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3 negative effects of “break and fix” services on your IT park

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The approach proposed by IT suppliers for the maintenance of your IT equipment is, more often than not, break and fix (B&F). Estimated according to the sporadic needs of the company, this proposal appears to be advantageous. However, this form of computer park management becomes very risky and expensive for any business in the long term. If your business depends on its IT infrastructure and the estimated cost of data loss (RPO), where data recovery time is relatively short (RTO), then B & F is clearly not recommended.

Three important factors to keep in mind when IT suppliers offer to manage your IT fleet in break and fix

Factor # 1: proactivity

A supplier in B & F mode, involved in the maintenance of your computer park, will not implement preventive and effective solutions, as the need to call for their services could be greatly reduced. However, the updates, security and maintenance procedures required by your computer may be seriously neglected.

An all-in managed IT service, where backups, antiviruses, and device performance are verified and monitored, will implement procedures and interventions that will ensure long-term stability of IT infrastructure.

Factor # 2: recurrence

In B&F, the technician who answers service calls does not have the necessary information on the history of your system, which often asks for more time to find and resolve problems. Since the service is not guaranteed when a problem is recurring, the company will face additional non-budgeted costs to permanently correct the situation.

Managed IT services are in fact planned services that ensure a consistent relationship between the IT service provider and its customers. The level of involvement is evaluated according to the number of users and the amount and type of physical and virtual servers. With a long-term view on the maintenance of a computer park, the IT service provider manages its interventions to ensure the prevention of problems and find permanent solutions. This results in lowered maintenance costs for companies.

Factor # 3: the cost

Unfortunately, many customers turn to a B&F service as in most cases they have an in-house IT technician and /or because they tolerate the risks resulting from minimal IT maintenance. Here are certain advantages that customers have noticed as they moved away from break and fix:

  • Better planning of maintenance costs based on a fixed monthly price, according to the level of involvement of our team,
  • Minimize the risks on the operations administered by the IT park,
  • Always have access to experienced technicians,
  • Reassess the need to hire a full-time IT technician.

An all-in service is, on average, 30% of an annual salary for a level 2 IT technician.

Here are situations that we have seen break and fix clients go through:

  • Company A: Hard drive failure, caused by normal wear of the devices, causes a total loss of several important documents such as invoices, exchanges, and communications with customers, sales reports etc. Unfortunately, the data backup process had not been done for several weeks.
  • Company B: A virus hit and went through the Company’s network. A complete clean-up of the operating system and a complete rebuild of the workstations was required before the employees could start their work. A significant loss must be accounted for in reference to the number of hours required to get the system back up and running. This business has reported that the server’s antivirus had expired two months before the disaster. Unfortunately, no one had noticed.
  • Company C: A spam bot was detected on the Company’s Exchange server. This situation put the company on the blacklist by the Internet service provider, which caused domain and email inaccessibility for several days. The cause: the firewall was not monitored internally.

Our observation…

A company that manages its computer park in break and fix typically delays service calls when problems are assessed as minor. Unfortunately, this type of management is by no means recommended, as it quickly creates issues for the entire computer park. In addition, by the reactive nature of this type of service, there comes a time when the business relationship between the customer and the supplier becomes irritated, putting trust at stake.

Unlike break and fix, companies that adhere to a managed IT service very much appreciate this preventive management method. This service offers continuous monitoring by setting up:

  • an IT remote surveillance plan,
  • preventive and periodic maintenance of equipment,
  • integrated strategic planning with a succession plan,
  • risk management.

To conclude

With a managed service provider, risk management tasks linked to IT infrastructure are diminished. For many companies, management of IT assets represents an important issue in daily operations. If your company depends on its IT infrastructure for the management of its operations and if it adheres to a break and fix type service, do not wait any longer and inform yourself of the possibilities offered to you by the all-in management of your IT park.

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