In recent years, the IT service industry has undergone a significant evolution. The advent of personal computers and the rapid adoption of technology have brought new challenges to businesses, including the need for regular maintenance and repair. In the past, companies would rely on break-fix IT service providers to address issues as they arose, with technicians visiting their office location to troubleshoot and repair machines, networks, and other IT systems. While this model of service delivery was effective, it was also reactive and limited in scope.
How do you define break-fix?
Break-fix service is a term used to describe a particular approach to IT support. This method is characterised by a pay-as-you-go model, where clients only reach out to service providers when they require repairs or upgrades. IT companies that provide break-fix services typically bill on a time-and-materials basis, charging an hourly rate in addition to the cost of parts.
Unlike other forms of IT support, break-fix providers do not typically offer service-level agreements (SLAs). Instead, the level of service and the fees associated with it will vary depending on the nature and severity of the issue at hand, as well as the time required to resolve the problem.
Benefits and drawbacks of IT break-fix support
The break-fix model of IT support offers both advantages and disadvantages for clients. On the one hand, the pay-as-you-go structure of this model can be appealing for small businesses with straightforward IT needs, as it eliminates the need for an up-front investment in services. Additionally, this model is relatively uncomplicated for IT service providers, as they are only required to bill for technician labour rates and parts.
However, the break-fix model has its downsides, particularly in terms of proactive monitoring and preventive maintenance. Without these measures in place, clients are essentially waiting for something to go wrong rather than taking steps to prevent issues from arising. This can be detrimental to a business, especially if a failure occurs at an inopportune time. Additionally, because service providers are not incentivised to resolve issues quickly, clients may end up paying more in the long run to fix problems.
Moving beyond the break-fix model
As the demands of IT environments have grown increasingly complex in recent years, many IT service providers have begun to transition away from the traditional break-fix model of service delivery. In today’s fast-paced business world, companies require a proactive approach to IT management to maintain system operations and mitigate security risks.
Managed services have emerged as a popular alternative to break-fix, offering a proactive approach to IT management through routine monitoring and maintenance, as well as service-level agreements (SLAs) to ensure that clients’ IT systems remain operational. This model typically involves billing clients on a monthly or annual basis, with fees based on the number of endpoints under management or the number of end users.
For service providers, the managed services model provides a more predictable revenue stream compared to the unpredictable nature of the break-fix model. Additionally, this model benefits clients by reducing the likelihood of major disruptions due to unforeseen IT system failures and by aligning the interests of both the client and the service provider to quickly resolve any issues that may arise.
Managed IT services have evolved to encompass a wide range of essential capabilities for businesses. These services typically include:
• Endpoint monitoring and management: This involves the proactive monitoring and management of a client’s IT infrastructure, whether on-premises, remote/off-network, or in the cloud. Automated processes for routine server and workstation maintenance, as well as auto-remediation of common IT incidents, are included in this service.
• Help desk: Technical support for end-users is provided to ensure that employees can quickly resolve any IT-related issues they may encounter.
• Security: Managed IT services also include measures to keep devices secure, such as antivirus and antimalware protection, automated software patch management, and security reporting to ensure that clients’ systems are always up-to-date and protected against potential threats.
• Backup and disaster recovery: Data storage, backup, and recovery testing are also important aspects of managed IT services, ensuring that clients’ data is safeguarded and can be quickly restored in the event of a disaster.
In today’s business landscape, managed IT services have become a vital component for companies looking to streamline their IT operations and ensure optimal performance. Managed service providers (MSPs) utilise advanced tools such as remote monitoring and management (RMM) and professional services automation (PSA) to effectively manage their clients’ IT infrastructure and efficiently run their own businesses.
Ensure Services presents a holistic managed services package that expertly handles every aspect of IT projects. The suite of services offered by the company encompasses on-site enterprise support, IT project management, and delivery, as well as IMAC&D, enterprise warranty support, roll-out and migration, and implementation services. All of these services are provided within a controlled and risk-managed environment. By entrusting their IT needs to Ensure Services, technology partners can confidently expand their reach to new geographies and focus on their core competencies.