IT service providers have sustained massive shifts in the technology landscape over the last few decades. With new technologies comes new client demands and requirements to adjust to a rapidly changing IT ecosystem.
With the rapid rise in personal computers, came maintenance and servicing issues, making IT a critical component in business continuity processes. Two decades ago, when a machine failed, businesses would contact IT support and outsource services on the go.
Businesses would dial up IT service providers who would show up, troubleshoot problems, and fix machines. This reactive model of hiring IT service providers to come and fix machines, update software and assess networks and systems is what came to be known as the break-fix model in IT support.
The break-fix model is a method of providing IT support to companies and client businesses. The break-fix services are generally fee-based and rely on the organization to dial up the IT support when services and maintenance are needed. The break-fix method typically works on a time-and-materials basis wherein the client is charged an hourly rate plus the cost of purchasing any parts. With break-fix models, the IT service company doesn’t commit itself to service level agreements SLAs. That means factors like fees and response times depend solely on the severity of the issue at hand and how long it takes to diagnose the problem.
Disadvantages of the Break-Fix Method
The break-fix model may be ideal for certain clients and for particular situations. Under the right conditions, this method can be profitable and effective for client organizations. That’s said, there’s a reason that “managed services” have emerged as the next frontier of IT support. The break-fix model may create a scenario where you’re in constant conflict with clients because of unsolved issues. The evolving nature of IT problems demands that clients have a constant and reliable source of IT support.
That said, here are a few fundamental flaws with the break-fix model:
- Misaligned Incentives. In this model, service providers only get paid when there’s a problem. That creates an oppositional dynamic where IT service providers win anytime the clients lose.
- Unpredictable Costs. Because the break/fix work is case-by-case and reactive, it’s difficult for client organizations to budget ahead of time. This means that service providers have to deal with unbudgeted issues.
- Client Burden. The burden is on the client to figure out the problem and advise service providers accordingly. That means that clients are required to be decision-makers even if they’re not qualified or competent for the job.
- Downtime. The reactive nature of this model also means that clients have to deal with service downtime while they alert the service providers and wait for a response.
- Short-sightedness. Since services are billed hourly, the break/fix model incentivizes clients to choose quick fixes over long-term, more intensive solutions.
- Expensive. There’s no doubt that remediation is costlier than prevention. That means that the break-fix model relies on reactive responses as opposed to preventing system failures and business disruptions.
Managed Service Provider
Unlike the break/fix model, a managed service provider MSP is a proactive IT support. In addition to monitoring and managing networks and help desk support, an MSP provides proactive, regular maintenance, including data back-up, cloud security, and network assessment.
Here are examples of services rendered in managed IT support plans:
- Helpdesk Support and 24/7 Monitoring. The service provider manages the IT service helpdesk with 24/7 monitoring to ensure your network is fully protected.
- Risk and Compliance Management. Every sector must comply with certain requirements – MSPs manage and ensure that your IT systems meet certain regulatory requirements.
- System and Software Maintenance. The managed service provider actively monitors systems and networks to identify and detect issues before they occur and become costly problems.
- Server Management and Configuration. The MSPs can set up, update, and monitor your servers to ensure they respond well regardless of new bugs or updates.
There are undoubtedly many benefits to hiring a managed service provider for your organization. Their proactive approach to IT support means they can save you money by preventing issues from translating into costly downtimes.
Managed service providers also provide high-level IT support at just a fraction of the cost of hiring and maintaining a full-time in-house team. In addition, the MSPs have recurring, predictable costs, which means that clients and organizations can budget and keep a better forecast of IT service costs.
Bastionpoint – Full-Service IT Support
Bastionpoint is Richmond’s complete IT service firm for any business or organization. Bastionpoint offers the convenience of a full-service IT company at just a fraction of the cost and a host of managed IT services at a flat-rate fee.
Contact Bastionpoint to get started with managed IT services.