IT Services: What options do business have?

“Break-Fix” and “Managed Services”

There are 2 ways that Information Technology (IT) providers can provide service to their customers.  The first way is “Break-Fix” which is the method that most people are familiar with.  The second way is “managed services” which isn’t new but does require some explaining.

Break Fix

In this model, the customer calls the IT provider whenever there is something wrong and then it gets fixed.  This seems like a good idea until some of the downsides are considered.  There is no preventative or recurring maintenance that happens.  Without this maintenance, small problems can escalate into large problems.  If a large problem like a server crash happens, the customer will get a big repair bill.  This can be further exacerbated if data backups weren’t being done properly.  People are essentially gambling that nothing will go wrong with their system.  Finally, there is no predictability to the cost because some months can have low costs and other months the cost can be through the roof.  Many people think that this is the only way that IT providers can deliver their service.  However, that just isn’t true.

Managed Services

With managed services, it fixes all of the problems with break fix.  The customer can budget a set amount and pay a predictable fee each month.  The number of services available in a contract can vary from just providing a few services to nearly everything being covered in the monthly fee.  This puts the customer in charge of what they spend.  Customers are more productive because they can focus on their business instead of clearing temporary files, defragging hard drives, and installing patches.  Additionally, they enjoy peace of mind knowing that their network and computers are covered and being managed professionally.

From an IT provider’s perspective, this is a great way to do business.

1.    We become a true business partner with our customer.
2.    Ongoing maintenance can head off small problems from becoming a disaster.
3.    The customer doesn’t have to keep an eye on the clock when they speak to them because phone consultations are covered under the contact.
4.    The IT provider is highly motivated to provide the best experience to their customers because this reduces costs and increases productivity.



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