Set-fee remote monitoring and IT remediation services are turning the model of outsourced IT support upside-down. No longer do users have to live in a “break-fix” world. No longer do IT leaders need to wonder what is really happening in their environment. Are there unknown risks or threats? Is there software running they have no knowledge of? No longer do IT costs have to fluctuate so wildly.
Set-fee IT support services offer remote monitoring of your entire network, watching for threats to system stability, external intrusion and user interruption for one monthly fee. Remote monitoring can identify issues before they cause interruption to your business or your users. Furthermore, with set-fee support services, most issue identification and remediation can and do occur off-site, minimizing additional support time and travel costs you might otherwise incur.
Yes, set-fee IT support services can change the way you look at IT support. But the really beautiful thing is that the model changes the dynamics of how an IT provider profits. In the typical “break-fix” environment, IT providers make money when your environment “breaks.” In the set-fee remediation services model, the better the IT provider has your environment running, the more profitable their services are to them as well. Imagine an environment where everyone wins the same and everyone is moving in the same direction!
Consider this: think of the talent, time and resources you spend to help ensure the technology supporting your business is safe and reliable. Yet on any given day, your technology department or whoever handles IT may be pulled from one emergency to the next-leaving little time to focus on anything else but the chaos a down server or virus creates.
Adding to the critical need for reliable technology is the myriad of compliance issues and security threats that your business must address. Amid these concerns, you’re also likely looking to streamline costs and heighten user productivity. Set-fee IT services are quickly becoming a cost-effective method to help ensure the necessary levels of system availability, network monitoring and maintenance, and data protection and redundancy.
A comprehensive set-fee IT services solution allows you to take control of these daunting hurdles. Studies identify the following as top reasons to adopt a set-fee solution:
- Cost consistency. IT costs can vary greatly from month to month, creating difficulties around proper budget adherence and planning.
- Regulatory compliance assistance. Increased regulation and reporting requirements, security and audit reporting needs, and data management cost companies almost 10 percent of their income per year.
- Security awareness. Cyber attacks on organizations via security loopholes and unpatched servers has increased 80 percent over the last two years as intruders look for industry or identity data theft.
- Heightened productivity. Businesses report an average of over 50 hours of lost productivity per employee per year due to IT problems within their infrastructure.
- Proactive support. Ninety-three percent of IT problems can be proactively addressed via remote services before they turn into performance problems, downtime, loss of data or security breaches.
Every business is unique and managing the information technology systems cannot be done with a cookie-cutter approach. As an organization considers whether set-fee remote monitoring and remediation services is a right fit for their circumstance, it’s important to know what questions to ask:
- Capabilities. Does this firm offer the array of services you require? Do they have adequate staff to support your needs?
- Availability. Does the firm have available staff at the necessary levels to respond to issues and perform upgrades? On-site resources, if necessary?
- Role. How does the firm position itself? Technical expertise, advisory role, vendor facilitator?
- Integrity. Does the firm have the reputation of trust and reliability?
- Progressiveness. Does the firm have processes and procedures in place to continually improve its service offerings and deliverables?
- Stability. How long has the firm been in business?
With the evolving nature of technology and the economy, moving beyond the typical chaos and stress of break-fix IT management is imperative. If you are starting to reevaluate your technology department or asking questions about how to handle IT, we recommend that you look to augment or supplement current staff so the IT department can focus on what they were hired to do. The right technology partner can provide your organization with predictable, business-focused services that optimize operations, manage risk and deliver a significantly increased value from technology. iBi
Aaron Donaldson is a director with RSM McGladrey’s information technology practice. He can be reached at [email protected].