Why the hype with Managed Services?
Just like larger companies, small businesses need technology to operate efficiently and to compete effectively. But as reliance on IT grows, the resources needed to support this increasingly complex IT environment may not. In many small businesses, IT resources are limited and can be quickly overwhelmed.
If you fall behind in keeping up with things such as backups, patches and security, the odds greatly increase that you’ll face an IT outage or another problem down the road that will negatively impact your business. For instance, if your Email server, customer relationship management system, financial application or network goes down, you will likely face substantial productivity and revenue losses as a result.
Managed Services vs. The Break-Fix Mentality
Managed services are also a philosophical change in the way that a business deals with its technology. Instead of following the old-school tradition of break-fix (literally meaning wait until the server, desktops or other critical networking devices fail, then scramble to fix them), a business operating with a managed service focuses on the prevention of these issues before they disrupt employees, management and/or clients.
Why Break-fix is no longer good enough for your business
A Break-fix maintenance service fixes problems as they crop up. This means that something needs to go wrong before you receive any service, resulting in an inevitable reduction in IT system performance while you wait for the problem to be fixed.
Today, no business can really afford the risk and uncertainty of relying on a “Break-fix maintenance service” because your business is too dependent on having a reliable IT system. Furthermore, having separate suppliers responsible for different parts of the system puts you in the difficult position of trying to decide who should be delivering the service you require. You simply do not have time for this.
Do Managed Services Cost More Than Traditional Break-Fix Services?
Actually no! Surprisingly most managed services cost less than traditional break-fix services, especially when including the true cost of downtime. Remote monitoring, remote maintenance and the prevention of major issues allow a managed services provider to be more efficient than a similar break-fix company who is constantly rolling a truck to visit customer sites. Therefore the managed service company can offer a “better” service without charging more.
Why are so many IT Firms now promoting Managed Services?
Because it puts the IT Support Company on the same page as the business they are serving. With traditional break-fix services, the only way for an IT Support company to make money is if something goes wrong — which to us as always was a double-edged sword. If we do our job too well, we’re out of business, which happens to about 80% of all small IT Firms — they just don’t make it.
How are Managed Services priced?
Managed services providers usually price their services on a flat-rate monthly basis. Depending on the services included in the program offered, pricing is usually based on the number of devices, with different packages priced at different levels. Some providers offer on-site customer support as an extra fee.
Basic services often start with a monitoring service, which notifies the ”you” of problems, which you resolve on your own. At the upper end of the spectrum, service providers offer fully managed services that cover everything from alerts through problem resolution. (Learn more about Managed Services Costs)
Daniel A. FitzGerald
Owner & President