Make Your Business a Survivor with the Right IT Provider

Having a properly functioning networked computer system is vital in today’s business environment. Unfortunately, there are a myriad of problems or issues that can arise, which can seriously disrupt business operations. This makes having proper IT support to fix or maintain any potential problems a necessary expense for nearly every business.

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Choosing the right business IT support provider can be a difficult task. The vast number of available options can make the entire process a bit bewildering to many. A major reason for this is the varying levels and different types of support options offered by the many business IT support providers. However, after looking into all of the various services, business owners will find only two types of business IT support providers: break-fix or managed services.

Break-Fix Business IT Support

It is self-explanatory. Break-fix support only fixes computer systems after they break. Business owners who utilize this type of support only pay for the time it takes to fix any problems that arise. At first glance, this seems like the perfect option. However, there are three potential problems with this type of support:

  • Costs can be open ended. For instance, if a problem takes two hours to fix, then they pay for two hours of support costs. If it takes an entire day, then they end up paying for a day’s worth of support costs. This makes it much more difficult to budget for any IT problems that may arise.
  • Preventative maintenance is often much cheaper than a one-time fix. It may initially seem like unnecessary spending, but paying a minimal amount each month to keep a business running smoothly is much better than paying a larger sum. Additionally, the lost production time from the system being down can cost a business thousands of dollars.
  • They have no incentive to fix the root of the problem. The fact that they are getting paid by the hour not only lures them into taking longer than necessary to fix the problem, but they will make even more money by coming to fix the same problem again in the future.

Managed Services Business IT Support

Managed IT services are profoundly different from break-fix support. Rather than paying an hourly rate for fixing problems, businesses that utilize a managed service usually pay a monthly fee for regularly maintaining the computer system, regardless of how much time they spend. Managed service providers spend the majority of their time maintaining business systems and keeping them functioning properly, not just fixing expensive problems when they arise.

What to Look for in a Managed Service IT Support Provider

  • They offer ongoing maintenance on a regular basis.
  • They proactively provide system and security updates.
  • They offer their services for a fixed monthly fee.
  • They clearly define the different packages of services they offer and the price for each.

Choosing the Right Type of Business IT Support

Businesses that are especially dependent on their network computer systems properly functioning at all times will obviously want to choose a managed services IT provider. On the other hand, businesses that operate simple computer systems will probably benefit from a break-fix provider. These businesses usually require less maintenance and likely only have problems on rare occurrences.

Understanding the difference between the two types of business support IT providers is the first step in the selection process. After establishing what type of support their business needs, the next step is contacting local IT support providers.

Though most businesses should utilize the services of a local company, sometimes virtual support is a viable option. IT support technicians can solve many problems by patching into a business’s network remotely. On rare occurrences when hardware must be analyzed or fixed in person, some large companies have regional technicians who can be available to visit the business in person. Often, the price for these providers will be less costly, thus business owners should carefully weigh all of their available options.

About the author:

Aaron Edwards has helped businesses make the right IT decisions for 15+ years. He believes the biggest mistake a business can make is appointing the wrong IT professionals for the job.

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