How to break up with your break/fix internal IT solution.
For years, break/fix IT solutions were one of the most important methods of managing IT, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses. For many SMEs, break/fix solutions were a useful way for in-house IT services to cope when issues that needed expertise cropped up. In the past, IT systems were less complex, and most organizations relied on in-house services for most of their IT needs.
These days however, most SMEs have far more complex IT requirements, while at the same time organizations are increasingly moving away from the in-house model in favor of productized services and IT/SaaS. Coupled with the increasing subtlety of cyber attacks, most SMEs find that a more proactive response to IT and security is required.
This is where managed IT services come in. As the popularity of break/fix declines, more and more businesses are turning to a Managed Services Provider (MSP) for their IT solutions. Technology, software and transformation/innovation in the IT sector has reshaped the way that organizations structure their IT, and has also changed the game when it comes to managing their IT.
So what exactly are break/fix solutions? How are managed services different? And why are managed services better for your business? Read on to find out…
What are break/fix IT solutions?
Breakf/fix IT services are designed to help you out when problems or issues arise, rather than provide a consistent service. They are by nature reactive, stepping in when something breaks, or when there has been a security alert.
Break/fix engineers add expertise to in-house IT services, dealing with broken hardware or issues that go beyond the resources or capability of the in-house staff. The best thing about break/fix services is that businesses are only charged for the services they actually use. THere are no contracts, subscriptions or fees.
Break/fix solutions give the organization’s in-house IT staff more control and autonomy over their own IT issues, and is a simple way of dealing with IT.
What are managed IT services?
Managed IT services on the other hand are supremely proactive. They are designed to manage continually evolving IT technology, administer industry-specific critical systems and leverage best practices and shared resources to positively impact user experience with IT.
Managed services essentially run your IT infrastructure remotely, providing the right systems to improve productivity, protecting your business with cyber security, and looking for ways to accelerate your business processes and help things run more smoothly.
Managed IT services are able to be proactive about dealing with potential issues before they arrive, and tend to be more cost-effective than in-house IT staff, providing the equivalent of a full IT department for a fraction of the price.
Why are managed services better for your business?
As previously mentioned, IT systems are far more complicated than they were five years ago. IT is a far more integral and integrated part of a successful small business, and IT requirements have changed significantly. In general, break/fix solutions are no longer sufficient for the vast majority of businesses, and leave organizations unable to keep up with the pace of innovation and transformation within the IT sector.
Managed services offer a variety of advantages over the break/fix model.
Cost and payment structure
Financial management and cash flow are vital elements of the smooth functioning of an SME. With an MSP all costs are included in one monthly fee, so you know exactly what you are going to pay upfront, and can budget accordingly. While businesses might be attracted by the initial low costs and potentially cost-effective elements of break/fix solutions, they are by their nature variable, uncertain and uncontrollable. Businesses are unable to plan effectively, and although the regularity of break/fix costs should be less, they usually end up exceeding the monthly fees of an MSP especially in the event of a major IT infrastructure meltdown.
Break/fix models are reactive, and are great for dealing with hardware that goes wrong. But they don’t provide overall stability, as they only step in when there is an issue. Managed services are designed to ensure that all your IT systems run smoothly, and provide a consistent and stable service. MSPs invest constantly in your digital infrastructure to avoid outages and maximise uptime. In a break/fix model, more outages mean more income, so there is less incentive to invest.
Risk and security
Break/fix IT solutions are essentially a gamble by an organization that nothing terrible will happen, and make a trade-off between security and up-front costs. MSPs take a proactive approach to IT security, implementing a dynamic, risk-mitigation strategy, and aiming to prevent disasters from happening, rather than dealing with them when they do.
Managed service providers are on hand 24/7 to sort out urgent issues and ensure the smooth running of your network. With a managed service your organization will have constant access to a helpdesk run by IT experts. With a break/fix solution, you won’t.
Proactive maintenance and monitoring
As mentioned above, a smooth running network is in the best interests of your MSP. Therefore they take a proactive approach to maintenance and monitoring, identifying, fixing and even preventing problems before they happen. Many MSPs will monitor your IT systems 24/7, and aim to provide the optimum uptime possible.
Strategy and future goals
Potentially the most important area where an MSP can help your business is in making IT fundamental to your organization, and making it a central part of planning and strategizing. An MSP becomes your IT partner, providing assistance with digital strategy, and helping to align your IT goals with the long-term objectives of your company. They will take the lead in seeking out innovation and looking for ways that your IT systems can drive success and growth for your organization.
Of course, every business has different needs, and every business must make their own decisions when it comes to IT services. There are no blanket solutions that suit everyone. If you would like more information, or to discuss managed services in more detail, then the experts at CompuVision would be delighted to hear from you.