Why pay monthly for IT support - Part I?
Many businesses purchase IT support on an ad-hoc basis. When something goes wrong then the IT engineer is called to fix it, paid for their time and everything continues until the next time an engineer is needed. Pay As You Go support suits many businesses very well; it is perceived to be cheaper and the business is more in control of costs.
In our experience, however, the vast majority of businesses will at some point move to a monthly subscription model for managed IT services. This may be due to an active managerial decision, realisation of just how heavily the business relies on IT infrastructure or a major incident prompting the move away from piecemeal support.
The single most compelling factor for the move to managed IT services is that it is proactive management.
With managed IT services, IT systems are constantly monitored. This allows your IT support company to react quickly to any problem they are alerted to - often before you become aware of it. Additionally, warning signs can be acted upon before a major incident occurs, such as impending hard drive failure.
A fixed monthly fee has benefits for business cashflow and budget forecasting. IT expenditure is smoothed out as identified issues can be dealt with on a scheduled basis rather than having no choice when disaster strikes.
The appearance that Pay As You Go support is cheaper is misleading. The most expensive scenario is that your business to ceases trading while an IT issue is resolved. For example, a server failure could easily result in several days downtime. Proactive IT management vastly reduces nasty surprises.
Quite apart from a catastrophic incident, many minor IT issues are deliberately left unresolved under a Pay As You Go model. Users work on PCs running with several minor annoyances as none are deemed worth calling in IT support for. But these add up and reduce the efficiency of staff, lowering productivity and staff morale. Under a managed services model, support time is usually included and these time-sapping issues can be rectified.
On the face of it, managed IT services can look more expensive than ad-hoc support. But as businesses realises just how reliant on their IT infrastructure they are and what it would cost were a major incident to occur, proactive management and support are quickly seen to be the most effective model for IT support.