Managed services is a term used to describe a relatively new model of IT management. What differentiates Managed Services from traditional IT support is that the responsibility and risk associated with managing your IT systems shifts to the Managed Services Provider (MSP). Traditionally, your IT support company worked a lot like a plumber - you call them when something was broken. They send somebody to look at the problem. He or she would troubleshoot the problem and send you a bill afterwards for the time and material spent resolving the issue. The emphasis is on reacting to problems that have already occurred. The IT support provider's service is judged by how quickly they can attend to a problem. But, by the time you are aware of a problem, it's already too late. Data is lost, downtime is incurred, productivity is reduced, etc.
Disadvantages of Break-Fix IT Support
In the traditional break-fix IT support model, your interests are at loggerheads with those of your service provider:
- The break-fix IT support provider has no incentive to make your network as stable as possible.
- They make money every time you have a problem.
- They don't invest in network management tools because there is no incentive for them to do so.
- You don't benefit from the latest network management and automation systems.
- It's often a "best effort" service - response times are variable, and guarantees are seldom made.
- If the break-fix IT support provider works slowly, they make more money.
- If they attend to the same problem more than once, you get double-billed for it.
- Your greatest IT disasters are their most profitable jobs. There is no win-win scenario when it comes to break-fit IT support because, for you to get the best service and support out of a break-fix service provider, they would have to put your interests above their own. It is a fundamentally flawed model - in fact, the economists have a name for this. They call it the "Agency Dilemma." It exists whenever a customer relies on a service provider who is not incentivized to achieve he same ends as what the client desires.
Advantages of Managed Services
Unlike the old "break-fix" IT Support model, MSPs align the interest of the service provider with those of the client - namely you. Both parties have an investment that the client's network is stable - because they both lose money when anything goes wrong. In the event of downtime, you lose productivity, while the MSP loses their most precious resource - technical support time. Because of this alignment, the MSP is incentivized to work harder and smarter to ensure that your network remains 100% stable.
- You pay a fixed monthly fee for the MSP to keep your network up and running, no matter what.
- There is no limit to the number of hours you can use.
- MSP is incentivized to keep your network as stable as possible.
- MSP does all the proactive maintenance to achieve optimal network stability.
- To achieve that, MSPs make significant investment in the latest network management systems.
- You enjoy the benefits of enterprise-level automation and monitoring systems.
- MSP response times are backed by a comprehensive SLA.