We will be exploring the differences between traditional technical support practices and modern managed IT practices, and the pros and cons in regards to small and medium sized businesses. Check back every week for new content, bookmark this page and we will update this post each week with links to our newest content.

Organisations rely on computers and other technology in order to maintain effective day-to-day business. Unfortunately, most small businesses cannot afford to have an on-site technician take care of immediate issues that arise, answer support questions for employees, and perform general maintenance on the hardware and software that keeps operations running smoothly. When a problem arises, businesses typically reach out to a technical support company, local tech guru, or IT firm.

The traditional IT practice is often coined the “break-fix” method. When something, such as a computer, network, or server, is broken, tech support arrives on-site to fix it. They track their time and materials during the repair process. Often, a close business relationship between the two parties is never established – the technician may never be familiar with all of the intricacies and scope of the business’s IT needs, resulting in misguided support and even more billable time to resolve it. All the while the business is suffering a loss in productivity as the staff members affected by the outage experience downtime, and cannot perform their jobs as effectively without their working equipment.

This downtime is unavoidable even with the most proficient technician under the traditional IT model – the business pays the technician for fixing the issue while experiencing costly downtime. Depending on the employee’s role in the company, this could lead to missed opportunities, lower productivity, and necessary overtime in order to meet deadlines; all of which cost the business money.

A seemingly simple IT outage can add up to be a large, unexpected expense very quickly. Let’s look at two formulas for estimating the cost of downtime.

Profit lost:

P = (Number of users affected) x ((average hourly salary per employee) + (average profit per employee per hour)) x (duration of downtime in hours)

As you can see, wide-spread downtime can begin to rack up substantial costs in just minutes.

Modern-day IT services are based on some very simple tried and true best practices:

  • Regular maintenance prolongs the usability and performance of computer systems
  • Security patches and software updates protect the network from many threats and issues.
  • Remote technical support can reduce support costs by eliminating transportation for most issues.
  • Proactive monitoring and early detection can pinpoint issues for resolution before they cause downtime.
  • Thorough documentation and network maps give technicians a precise overview of a business’s IT needs even the event of special cases and intricacies and streamline support visits.
  • Reporting and tracking can segregate troublesome devices for replacement.

IT firms adopt managed IT service methods in order to provide much higher quality service for their customers. The relationship is much more of a partnership and although it creates a higher expectation for the IT firm to provide stellar service, these methods enable them to meet those expectations.

Join us again next week for the first of “10 BENEFITS OF MANAGED IT SERVICES

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