Information technology has become an essential part of modern business. It allows businesses to improve their efficiency and for those companies that can stay on top of the latest advances, often provides a competitive advantage.
How you maintain your IT infrastructure is a strategic decision that could have a big impact on the way your business performs.
In Toronto’s highly competitive environment choosing the right IT support strategy is critical.
When it comes to IT support, there are mainly two service models, the Managed Services and the Break/Fix model.
Which model works best for your organization?
That depends on a number of factors such as the nature of your business and how critical your IT Systems are to your operations.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the pros and cons of these two support models and how to choose the right one for your organization.
Break/Fix IT Service Model
The Break/Fix IT service model is a reactive approach to IT support. Under this model, you hire an IT professional or IT service provider to come and repair your computers when something goes wrong.
Benefits of Break/Fix services
- No Monthly Service Fee – You don’t have to incur a monthly payment. You pay only for the time and materials spent on fixing your systems. Depending on how stable your IT infrastructure is, this can be a cheaper option in the short term.
- No Long-Term Obligation – Unless you hire a Break/Fix contractor on a retainer basis, there is generally no time commitment.
Disadvantages of Break/Fix services
- Unaligned Objectives: Break/Fix providers have no incentive to fix the underlying problems affecting your IT systems. Why? Because they usually charge by the hour, so you may want them to finish as fast as possible. If the problem recurs, they get the chance to come back and bill you yet again.
- Harder to Budget: You cannot anticipate the occurrence or complexity of IT problems, so Break/Fix makes your IT expenditures harder to budget.
- Unpredictable Demand: When a massive IT systems failure occur, affecting multiple businesses (remember the Wanna Cry ransomware incident?) it can be harder or more expensive to hire a Break/Fix consultant, leaving your systems exposed for a longer time period.
- Prevention is Cheaper Than the Cure: A large number of IT systems failures can be traced back to outdated systems and can be prevented by routine updates and systems maintenance.
Managed Service Model
Under the managed service model, you ask an experienced IT services provider to handle some or all of the tasks related to the support and maintenance of your IT infrastructure.
In a managed IT service provider model, the customer pays a monthly fee for the service, and the managed service provider takes on responsibility for the functionality of the company’s IT infrastructure and systems.
Benefits of Managed Services
- Proactive: Managed service providers perform periodic updates, security patches, and maintenance procedures on your IT systems – reducing the risk of exposure to viruses and vulnerabilities that when exploited could disrupt your business operations.
- Easier to Budget: Managed service providers usually are hired on the basis of a fixed monthly subscription. This makes it easier to budget your IT support expenditures.
- Proven Expertise: Managed IT services providers, usually provide standardized services to several companies. This standardization makes it easier for the managed services company to offer competitive prices, develop standard procedures, and provide quality services.
- Best Practices in a Box: The managed services industry is highly competitive. This forces managed services providers to stay on top of the latest IT management trends and implement new methodologies and best practices to ensure consistency in the services they provide.
Disadvantages of Managed Services
- Monthly Fee: This can be an advantage if you want predictable costs and if you see the value in the services provided.
What Service Model is right for me?
When choosing between IT service models, you need to consider how important it is for your business to maintain the stability of your IT systems, and what cost model you feel most comfortable with. If your IT infrastructure and applications are core to your business, you should definitively go for the Managed Services model. It will provide you with preventive maintenance and the support of an experienced IT professional.
If budget is your main concern, and your business can handle downtime, you may be better suited with a Break/Fix model.
What to consider when choosing an IT Service Provider
- Industry Experience: If technology is a key component of your business, you don’t want to take risks with an inexperienced managed service provider. Make sure your service provider has a proven track record of delivering quality services and has relevant experience in your industry.
- Staff: Any company is as good as their employees, you want to make sure the professional staff has the competencies and the experience necessary to manage your IT support requirements.
- Services Scope: You want to take a close look at the services that your managed service provider offers. Which of those services are you getting for your monthly fee? Which services are out of the scope? You will have to pay an extra fee for those services.
- Billing Structure: How are you going to pay for the services? is it a monthly fee? Do you have to pay a setup fee? make sure you understand the billing structure to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Sysoft Consulting has been helping businesses optimize and maintain their IT infrastructure for more than 27 years. Our experts have extensive experience and a broad range of expertise to manage your IT needs.
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