Bob is a small business owner. He doesn’t have a lot of computers or IT equipment in his office, but it’s enough to cause him a minor headache at least once a month. Bob’s employee Tom always seems to have a computer problem and spends half an hour venting to him about it.
Bob also pays his IT guy Joe an hourly rate to come in and fix things when they go wrong. But Bob has noticed that he’s paying Joe more and more every month because the same types of problems keep happening. Bob isn’t an IT or computer expert, and he’s not sure what’s going on.
Sadly, this isn’t an unfamiliar story for many small businesses. There are a lot of IT guys out there, and it’s hard to know who’s reliable. But one thing to consider is whether your IT payment model is right for your small business.
There are two primary IT payment models: the break/fix and MSP model.
What’s break/fix IT?
The break/fix model is what Bob is using. Something goes wrong, and he pays a guy an hourly rate to fix the problem.
The downside to the break/fix model is that it relies on your IT guy to be motivated about looking into deeper root causes with your IT infrastructure. Some IT guys just want to fix the immediate problem and don’t bother digging deeper. If something breaks again, it’ll be on the small business owner’s dime, not theirs.
What’s the MSP model?
The MSP model, in contrast, is when a small business pays an IT company a flat monthly rate for a set of services like firewall, antivirus, break/fix, network maintenance, etc. You can think of it as a retainer.
This model removes the financial risk of IT from the small business and places it on the IT company. If something goes wrong, the IT guys spend time fixing the problem, and it costs them more money, the more time spent fixing the problem. The small business and IT company become true partners in making sure the IT is effectively supporting business operations because both benefit from it.
But what’s the right model for me?
There’s no hard and fast rule here because it’s somewhat dependent on the complexity of your small business’s IT infrastructure and workforce’s technical knowledge. In general, most businesses above 10 employees benefit from the MSP model or if you experience 1-2 IT problems a week. We also recommend checking out our article Top 5 Signs You Need Monthly Computer Support.
If you’d like to learn more about NextPoint IT’s break/fix or MSP offerings and are in the Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, or Westfield, Indiana area, just comment below or request a free consultation or assessment.
Credit: Tim Ludden