First, What is Break/Fix IT Support?
The way the IT industry used to provide support is often referred to as “Break/Fix.” Break/Fix IT support usually went something like this: When you had a problem (break) with your computer, printer or server you called a provider for help. That provider, if they had someone available, would send a technician to your business and charge you an hourly rate to research and repair (fix) your problem. For several reasons this often led to a contentious relationship between you and your IT service provider.
Top Ten Reasons Break/Fix IT Support is Broken:
#10 – You think, “If it’s not broke, then don’t touch it.”
This was the accepted practice 10 years ago. Today, patching and updating technology is imperative. It’s true that updating doesn’t always come without a glitch but cyber threats and data security concerns alone are enough reason to update your OS and Apps regularly.
#9 – You know it was working fine yesterday.
Most computer components, whether hardware or software, are flawed. Like the cars we drive they are in a constant state of degradation. Just as household appliances need to be replaced, no technology works the way its supposed to forever. Keeping an eye on that degradation so you know when to repair or replace an item is usually smarter than waiting until it’s broken and the need is immediate.
#8 – It’s difficult to know if you’re paying a fair hourly rate.
The cheapest provider is not always your best option. If they are charging you $60/hour for a technician what do you suppose they are paying that person? Salary is usually an indication of that person’s expertise. $60/hour at 8 hours to resolve an issue adds up quick versus paying someone else $150/hour for a top-level engineer that only needs 2 hours to fix the same problem.
#7 – You never know how long will it take for someone to show up.
If a break/fix provider has 5 engineers and on Monday morning they get 6 service calls, someone is going to wait – will it be you? The only way around this obstacle in a break/fix model is to over staff, but then they risk having people sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. Either they go out of business pretty quick or they find a way to pass the costs along to you.
#6 – You often wonder, “Why is it taking them so long to fix this?”
Most of us don’t think about the fact that every time we click the mouse or press the enter key literally thousands of things have to work the right way and in the proper order. Sometimes diagnosing a problem with a computer or network server is very complicated. Watching over someone’s shoulder rarely helps them speed up, at least with any amount of accuracy, so you’re left wondering if someone else could have resolved your problem quicker.
#5 – The IT company that was there last week fixed the problem in one hour.
Did they really fix the problem if you had to call another provider? Did they document the changes they made to your system? How will the next company know what the last company changed? If you take ten IT engineers and have them each design a network, chances are those networks will all be a little different – not wrong, just different. Using multiple providers, that are often competitors, is not a situation in which you want to find yourself. The end result can be a lot of finger pointing and still no resolution.
#4 – You want to know why someone can’t just fix the problem once and for all.
Most providers whether break-fix providers or managed service providers want to fix your IT problems and keep you happy. The truth is that if we take a look at just the operating system of one Windows server we are dealing with 50 million lines of programming code. The chances that there will be a problem in the future that looks like a problem you’ve had in the past is pretty high.
#3 – You’re having the same problems week after week and month after month.
There’s a chance its a new problem that looks like an old one (see #4) but it might be the same issue. Most break/fix providers will arrive to your location with time to try only one solution. They apply the most logical solution and if things looks good for 5 minutes, they move on to their next service call, it’s how they make money. The challenge is, not all problems are resolved with the first solution. Deeper issues take longer to diagnose and resolve. With a break/fix provider this usually means several trips to your office over an extended period of time, trying one solution at a time until they finally find what works. Do you pay for travel time and mileage?
#2 – You start to wonder if your provider is running up the bill.
Remember earlier when we said that relationships often became contentious, well if this is what your wondering, you have arrived at an impasse. Your IT provider needs to be someone you can trust. In today’s technology driven world you need a partner that understands the importance of your business, not just your IT needs. If you start to have doubts about whether or not they are being honest about your IT needs how can you trust them with anything more? The truth is most providers have no intention of running up the bill, but your problem is their revenue.
#1 – You’ve decided to just live with IT the way it is, even if it doesn’t work quite right.
The pain and expense of dealing with all the IT issues has gotten overwhelming and you just can’t do it anymore. You’ve determined that as long as things (sort of) work you’re going to live with it, even if the network is slow, even if you have to reboot your computer several times a day, even if the internet goes down once a week.
Three Ways ToSolution Repairs What’s Broken:
#3 – Your problem is not our revenue. With us, the less problems you have, the more profitable our business – it’s simple and it works for both of us – Flat Rate IT Support.
#2 – We don’t want our clients to just “live with it the way it is.” We want to provide you with an exceptional user experience. We want people to enjoy working on their computers – not dread them.
#1 – We are not only your IT provider, we are a business partner. We help companies leverage technology to grow their business not budget for the same IT problems year after year.