When it comes to technology, small business leaders find themselves under constant pressure to compromise between expenses and the value that it can bring to their operations. To many, the traditional break/fix support model sounds attractive simply because there are no monthly service fees involved, and they believe existing employees can resolve minor issues. If something goes really wrong, you simply call a contractor that you pay by the hour — sounds good, right?
Unfortunately, the break/fix model is based on the adage, “if it’s not broken, then don’t try to fix it.” For decades, this was a widely accepted practice simply because it was the only available option. The problem with this approach is that it inevitably leads to IT becoming a costly liability rather than an asset that drives growth. The alternative to the break/fix model is managed IT services, which combine proactive maintenance with reliable technical support.
#1. The costs are unpredictable
The biggest drawback with break/fix support is that the costs, both direct and indirect, are highly unpredictable. For starters, it’s often hard to tell whether you’re paying a fair hourly rate. For example, a lower hourly rate might seem attractive at first, until you realize it takes the technician three times longer to resolve the problem than it would take someone charging twice the rate. In the end, you never know how much it’s going to cost until you get the invoice.
#2. Indirect costs can quickly add up
Every minute of unscheduled downtime results in the potential for reputational damage and stunted employee productivity and morale. An outage that lasts only a couple hours can lead to enormous unforeseen expenses. Aside from the fact that you never know how long it will take for someone to show up and fix the problem, there’s also the worry that the process might reveal a far more serious underlying issue.
#3. There’s no proactive care
Just like all the other machines we rely on every day, computers can go wrong at any moment and without warning. Furthermore, the complexities of modern technology often mean that it takes some time to diagnose a serious problem or for issues to become noticeable in the first place. Just because a computer seems to be working fine doesn’t mean that there isn’t a problem lurking just beneath the surface. If you rely on break/fix support exclusively, there’s no round-the-clock monitoring or any other form of proactive care.
#4. Security takes a backseat
If there’s one thing you cannot afford to compromise on, it’s information security. Heavily relying on break/fix support entails a lack of a forward-thinking strategy, so technicians often have to rely on temporary workarounds, which may open up new network vulnerabilities.
Most data breaches don’t get discovered until months after they’ve actually happened, a disturbing fact that often comes down to a lack of proactive care and ongoing technology strategy. By contrast, proactive care allows you to identify potential security threats and other issues in advance.
#5. No long-term solution
Relying on break/fix support is a gamble. It’s a short-term solution that rarely explores further, underlying issues. Technicians often want to fix the problem as soon as possible, since there is limited benefit to them to dig deeper. As such, the chances of the problem recurring are substantially higher.
It’s rather like going to the dentist for the first time in ten years to get a root canal treatment only to find you also need several crowns, fillings, and tooth extractions. Proactive support, by contrast, is all about identifying potential issues before they can become serious problems. Therefore, you have far fewer unpleasant surprises to deal with.
Enteracloud provides innovative technology solutions that support San Diego businesses and drive future growth. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.