As we discussed in a previous blog, Comparing Apples to Apples: IT Services Model Explained, there are primarily three different types of business models that IT providers typically operate. Today, we’ll take a look at the “Time and Materials” model, aka “break-fix”, which is when your business pays an hourly rate for all IT work on a reactive, as needed basis.
Under the “Time and Materials” model, there is a fundamental conflict of interests between you and your IT provider. The IT services provider has no incentive to stabilize your computer network or resolve problems quickly because they are getting paid by the hour; therefore, the risk of unforeseen circumstances, scope creep, learning curve inefficiencies, and outright incompetence are all to you, the customer. Essentially, the more problems you have, they more they profit, which precisely what you don’t want.
First, under this model, the IT provider can take the liberty of assigning a junior (and lower-paid) technician to work on your problem, one who may take two to three times longer to resolve an issue than a more senior (and more expensive) technician. There is no incentive to properly manage the time of that technician or his or her efficiency and there is every reason for the company to prolong the project and find more problems than solutions. Of course, if the company is ethical and wants to keep you as a customer they should be doing everything possible to resolve your problems quickly and efficiently.
Secondly, it creates a management problem for you, the customer, who has to keep track of the hours they’ve worked to make sure you aren’t getting overbilled. Since you often have no way of really knowing if they’ve worked the hours they say they have, it creates a situation where you truly need to be able to trust that they are being 100% ethical and honest and tracking their hours properly.
Finally, it makes budgeting for IT projects and expenses a nightmare since your expenses may be zero one month and thousands the next.
If your business is looking for more stability and reliability, then choosing a provider with a managed IT model is the way to go. This allows your business to get the most bang for your buck as well as ensuring you have a provider who takes the extra steps to protect your network and prevent issues from reoccurring.
If you are tired of dealing with reactive issues, fluctuating IT bills, and incompetent technicians, we have a solution for your business. Garner IT is proud to offer managed services for all your business IT needs. Please feel free to call us at 850.250.3210 to inquire. We will gladly answer any questions you have.
Randall and Julie Garner and the Entire Garner IT Team