Complete Managed Services

The Break-Fix Trap

When we first started out at Locke Systems we noticed a trend where customers would constantly be on the hunt for newer, better IT providers. The same basic pattern would emerge over and over:

  • We found a new IT provider and they are great and responsive and cheap!
  • Our new IT is growing their client list and doing well!
  • Our IT shop is starting to be harder to get ahold of
  • Our IT provider hired some help but is no longer cheap
  • We are having problems and have lost confidence in our current IT provider
  • We are on the hunt for a new IT provider that is knowledgeable and responsive.

This cycle traps many IT Providers and customer alike because of a few key aspects of what we call “Break/Fix” service. You may know “Break/Fix” as “Time and Materials” or “Hourly Rate” or something similar in your industry. The basis is that you only call when you have a project or a problem and your bill varies based on how many hours or services you needed. There are a several reasons why this IT support model is a trap for both the IT Provider and you as a Customer:

  • The IT Provider isn't empowered to prevent IT issues, and doesn't really have any incentive to prevent them from happening. In fact, the more issues you have, the more work they have and the more they can bill!
  • The IT Provider reacts to issues, instead of working to prevent them ahead of time.
  • The IT Provider cannot predict when things will break so it is difficult to staff for busy times.
  • The IT Provider has to constantly find new customer to keep up with slow times, and then gets behind in support requests during busy times when a lot of issues occur at once.
  • Ultimately, the IT Provider ends up trapped in a cycle of putting out fires instead of fixing things right and spending time on preventative maintenance.

A better way to do IT: Managed Services

While there are different tiers and types of Managed Services, the general idea is that instead of paying to take care of IT issues after they happen, you are paying for an IT Department that manages the network differently:

  • You pay a fixed monthly rate based on the size of the network and your support needs.
  • Because it is a fixed rate, it's in the IT Provider's best interests to prevent issues before they happen.
  • Preventing issues instead of responding to them greatly increases your productivity.
  • Your IT Provider is adequately staffed and more responsive because they have well-defined, stable monthly contracts for IT Support instead of unpredictable busy times and slow times.