GEEKNOTE: Computer / network support has historically been provided on a “break / fix” basis. Something breaks and the IT support company is called in to fix the problem.
A more modern approach is to enter into a managed IT service agreement where the IT support company monitors all of the computers in the network on a proactive basis. While a managed IT service contract may appear at first blush to be more expensive than simply fixing things when they break, it is generally more cost effective when you consider the lost productivity associated with computer or network downtime.
As part of Gulfcoast Networking’s managed IT agreements, we install a monitoring system that gives us real time reports on each client’s network.
I see dozens of alerts from our monitoring system each day. Most of them are informational and easy to deal with. The more significant ones provide early warnings of impending problems and we’ve been able to proactively solve quite a few problems, including replacing sick hard drives, without significant down time for our clients.
The choice between break / fix and managed service approaches to IT is best described by the auto mechanic in my networking group “You can schedule maintenance, but you can’t schedule repairs.”
Rob Marlowe, Senior Geek