A question we often get is “Why do I need to be on a managed IT plan? Can’t I just pay someone to come out and fix things when they’re broken?” While that’s a legitimate question if we were talking about your washing machine or car, that’s NOT the right approach to a critical and dynamic IT system that your company depends on; you definitely don’t want to wait until something “breaks” before you try and fix a problem.
One virus or hacker attack, power loss, electronic component failure, disk space error, or hard drive crash can cause permanent data loss, extended downtime, a violation of data-breach laws, bad PR, loss of customers and sales, and a host of other expensive problems.
Under a “break-fix” model, there can be a stark difference between how a contractor and a managed IT technician would approach a problem.
IT contractors being called for break-fix have no history of the environment, no idea without research what the IT environment consists of, or what the issues are except for how it is described by the client. In many cases the IT company works to build an idea of the IT system to diagnose and correct the issue. This may take extra hours to fix an issue and for the issue to stay resolved. However, they are not looking at long term health of the system as they are only called to fix what is broken.
Break-fix also creates a management problem for you, the customer, who now must keep track of the hours they’ve worked to make sure the billing is accurate. The customer often has a hard time determining hours needed to fix any issue because they are not familiar with the IT environment, or the steps needed to fix the problem. The issue may also span several different components and not just the device that displayed the issue to start with. And finally, it makes budgeting for IT projects and expenses a nightmare since your IT bill may be zero one month and thousands the next.
A managed plan, places an emphasis on documentation, monitoring of systems, historical maintenance, and a strategic outlook to catch issues before they break, prevent issues from happening and being able to fix issues quicker based on the history with the client.
With a managed plan and historical experience with the client, an appropriate technician can be assigned to properly fix an issue. When you hire a break fix technician, you are running the risk that they will require several hours to understand your environment before they can make the appropriate fix. Managed IT firms are invested in the long-term reliability and stability of your environment, so all fixes will be oriented to your business goals. Most managed services plans are monthly fee based which allows a company to know what the cost is going to be and not have additional charges popping up when an issue occurs.
IT systems need regular monitoring and maintenance to protect against thousands of brand-new malware attacks that are released every day, not to mention accidental hiccups in data backup, employee error, hardware failure, sabotage from disgruntled employees, etc. The list is long.
So if keeping your IT systems up and running is important to you – as is keeping your network secure from data loss and cybercriminals – then the only option you should choose is a managed services plan from a competent, trustworthy and reliable IT services firm.