Why the Break-Fix Model No Longer Works for Businesses
In the digital age, downtime hurts
Twenty years ago, if your office used email, you were pretty high-tech. At that time, the majority of information was still stored on paper in physical file folders. Nobody really knew what a database analyst was and a lot of your workday involved pen and paper. Sure, you typed documents on your computer, but then you printed them out and stuck them in a folder that you placed into a drawer—or piled on your desk.
In that environment, if your computer was down for the day, you could probably figure out a workaround. You entered information manually and you called in a technician or you lugged your computer into a lab. It took a few days or longer for a fix, and then you got back to work. Life went on.
Depending on technology
Today, it’s rare to find a business that doesn’t rely heavily on technology for even the most basic services. Our “landline” phones are actually Voice over IP (VoIP). Email, chat and video conferencing have taken over as the major forms of office communication. The digital format for our information is rapidly taking the place of hard copies. Business data is now stored in the cloud or on a server, waiting for us to access it with a quick keystroke or the click of a mouse.
Today, If the servers housing your business data went down and you had to wait a whole day—or a week or more—to get things back up and running, you might as well shut your doors. It’s hard to find a workaround and make do. Without your data, your business can’t function, let alone provide service to customers.
Waiting until something is broken and then fixing it is not a viable solution for modern businesses.
Managed services offers a solution
If you can’t afford to lose access to your data and you need to ensure minimal downtime, what’s the solution? You need a proactive approach—to monitor your systems, be aware of potential problems before they interrupt service and head-off issues efficiently. That’s where managed services can help.
You might not have IT experts on hand in your business to track all your systems and make sure everything is running properly. By outsourcing parts of that process to a managed services provider, you can continue to focus on doing what you do best and providing your core services to clients. Let the managed services provider worry about monitoring your network and systems, documenting changes and preventing issues from escalating to service interruptions.
3 differences between break-fix and managed services
If you’ve been getting by on the “we’ll fix it when it breaks” model to this point, you might be wary of switching to managed services and understandably so. When everything is working, why mess with it? But, is it really working? Here are three key differences between the break-fix model and managed services:
1. Minimal downtime
Managed services minimizes downtime through a proactive approach With the break-fix model, you chug along beautifully right up until the moment everything screeches to a halt—and the fix takes as long as it takes. It could be an hour, a day, a week or more. Proactive monitoring lets you identify potential issues early on, so it can be headed off before you ever experience downtime. Remember, your managed services provider has access to important information about your network and systems so when a problem comes up, you don’t have to waste time explaining what’s going on. The tools are already in place to provide full diagnostics and a clear path to a solution.
2. Controlling expenses
Break-fix repairs can saddle you with unexpected expenses you haven’t budgeted for, causing serious cash-flow interruptions and forcing you to completely rethink your business plan on a moment’s notice. With a managed services plan in place, your costs are fixed, and you can budget and plan accordingly.
3. The risks of waiting
If you wait until something is broken, the technician who comes to fix it will certainly put in his or her best effort—but that might not be good enough. With a managed services plan, you have a service level agreement (SLA) that defines specifically what you can expect from your provider. You have certain guarantees that simply don’t exist in the break-fix world.
As a business owner, managed services allow you to focus solely on providing excellent service to your customers. When you work with a managed services provider, that provider will focus on giving excellent service—and as close to 100 percent uptime as it’s possible to get—to you.