With the national average of computer related repairs at $95 – $125 per hour, a troubled economy, and so many security vulnerabilities lurking around the Internet, getting downtime on networks to a minimum is becoming the number one goal of Computer/IT support companies like Tech Experts.
Preventing downtime on your network starts at square one: Who provides your IT support, and what do they have to offer to ensure you’re getting a high quality support at a reasonable cost to your business. With the right kind of IT support, your employees can focus on their own work and maintain a high level of productivity, without the hassle of downtime.
Using a service company to manage your network can be done in a variety of different ways, but for the most part, there are two main forms of service: Break-fix, better known as pay as you go, or managed service protection (MSP). So the big question is: Which is right for your company?
So what are the key differences between the two? We’ll start with the break fix approach.
This is the standard service model – when something breaks, you call your service provider and they repair it. For some companies, particularly smaller networks, this works very well. The costs are relatively low, but every time you have an issue, there’s a cost involved. Oftentimes, you’re reluctant to call for support for what seems to be a “minor” issue. Instead, you save them up to combine service visits. The problem comes in when what seems to be a minor issue is really something more significant.
On the other hand, we have the managed service model. This type of service delivery plan is designed to provide a high level of IT support to a company at a fixed IT budget, so there are no surprises.
Typically, a fixed monthly price negotiated by the IT support company and the client. There are usually different levels of support, starting from basic support of servers, workstations, and network devices, all the way on up to fully managed networks.
The highest level of support typically gives the business “whatever it takes” support, meaning that whenever you have an issue, it’s taken care of, and again the price stays as agreed. It’s always in the best interest of the managed service provider to maintain maximum uptime for your network.
Managed service provides full network maintenance, and proactive management, reducing the number of future issues, which again keeps your network uptime maximized, which ensures productivity is at the highest level possible.
There’s usually no minimum or maximum number of users, which provides scalability for your network, giving it room to grow in the future. No matter how large your company might grow, your managed service provider will provide peace of mind in keeping your network up and running at full proficiency.
Lastly, there is typically a hardware replacement plan in place. Because the MSP is monitoring your network at all times, they actually create a “map” of the entire infrastructure, which gives the company the age and health of the equipment on the network. In most cases, you’ll have insight into which hardware needs to be replaced ahead of time, which lets you budget for equipment upgrades.
Overall, I think a managed service is the way to go. It provides the business with peace of mind that the entire network is being monitored, recurring issues are prevented, costs and hidden fees are eliminated, and network growth is scalable and affordable.