Five Reasons Why the Break-Fix Model Doesn't Work for IT
by Robert McNicholas on July, 19 2017
When it comes to your IT system, you need to fix it before it breaks. Here’s why.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
It’s Battle of the Maxims: IT Version.
(Not an actual TV show, but it should be.) Which one do you believe? When it comes to your computer systems, prevention is definitely the way to go.
For a while, there’s been a break-fix mentality surrounding computers, especially in businesses that are not large enough to have their own IT department. Budgets are tight; if the computer ain’t broke — if you can still get it to work with a couple of restarts and shaking the power cord — then don’t fix it.
Larger businesses often have a maintenance lifecycle. For example, they may routinely replace computers and related equipment every few years. Even if they’re working perfectly. This may seem wasteful, but it actually makes good sense when you consider what could go wrong if an entire system fails:
- Lost data
- Lost time and productivity
- Massive replacement costs
- Organization-wide communications, service, and perhaps even sales or supply problems
At Techsperts, we recognize that not every business has the budget to replace their computer systems every few years. But investing in periodic maintenance and repair can go a long way toward solving the above problems without breaking your budget.
Five Reasons Not to Go Break-Fix
Let’s break down five reasons that the break fix model doesn’t work for IT:
Productivity. It’s hard to think of an administrative task that doesn’t involve a computer. Everything from setting appointments to updating accounts to sending out invoices is done via computer these days. But suppose your office computer gives up the ghost or your network goes on the fritz. Not only will you lose time because you can’t use the equipment, you’re also likely lose time trying to pinpoint and fix the problem. Even if you have an IT emergency plan in place, this will seriously disrupt business operations for the day or week.
Cost. Fixing things that aren’t broken seems like a waste of money. But what if they are just a little bit broken? Anybody who’s put off going to the dentist to have a cavity filled knows that letting a little problem “go” too long results in a big, expensive root canal — or, in this case, an IT repair. Best to catch problems when they are small rather than letting them grow until they require a major intervention.
Data Loss. Unless you have a solid, working backup plan, any hard drive or network storage problems will result in lost data. The effects of this can range from annoying to frustrating to catastrophic, depending on how much and what kind of data you have lost. Not only should you be taking backup seriously, you can keep these kinds of problems to a minimum with proactive maintenance.
Security. This tags along with data loss, although in this case it’s your own security we’re talking about. The break-fix mentality doesn’t usually concern itself with applying updates and keeping all systems patched and secure. As we’ve seen, these kinds of vulnerabilities can lead to viruses, ransomware, and an assortment of major headaches.
Economy. Finally, let’s talk about that budget of yours. It’s much better to spend a few bucks now on maintenance, or even a monthly fee for managed IT services, than to spend thousands (possibly tens of thousands) of dollars repairing a major IT disaster.
So don’t wait until your screen starts flickering or your hard drive starts making that peculiar click-grind noise. Get an operating plan in place and make room in your budget for regular IT maintenance. If you have any questions, the experts at Techsperts will be happy to help you out.