Computer systems have a way of breaking at the worst possible time: in the middle of your business’s rush season, right before a long weekend or when your regular IT technicians are on vacation. When this happens, many organizations call a repair service, looking for an estimate on getting back to work as quickly as possible. While this can be an acceptable solution in the short-term, it can become quite expensive regarding lost productivity and direct costs over a more extended period. When you’re not able to plan ahead for the costs associated with a problem, you may find that your IT budgets are short when you get ready to implement the “next big thing” for your business users. Reduce the overall risk to your business and protect your ongoing profitability by implementing a managed IT services model.
What Are Break/Fix IT Services?
At their most basic, break/fit IT services are precisely that — when something breaks, you call someone to fix the problem. While this is a highly simplistic explanation, it represents a more reactive approach to technical problem resolution. Instead of actively looking for ways to partner with organizations to enhance their security, shore up problems and enhance usability, companies who specialize in break/fix solutions are waiting to hear about a problem before they jump into action. When that happens, technicians work with your business remotely or come onsite to diagnose the problem, ultimately charging your business an expansive hourly rate for the resolution. You pay only for services that you’re using when you need to use them. While there are no monthly or ongoing fees, it can be complicated to predict when you’re going to have a problem or the extent of the costs required to fix the issues.
If the technician you work with doesn’t have experience with your particular platforms, they may spend a fair bit of time getting up to speed and researching the issue and resolution. If the problem isn’t fixed the first time, you’ll be charged each time technicians spend time working with your business. It’s difficult if not impossible to predict long-term support costs with this model and since technicians are paid by the hour, there isn’t a compelling case for them to quickly come to a resolution that gets your teams back online.
How Are IT Managed Services Different from Break/Fix?
With an IT managed services model, you’re paying a consistent monthly rate to ensure that your business infrastructure remains secure, scalable and accessible. An IT managed services contract often includes guaranteed uptime and specific expectations around how quickly questions are answered or solutions provided. This means that your IT department is able to accurately project costs over time while still maintaining a high-performance, complex environment. This type of model allows your technology team to offload many of the day-to-day tasks associated with infrastructure management, such as:
- Password resets
- File and folder recovery
- Application of software and security patches
- Virus and malware protection
- Server scaling
- Software license management
- Business continuity and disaster recovery solutions
- Mobile device management
- Security and compliance support
Each of these services provides a unique value to your business while allowing IT professionals with the capacity to push internal business and technology initiatives forward.
Enhanced Security Solutions
A key concern for businesses today is the security of systems and data — both information that is in transit as well as at rest. With a managed services IT provider, you have the assurance of a team of security experts actively reviewing your business’s security and performance metrics. Proactive monitoring of a wide range of systems from a central interface allows your managed services partner to offer proactive recommendations to enhance your security as well as spot problems and begin immediate remediation. A data breach can cost your business thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars, but a quick catch of a vulnerability can often be patched before cybercriminals have an opportunity to slip through your security procedures. This augmented security posture is particularly important for organizations storing personal, health or financial information for their customers.
Whether you are currently looking for an IT services partner or just exploring the idea of moving in this direction, the benefits are clear. More predictable cost structures over time, a deeper well of expertise on which to draw and the ability to quickly return to productivity are all compelling arguments for this proactive approach to your information technology infrastructure.