You’ve probably heard the famous Benjamin Franklin quote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” I couldn’t agree more — and that’s why it’s my sincere belief that the managed IT services approach is, by far, the most cost-effective, smartest option for any small business.
The only time I would recommend a “time and materials” approach is when you already have a competent IT person or team proactively managing your computer network and simply have a specific IT project to complete that your current in-house IT team doesn’t have the time or expertise to implement (such as a network upgrade, installing a backup solution, etc.).
Outside of that specific scenario, I don’t think the break-fix approach is a good idea for general IT support for one very important, fundamental reason: You’ll ultimately end up paying for a pound of “cure” for problems that could have easily been avoided with an “ounce” of prevention.
Why Regular Monitoring And Maintenance Is Critical For Today’s Computer Networks
The fact of the matter is that computer networks absolutely, positively need ongoing maintenance and monitoring to stay secure. The ever-increasing dependency we have on IT systems and the data they hold — not to mention the type of data we’re now saving digitally — has given rise to very smart and sophisticated cybercrime organizations who work around the clock to do one thing: compromise your networks for illegal activities.
In most cases, their intent is to access financial information and passwords to rob you (or your clients), create fake identities for credit card fraud, etc. In other cases, they may want to use your computer network to send illegal spam, host pirated software, spread viruses, etc. And some do it just for the “fun” of being able to make computer systems inoperable.
These criminals work around the clock in teams, constantly finding and inventing new ways to get around your antivirus software and firewalls; that’s why you have to remain ever vigilant against their attacks.
Of course, this doesn’t even take into consideration other common “disasters” such as rogue employees, lost devices, hardware failures (the #1 cause of data loss), fire and natural disasters and a host of other issues that can interrupt or outright destroy your IT infrastructure and the data it holds. Then there’s regulatory compliance for any business hosting or touching credit card or financial information, medical records and even client contact information such as email addresses. Preventing these problems and keeping your systems up and running (which is what managed IT services is all about) is a LOT less expensive and damaging to your organization than waiting until one of these things happens and then paying for emergency IT services to restore your systems to working order (break-fix).