of everyday productivity. Everything is alright though, right? No, this isn’t the case. Your IT Guy is probably great, but you don’t really know what is happening in your environment if he is only fixing issues when something goes wrong. You have no idea how much downtime and costs you will incur due to lack of visibility.
With the break/fix model, customers don’t pay a fixed monthly fee for services. Service is on an as need basis. When there is an issue in a client’s system, the tech will come to your site to fix the issue. The customer is billed for how many hours it takes to complete the project. Many SMBs use this model because they usually have a simpler network infrastructure that requires less maintenance.
Disadvantages of Break/fix model
The break/fix model is an old way of managing your IT. As problems pop up, you fix them rather than taking the time to proactively fix issues before they become major problems. The break/fix model can be very expensive, especially when you are dealing with hardware failures that are caused from neglected maintenance. You can also experience an unknown amount of downtime due to unexpected problems. These could lead to budget-breaking fixes that could affect your IT budget for years.
Managed IT Services Model
Every organization has mission-critical systems that they rely on daily to function, and IT engineers are there to keep them running. Modern technologies have created a new way to manage business technology that knock the traditional break/fix model out of the park. Managed services are changing the way that businesses handle their technology. Unlike the break/fix model, managed IT Services focuses on proactively performing preventative maintenance in an effort to prevent small issues from becoming into large problems. Benefits of Managed Services:
- Less Downtime
- Less time spent on maintenance
- Fewer capital expenses
- 24/7/365 monitoring and support for more visibility into your systems
- Access to trained and expert IT professionals that act as an extension of your team
Are you starting to see the issues with the break/fix model? If so, it is time to re-evaluate how you maintain your IT. Here are a few questions to ask yourself that can help you to start taking a second look at your technology support needs:
- Is your current IT guy able to proactively secure you from cyber attacks?
- Do you wake up on Monday morning to find your business offline or do you find outages during the weekend and non-business hours?
- Are you able to get support when and where you need it, or is it a first come first serve?
- Do you feel like you are getting nickled and dimed with every request you make? And do you get charged for research time?
- Is there a predictable cost model?
- Are you staying up-to-date with patching, OS updates, and other critical updates?
- Is there an agreement in place that you can hold your IT guy accountable to for service and response times?
Maintain your organization’s IT in a proactive and efficient matter to ensure continued functionality and productivity. If you are still stuck in the break/fix days, it might be time to re-evaluate the way you maintain your IT. Changing to a managed services provider can have incredible benefits for your business. You can save time and money, as well as improve your organization’s operations.