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Heath Baumann, Virtual Chief Information Officer, NetSmart Plus

Break/Fix IT – Was it really the good ole’ days?

During the 80’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s, the common model for IT support was to wait until something broke. You then called the expert to bail you out.  It felt like the right thing to do, both in efficiency and in cost.  But were we really providing the best service?

If you’re old enough, you’ll remember the old SNL skit starring Nick Burns, the “know it all” computer guru who was called in when things were broken.  His lack of patience and judgmental attitude reminded us all of “that guy” in our office, and we all laughed when he pushed the end user aside, typed in a bunch of gibberish, and stopped the monitor from smoking.  It may have been a caricature of what was really happening in offices all over the world, but at the same time there was a lot of truth in it.  Who needed someone to tell you when your monitor was overheating…..that’s what smoke detectors were for.

But these days are different.  The industry has matured and we are more and more reliant on technology.  Any employee, at any given time, is doing the work of 2-3 people and can’t be down for even several hours.   Heck, just think of everything we count on during our business day:  emails, workflows, texts, phone calls, Skype/Teams meetings, production, design work, approvals, writing blogs, etc.  How backlogged would we be if we had to wait for a service tech to show up to replace a bad power supply on our pc?  Our superiors would be banging on that soft material that makes up the “walls” of our cubicles, demanding to see what we’ve accomplished for the day.  We need someone to be proactive, have a plan in place that’s ready to go at a moment’s notice to keep us up and running – so we can get our job done!

By being proactive, we can nip things in the bud early on before they become bigger problems.  A Network Operations Center (NOC) can monitor workstations and services, and alert the proper people early on in the process if something is about to explode.  This type of prevention can save thousands in possible downtime.

In the old days we backed up servers and workstations in the evening, when the network was quiet, and the tape drives had a chance to catch up.  But what happened when the pipe above the server closet broke (at 4:00 pm ), dowsed the server with gallons of water, and everything went dark?  It sometimes took us 2-3 days to have a new server up and running – and we had to go back to the previous night’s backup!  How much did that cost us?  Now, we can have a virtualized server up to date as of an hour ago, serve up those files and folders like nothing happened.

A Managed Services Provider can provide these services and do it in a proactive, proven way to prevent unexpected IT outages and expenses.  And when you add in a security plan and vCIO strategic planning, the MSP becomes well worth the added value you get.

We’ve come a long way since the break/fix days! To learn more about how Applied Innovation and NetSmart Plus can help you in your business, please fill out the form below!


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