If you are a small to medium sized business looking for business IT Support the choice can be bewildering.
However, in my view, there are actually only 2 types of IT Support on offer. All offerings from other IT Support companies are just variants of 2 themes.
The two types of IT Support Service on offer are:
1. Break-Fix IT Support.
2. Managed Services IT Support.
Break-Fix IT Support
Break-Fix does what it says on the can. Basically you wait for your computer system to break, then you get it fixed and you pay for the time taken to fix the problem.
Sounds simple, but there are 3 potential issues with this:
- Prevention is cheaper than cure – we all instinctively know this to be true, but it’s hard to put a number to the cost of waiting for things to break.
- Cost is open ended – if the problem takes 1 hour to fix then you pay for 1 hour of IT Support. If it takes 1 day then you pay for 1 day of IT Support. This makes it difficult to budget for your IT Services and sometimes a bit scary when you get the bill.
- No incentive to cure the underlying problem – the IT Support Company supplying a Break-Fix IT Support Service has no incentive to fix the underlying problem. Firstly, because you are paying by the hour you put pressure on them to get any kind of fix and secondly if the problem recurs again they get the chance to come back and bill you yet again.
Managed Services IT Support
A Managed Service is fundamentally different. You don’t pay on an hourly basis – you pay an agreed fee for a working system. It’s then up to the Managed Service Provider to make the system work no matter how much time it takes them.
The wise Managed Service Provider spends their time and energy on preventing problems with your computer network rather than expensively fire fighting problems that arise. Though there will always be some fire fighting this can be minimised with effective network management.
The 4 Key Differences Between The 2 Types of IT Support
Have a look at these 4 criteria to establish what you are being offered:
- Proactive – updates, security and maintenance procedures.
- Recurring – maintenance is an on going task so it needs to be done on a regular basis.
- Fixed Price – usually a fixed monthly subscription.
- Defined Bundle of IT Services – this will be different for every Managed Service Provider, but both they and you should be clear what is going to be delivered for the fixed monthly fee and what is extra.
Which Type Of IT Support Is Right For You?
If you are dependent on your IT, if the cost of your computer system going down is high, or you have large complex computer system you need a Managed Service. The cost of Break-Fix becomes too high in these circumstances.
However, if your computer system is simple and non-critical than Break-Fix will be the cheaper option.
This should help simplify your decision making.