One of the unfortunate realities of running a modern enterprise is that eventually you are going to run into IT problems. From defending against targeted attacks to routine service and maintenance, proper IT management is paramount to keeping your business operations running smooth and effectively.
When it comes to managing your IT enterprise, there are two schools of thought – break/fix and managed IT services. While both approaches offer solutions for key IT concerns like remote monitoring and management, desktop management and server management, there are stark differences between them.
What Is Break/Fix?
In a break/fix environment, enterprises take an extremely targeted approach, only addressing IT problems as they arise on an as-needed basis. In a break/fix scenario, typically an outside IT service professional will come onsite to analyze the problem and then provide a solution for fixing it.
Break/Fix Approach Drawbacks
The break/fix approach is adopted by some businesses as a way to avoid lengthy service contracts or subscriptions, or retain greater control over their environment. However, the ad-hoc nature of the break/fix approach also comes with unique drawbacks.
Cost Of System Downtime
One of the most immediately apparent disadvantages to the break/fix model is the risk of system downtime. While some IT problems are relatively minor and can be dealt with in the background without affecting normal business operations, more serious IT problems can cause your entire system to shut down – either forcibly, or in order to apply protracted system fixes or updates. These downtimes can be extremely costly for businesses.
According to the latest Gartner research, the average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute. For some organizations this cost is even higher, reaching highs of up to $540,000 per hour on the top end. In addition to the direct financial cost, downtimes can inflict indirect costs such as productivity loss, and loss of reputation or competence in the eyes of the consumer or client.
Another drawback to the break/fix method is it lacks the ability to actually make improvements to the network architecture. Using the break/fix model, IT network performance will (at best) stay static, and (more commonly) will deteriorate over time as more demands are put on an aging network. This can quickly result in frustrated employees, unsatisfied customers, and drops in productivity.
If you are not proactively patching, upgrading, and replacing your network as it ages, it will naturally become less reliable. By ignoring proactive investment in the network in favor of ad-hoc fixes, problems begin to compound on one another and grow in both frequency and complexity. In this way, break/fix can actually result in more, not less, problems over the long-term.
One of the more unpleasant realities of the modern cyber landscape is that data breaches are a serious and escalating concern for IT enterprises of any size. As of the end of April, there have been 11,639 data breaches this year already according to ITRC, with more occurring every day. IBM estimates the average cost of each one of these data breaches at $3.92 million in their latest Cost of a Data Breach research.
One of the biggest risks a business faces when utilizing the break/fix model is that they are not keeping up with security best practices or proactively guarding their enterprise from new and emerging attack tactics, techniques, and procedures. This risk is especially concerning as incidents like ransomware attacks increase in frequency. In scenarios like these, if you are waiting for a problem to present itself before you address it, then attackers have probably locked down your entire system already and it is too late.
Break/Fix vs. Managed IT Services
The main problem with subscribing to the break/fix method is that it is an inherently reactive model; a problem occurs and a scramble begins to fix it immediately. Every day becomes a balancing act between manpower, cost, and consistency. This puts your IT team into a state of constant fire drills, where panic and stress can quickly become the norm and burnout sets in fast.
To solve these problems, modern enterprises are adopting a more proactive approach, utilizing managed IT services to anticipate and mitigate problems ahead of time and avoid unnecessary disruption. Under a managed IT services model, services are outsourced to a third party that takes on shared responsibility for sustaining, fixing, and improving the IT enterprise. This provides companies with a more comprehensive and proactively ongoing level of service. Because managed services are contracted subscription services, they also result in more predictable costs for businesses.
Speak With An Experienced Managed IT Services Provider
TCB provides Managed IT Services to clients nationwide utilizing remote software tools and unique cost-saving business and implementations. Having this arsenal at the ready enables you to focus on what is important for your business. Talk to us today about your Remote Monitoring and Management, Desktop Management and Server Management needs.
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