Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Why Managed IT With a Good MSP is Superior to Break-Fix

Most small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have some relationship with an outside IT services provider that they call on to help keep their internal IT operations running smoothly. In fact, according to a survey conducted by CompTIA, more than two-thirds of companies have such a partner. In many cases, the way businesses make use of their IT services vendor is counterproductive.

That's because many SMBs operate in break-fix mode; the only time they call in their IT services partner is when their network or a server or a storage array breaks down. It may seem the most cost-effective way of doing things. After all, you only pay for service calls made. The opposite is true, however. Waiting until something breaks to call in your IT services vendor to fix it likely costs you far more than you may be aware.

Problems with the Break-Fix Approach

The primary issue with break-fix is that it is reactive rather than proactive. By definition, nothing happens until something breaks, and you have to make a call for help: "Our network has been down for two hours, and we haven't been able to get it running again. Please send someone over to get it back up."

What SMBs often fail to take into account is that even before they make that call for help, they have already lost a substantial amount of money. According to IDC, the cost of IT downtime for small businesses is between $137 and $427 per minute. So, when something breaks in a company's IT operations, the cost to get it fixed is far more than just the fee the IT services provider will charge.

Think about that fee and what it means to your IT service partner. They only get paid when you have problems, so they have little incentive to suggest proactive ways you can avoid problems in the future. Plus, once they are called in, the more time and resources (in parts and labor) they expend in getting you back online, the greater their fee is likely to be.

In other words, with the break-fix approach, the incentives you set up for your IT services provider run directly counter to the interests of your business.

The Alternative to Break-Fix: Managed IT Services

A much better option than the break-fix approach is to partner with a managed IT services provider or MSP. By doing so, you'll move from a reactive to a proactive stance that will result in fewer problems, less downtime, and an overall reduction in costs.

Employing a top-flight MSP realigns the incentives in the relationship in your favor. Rather than being paid for problem resolution on a per-issue basis, the MSP contracts with you to provide 24/7/365 support for your IT operations. Because they are continuously monitoring your network, servers, and storage, a good MSP will often detect potential problems long before they result in a complete breakdown. In fact, in many cases MSPs can identify and correct issues before the client is even aware of them.

The MSP takes on the responsibility for keeping your IT shop running smoothly. Since you are paying a set monthly amount rather than a per-incident fee, it's in the MSP's interest to ensure that as few incidents as possible occur. Therefore, they are likely to be very diligent about suggesting operational improvements and best practices, as well as technology upgrades, that will minimize the amount of downtime you experience.

If your company has been operating in break-fix mode, now would be an excellent time to consider how a top-notch MSP can reduce both your downtime and your maintenance costs.



Robert Blake
Bit by Bit Computer Consultants
721 N Fielder Rd. #B
Arlington, Texas 76012 
Direct 817.505.1257
Mobile 972.365.7010

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