IT Support Services: Yes, Your Business Needs Them
Running a business? You need managed IT services. We're breaking down why they're so important to running your business - and how you truly know it's time.
Managed IT Support Sevices are nothing new, yet until recently most businesses have stuck to an outdated break/fix support model. They have an in-house IT staff that manages everyday technical issues like email management and data storage, and only go to outside firms for major systems issues.
CompTIA found that in 2015, 38% of businesses who used a managed IT Support service provider had enhanced network security. 47% of small businesses found improved efficiency and reliability, and 28% said cost savings was the number one driving factor in their decision to switch to managed IT support.
In 2015, only 30% of small businesses utilized a managed IT service provider, but that amount is nearly double the year before. And with more and more companies discovering the benefits of managed IT support, that number is likely to continue growing.
Is your business still stuck with the traditional break/fix support model? You might be surprised to learn that a managed IT service provider could save your business money, time, and resources without having to get rid of your in-house staff.
We'll be explaining some of the benefits of managed IT support services over traditional break/fix support, how it affects your in-house IT staff, and how to know if it's time for your business to make a change.
Break/Fix vs. Managed IT Support Services
The traditional Break/Fix model for IT support focused on problems that have already occurred, rather than preventing issues before they happened. If a system went down or malfunctioned, the business would call IT support like a repairman and they would bill the business after the issue was resolved.
The biggest problem with this model is that the business has to suffer any consequences that result from the system downtime, costing money and potential clients, reducing productivity, and tarnishing your brand's image of professionalism.
Outside IT support firms work like a home maintenance person. They respond when you have a problem and charge you a fee after the work is completed.
This means that the cost is not only unexpected and likely not budgeted for, but also generally higher because break/fix support firms must account for not having consistent business or profits.
Managed IT support firms are on contract with your business, so you pay a fixed monthly rate. The service providers generally work to keep costs low because what benefits your business, benefits their business.
Their focus is on long-term consistent work, rather than an immediate high payout.
2. Network Stability and Maintenance
Break/Fix support tends to benefit when your business has an unstable network because it means more issues for them to fix and more fees they can charge to you.
They're also can't keep up on maintenance to prevent future issues because they're not regularly checking your network, so more problems are guaranteed to occur in the future.
Managed IT support services are incentivized to keep your network as stable as possible because they are judged on their ability to do so. If your network goes down frequently under a managed IT service, they're likely to be replaced, while the break/fix service wants your network to go down, because that's how they get paid.
This means that managed services are incentivized to invest in the latest network management systems to keep everything running as smooth as possible and because managed services are contracted to your business, they can keep up with day-to-day maintenance to prevent system issues from occurring in the first place.
3. Response Time/ Fix Time
A break/fix service is generally judged based on how fast they can respond to your issue and how quickly they can resolve it, but you're not their only client so you're likely not their top priority.
Most break/fix support firms are billed by time rather than per incident resolved, so the slower they work, the more you have to pay them. This means more system downtime and reduced productivity.
Managed IT services are contracted to your business, so even if they're a large firm, they will have a dedicated team of IT professionals on-call to fix any unexpected issues.
Because longer downtimes make them look bad, they have more incentive to fix system issues quickly and keep your business running.
4. The "Agency Problem"
The "Agency Problem" is a term used by economists to describe the relationship between a customer that relies on an outside agency whose goals are fundamentally different from their own.
It's the biggest factor in the break/fix model vs. the managed service model because it affects every service IT support provides to a business.
Break/Fix service providers benefit when your network is down when you have frequent IT problems, and when it takes a long time to resolve your issue. Their goals directly counter your business.
Managed service providers are in more of a partnership with your business. They want your system to be stable and your business to be running smoothly because it directly reflects on their image and their profits.
Supporting Your In-House IT, Not Replacing
Signing on with a managed IT service provider does not necessarily mean replacing your in-house IT staff. Typically, managed providers take on the most time-consuming burdens that your in-house staff maintains such as email hosting, customer relationship management applications, storage, backup/recovery, and network monitoring.
Managed IT Support Services frees up your in-house IT staff for more strategic projects. Social media campaigns, custom app development or cloud initiatives.
Today's business environment is run by technology. In order for your company to grow and develop, it has to be up-to-date with the technical side of the industry landscape. This means digital marketing, app and website development, and up-to-date systems management.
Dedicating your in-house IT staff solely to day-to-day upkeep and repair would be wasting an extremely valuable and potentially profitable resource on basic tasks.
Why hire someone who builds mansions just to change the lightbulbs in your shack?
Is It Time to Make the Switch to Managed IT Support?
The break/fix model used to make sense for businesses when IT played only a minor role in operations. The potential for issues was less frequent and less threatening to your brand.
Today, the digital landscape is much more complex and entirely essential for your business's growth and survival. Your system going down could mean that your customers have no way to reach you or that they go to one of your competitors instead.
Don't waste your in-house resources or pay outside firms that benefit from your failures. Make the switch to Managed IT support services and take advantage of your digital resources today!