Businesses small and large are following the ongoing trend of hiring Managed Service Providers (MSP).
According to CompTIA’s Annual Trends in Managed Services Report, published in May 2015 “ more than one-third of respondents surveyed said their everyday IT tasks are handled by people for whom IT is not their principal responsibility.”
This statistic shows that a great majority of companies are not paying enough attention to one of the most important components of their business.
A company’s IT is often referred to as the beating heart of a company.
Let me explain…
If the company’s phones, internet, and information systems (IS) all go haywire, the company’s production comes to a revolting halt.
Getting business back from a technology crash caused by something malicious like hackers could take hours, or even days to recover from.
Many people see IT departments as unnecessary cost centers because they don’t directly provide revenue. In reality, IT departments are actually what enables the opportunity for revenue to be made.
Because of this, I’m sure you can imagine how important it is to choose the right solution for managing your business’s technology.
In making this selection, there are several options a company can take. The three main options are hiring a MSP, hiring a Break-Fix Service Provider, or hiring an in-house IT department.
One option may be better than another based on your business, but it is made clear that in most cases the best way to go is to hire a MSP.
What Is an MSP?
A Managed Service Provider offers more than just showing up when something goes wrong. MSP’s are referred to as the guardians of IT.
These service providers are at your side at all times monitoring and managing your applications and complete IT infrastructure from a remote location.
Remote managing is accomplished by using remote monitoring applications installed on each employee’s computer. Applications like these allow the MSP to monitor the health and performance of each employee’s computer.
It also allows the MSP to recognize and perform any necessary updates to software that may be needed or may offer a performance improvement.
A key function that this monitoring is used for is catching issues before they happen. MSPs like Technology Visionaries LLC review all downloaded files before an employee is given permission to install them.
This monitoring acts as a defense shield against malicious threats like malware, worms, and trojans that could wreak havoc on your computers and put your company at serious risk.
Unlike a Break-Fix Service Provider, MSP’s charge companies a flat rate for their services. In doing this, the MSP takes on all responsibilities associated with the management of your IT.
It’s like having your own internal IT department that is just a phone call away.
While they seem to cost more than a Break-Fix service provider, the benefits of working with an MSP actually cost less in the long run.
Down time durring an IT issue can result in big profit losses, and can take a toll on the relationships you have with your clients.
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What is the difference between a “Break-Fix” Service provider and a MSP?
Break-Fix Service Providers:
The first difference that is commonly made between a Break-Fix and a MSP is the price. Break-Fix Service Providers only charge you when you call them to fix an issue.
This option may seem like a better fit for your company if you only have a few computers, and don’t rely heavily on technology.
However, if your company is like most businesses that would become paralyzed if its computers and phones fail, this could mean a lot of downtime between fixes.
In this case, your company is at the mercy of the Break-Fix service provider’s response time and quality of work.
Because Break-Fix Service Providers work on a revenue model that is reliant on their client’s IT to have problems, they are much less likely to fully prevent an issue they are fixing from happening again.
These companies commonly handle a very large number of clients both returning and new and are less likely to be familiar with the setup and or previous issues your company has.
Getting things fixed from a break-fix service provider often takes longer because of this, and ends up costing you more money than it should.
Managed Service Providers:
These services are usually bundled together, but can sometimes be offered individually.
While this option of service might cost more than hiring a Break-Fix Service Provider, the support received is worlds better.
This service model is structured to keep your IT operating at its peak, whereas a Break-Fix service model relies on your IT to break to make money.
MSPs offer what is considered “all-inclusive pricing” or an “all-you-can-eat model” that covers your company’s complete IT infrastructure.
This puts all responsibility of your business’s IT in the hands of the MSP and allows your company to focus on what should be your #1 priority, making money.
Because MSPs monitor your business’s IT every day, they will be more aware of your specific network structure and previous issues, making fix times much quicker than when handled by a Break-Fix Service Provider.
Managed Service Providers
- No limit on how many jobs or hours of labor
- Revenue model structured to maintain client’s IT at its peak
- Handles all updates, system installs, and proactive maintenance
- Computer monitoring to protect your business from threats before they become malicious.
- Fast response times
- All responsibilities of IT handled by MSP
- Coverage on select hardware costs
- Shared/aligned interests (keeping IT working at all times)
- Predictable costs
Break-Fix Service Providers
- Charges for each hour of labor worked
- Revenue model relies on your IT to be broken (no incentive to fully repair IT)
- Charges for proactive program updates and installs (doesn’t keep your business up-to-date)
- No computer monitoring or cybersecurity
- Charges for any maintenance costs by the hour
- Unpredictable response times
- No coverage on hardware
- The greater the IT issue, the greater the profit made
- Unpredictable costs
Why You Choose MSPs over Break-Fix Service Providers
If your business relies on technology to perform day to day operations, hiring a MSP is the correct option for you.
Using a Break-Fix Service Provider may alleviate an issue in the moment, but can lead to re-occurring issues that come with costly fees.
Here are the top 10 reasons:
- Increase your business’s work productivity
- Keep your technology up to date and working at its peak
- Protect your business from cybercrime and malicious threats
- Allow your in-house IT staff to focus on more strategic projects rather than maintenance
- Software and hardware discounts to save you money
- Fast response rates to get your issues fixed without limiting your business.
- Computer monitoring that catches issues before they paralyze your business
- Comprehensive technical support at the tip of your fingers
- Predictable pricing and manageable costs.
- Shifting your capital expenses to operating expenses