They’ve called your IT Help Desk (a break-fix provider) but aren’t getting a timely response. Now you, as always, need to intervene. You call the provider, as well. And wait. Your blood pressure spikes. You phone them again. They promise someone will be in touch shortly.
Finally, a technician calls back. Clearly uninformed about how your company’s IT works, he asks very simple questions about your IT set up (information they already have).
His lackadaisical, no-rush tone and relative junior-level knowledge makes you want to scream! You take a deep breath instead.
Three hours later, the PC’s back up and running. But the team is hours behind on their work, and so are you.
And to add insult to injury, three weeks later, you receive an outrageous bill from your provider. Doubts flood in. Did it really need to take this much effort? Are we paying for them to train a junior person? Would a more senior person have solved the problem faster? Or, did they intentionally stretch it out to bill more?
Break-fix, hourly model vs. fixed-fee model
Unfortunately, a traditional break-fix model, like that enables exasperating situations like the one above.
Because break-fix providers charge by the hour, they only make money if your IT ‘breaks.’ This means they are not incentivized to proactively manage your systems to avoid problems; it is actually just the opposite. Think of them as your PC’s doctor with a reimbursement model where they only get paid when the systems get sick, but not to keep those same systems healthy.
On the other hand, a predetermined fixed-fee structure – with no hourly billing – flips this model, ensuring that it’s in the provider’s best interest to keep your systems healthy. A win-win for both of you.
With skin in the game, it’s painful for this type of provider when you experience problems, and profitable for them when your IT is robust.
So fixed-fee providers are motivated to monitor your systems around the clock and explore ways to optimize them. For you, this results in less downtime and fewer disruptions to your business.
You receive better support while spending less time dealing with IT.
Because there’s usually no one continuously monitoring your IT under the break-fix model, which can cause serious, expensive issues down the road, there’s usually someone (read: you) whose day is shot when problems arise.
Within minutes, you morph from your day job into IT Liaison Troubleshooter.
The fixed-fee model, in contrast, encourages resolving IT problems faster and decreases the likelihood of issues cropping up in the first place.
This means less downtime; higher productivity and morale; fewer interventions; and more time for you and your employees to focus on your clients and the business at hand.
Fixed-fee providers address important – not just urgent – IT issues to save you time, money and stress.
It’s in a fixed-fee provider’s interest to proactively elevate any of your subpar-performing IT systems to a higher-performing level.
Additionally, the fixed-fee model incentivizes the provider to quickly tackle smaller concerns before they grow into larger, more expensive problems that slow your company down.
Importantly, your employees are also more likely to reach out and resolve niggling issues that previously they would have ignored. Since they no longer worry or feel guilty about being billed to get help, they feel empowered to get these issues taken care of – without bothering you!
Fixed-fee providers send you a simple, predetermined monthly invoice that doesn’t surprise or stump.
They bill you the agreed to amount to cover all your IT needs, so you can predict and plan. no surprises, no add-ons, no more aggravating feelings around getting nickeled and dimed.
Fixed-fee providers enable you to accomplish short- and long-term business goals.
It’s in a fixed-fee provider’s interest to both deep dive on your networks and systems and to get to know your larger business goals that drive current and future IT needs.
By understanding your long-term objectives, they can provide options that strategically align IT to best meet them. This ‘align-grow’ model prepares you to scale smoothly and avoid problems.
You’re exposed to fewer risks, which boosts your peace of mind.
The fixed-fee model basically mandates the following of current best practices and the use of preventative measures to help protect against threats such as the loss of data, security breaches and other potentially damaging and cost-prohibitive occurrences.
Of course, each fixed-fee provider operates differently. Some are more comprehensive in their offerings than others. But unlike break-fix providers, fixed-fee providers view IT through a business lens, connecting the dots to best meet your companies needs.