Not everyone will relate to this post but the message is an important one for anyone looking at managed IT services.
The point I want to make today is that solely relying on an ad-hoc arrangement to support your business IT network is like using the morning after pill as your only form of contraception.
Sure, Plan B works, but it is just that – Plan B.
It’s a last resort.
It will usually do the trick, but it’s not much of a contingency, and it’s probably not the best thing for your health either!
You could also think of it like tightrope walking without a pole for balance: you’ve still got the safety net to (hopefully) catch you, but you’re ignoring the proactive steps you could be taking improve your chances of success.
What is Ad-Hoc IT Support?
Ad-hoc arrangements can take on various forms in managed IT services.
The most common incarnation of ad-hoc IT support is where you pre-pay for blocks of time, essentially purchasing a number of hours which are used up as you raise support tickets.
Schools and businesses will typically use ad-hoc support to supplement or run alongside a proactive monitoring and support contract.
This is usually done to cover unexpected outages, project work, or any other tasks that may fall outside of the pre-agreed SLA.
This pay-as-you-go approach to IT managed services can also be used to account for gaps in the skillsets of your in-house IT team.
After the Horse Has Bolted
As we discussed in It’s Time to Start Viewing IT as an Investment, NOT an Expense, there are many business owners and directors who cannot or will not see the value that IT support can provide.
This leads to an attitude of minimising cost rather than maximising opportunities that could benefit the business.
But what happens when your server goes down and your 50, 150, or 300+ employees are unable to work?
As much as eight (eight!) Internet connectivity failures occurred in the past year for 72% of businesses, causing downtime of more than 40 hours.
Multiply that by your staff numbers and you can quickly see how much of an impact downtime can have.
Click here to learn about The (Frighteningly) Real Cost of Downtime to UK SMBs.
IT is undeniably integral to just about every modern business, regardless of size or industry.
A purely reactive ad-hoc approach to support means that issues will only begin being addressed after they’ve arisen.
Compare this to contractual managed IT services where your servers and systems are proactively monitored on a continual basis, catching issues beforethey prevent your employees from being able to do their job.
Ad-Hoc Support or Managed IT Services?
This post isn’t about bashing ad-hoc IT support, because a pay-as-you-go model can work brilliantly in some situations.
It should, however, serve to illustrate the point that only using PAYG IT support can be risky business!
We will explore the topic of Ad-Hoc vs. Contractual IT Support in a future post, as there are some circumstances where the former might be the better choice.
If you’re still not sure whether you need ad-hoc or contracted IT support, Give Us a Call and we can discuss which is the best option for your business.