The best-managed services model for your organization depends on many factors, ranging from company size, industry and compliance requirements, budget limitations, risk tolerance, internal IT management capabilities, and technology systems, to name just a few. In this blog, we will cover the various managed services models and the pros and cons of each to aid your assessment of what best suits your organization.
The Break-Fix IT Service Model
The Break-Fix IT service model is an IT service delivery model in which the client only receives IT support when something isn’t working and service is requested from the vendor. This service model is ideal for micro or small organizations with limited IT budgets and a high tolerance for productivity interruptions. Here are some pros and cons of the break-fix IT service delivery model:
Pros of Break-Fix IT Model
- Cost-effective: The break-fix service model is often less expensive than other IT service models, as the client only pays for services when they are needed and requested, and typically does not make additional investments proactively in preventative maintenance, strategy, etc.
- No long-term contract commitments: This service model does not require a contract with a long-term commitment, allowing companies to switch providers more easily if they are unsatisfied with their service provider.
- Flexibility: Clients exercise discretion in choosing when and how often they want to receive IT support, and therefore, how much they spend.
Cons of Break-Fix IT Model
- Reactive: This reactive model does not provide a forum or formal structure for proactive strategic consulting. Over time, this can lead to poor decision-making, lower return on investment, greater productivity interruption, and heightened risk.
- Lack of proactive support: This model does not natively include ongoing maintenance and monitoring, meaning critical IT issues can go undetected until they impact productivity.
- Increased downtime: Failure to proactively monitor means problems are addressed after they occur, resulting in more productivity interruption.
- Higher costs: If the client has to address multiple issues or severe IT problems, the pricingof the break-fix model may rapidly start exceeding the cost of other IT service delivery models.
In summary, the Break-Fix IT service model is an option for very small organizations with limited ability or willingness to invest in IT management. It's unsuitable for more mature organizations or those needing proactive support, strategy, and security.
The Proactive IT Service Model
The Proactive IT service model is an IT service delivery model in which a client invests in ongoing IT support and proactive monitoring and maintenance of its technology systems. This model is ideal for more mature organizations with a material IT budget who want to prevent problems from inhibiting productivity and reduce operational risks. Here are some pros and cons of the proactive IT service model.
Pros of the Proactive IT Service Model
- Proactive: This model provides ongoing proactive maintenance and monitoring, which minimizes issues that undermine productivity.
- Increased uptime: Proactive support detects and resolves issues before they cause downtime for the company.
- Better performance: Proactive maintenance ensures IT systems are running optimally, which extends the useful life of the investment and supports greater staff productivity.
- Cost-effective: Longer-term, this model can be more cost-effective than the break-fix model, especially when considering soft costs and opportunity costs, as it can prevent issues before they harm the company’s productivity, revenue, reputation, regulatory compliance, etc.
Cons of the Proactive IT Service Model
- Higher costs: Proactive IT support can be more expensive than other IT service models, as the company regularly invests in ongoing support, monitoring, and maintenance.
- Long-term contracts: This model often requires a long-term contract commitment, making it less flexible and harder to leave versus other models.
- Dependence on the provider: Proactive IT service models rely on a provider to monitor, maintain, and support your technology, leading to a dependency that is harder to sever, if necessary, in the future.
In summary, the Proactive IT service model is an excellent option for mature organizations that want to prevent problems from occurring before they harm productivity and want to ensure that their technology systems run at peak performance and security. It may not be the best option for very small organizations with a tight IT budget, though it may likely be more cost-effective long-term for more mature organizations.
The Co-Managed IT Service Model
The Co-Managed IT service model is an IT service delivery model in which a company's internal IT staff works together with a Managed Services Provider to manage its technology systems. This model is best for organizations with an internal IT resource or team but who also need additional support capacity, specialization of expertise, and robust IT management, monitoring, and security tools. Here are some pros and cons of the co-managed IT service model.
Pros of the Co-Managed IT Service Model
- Cost-effective: This model allows organizations to leverage a Managed Service Provider’s greater technical capacity, expertise, and robust toolsets, while still maintaining some internal IT personnel.
- Increased expertise: The co-managed model provides access to a Managed Services Provider's knowledge and specialized expert resources while retaining the organization-specific knowledge of the in-house IT staff. This can improve the overall performance of the organization's technology systems and IT strategy to maximize productivity and return on investment.
- Flexibility: The co-managed model allows businesses to choose which tasks are best suited for internal IT management and which tasks are more efficiently performed by the Managed Services Provider, which can improve project and support delivery experiences.
Cons of the Co-Managed IT Service Model
- Coordination: This model requires tight coordination and communication between the internal IT staff and the Managed Services Provider, which may be challenging, especially early in the partnership or if the respective teams do not clearly establish areas of accountability upfront.
- Dependence on the provider: This model can lead to dependency on the provider for specific tasks, which can be unwindable if the Managed Services Provider is not performing adequately to your expectations.
- Cost: The co-managed model can be more expensive than other IT service models, as the organization invests in internal IT resources and a Managed Services Provider.
The Fully Managed IT Service Model
The Fully Managed IT service model is an IT service delivery model in which a Managed Services Provider is responsible for all aspects of the technology management for an organization, including monitoring, maintenance, support, IT strategy, and security. This model is best for organizations with no internal IT staff or with limited IT personnel. Here are some pros and cons of the fully managed IT service model:
Pros of the Fully Managed IT Service Model
- Reduced distraction: This model allows organizations to outsource all or most IT management responsibilities to a Managed Services Provider, which minimizes the distraction for internal staff and frees up time for them to execute other priorities that can enhance the organization’s workflows and productivity.
- Increased expertise: The fully managed model offers access to the Managed Services Provider's knowledge and specialized resources, improving the performance of the organization’s technology systems and enhancing staff’s experience with IT support.
- Proactive: This model provides proactive ongoing maintenance, monitoring, and strategic consulting, which helps prevent problems that disrupt productivity, and ensures technology stays aligned to the organization’s needs and to best practices.
Cons of the Fully Managed IT Service Model
- Dependency on the Managed Services Provider: This model can lead to a dependency on the Managed Services Provider for all IT-related needs, which can become problematic if the managed services provider is not performing well and failing to meet expectations.
- Cost: Fully managed IT services can be more expensive, especially for micro or small organizations with minimal IT management budgets.
- Limited control: This model gives the managed services provider much control over the organization's technology systems, which may become an issue if the Managed Services Provider's priorities do not align with the organization's goals or there is a need to sever the partnership.
In summary, the fully managed IT service model is a great option for organizations that do not have an internal IT team or have limited IT staff. It allows organizations to outsource all or most IT management responsibilities to a Managed Services Provider, reducing distractions for internal staff and freeing up time for other tasks. However, it also leads to a dependency on the partner, which may become problematic if the partnership does not pan out. Additionally, it can be expensive and limits internal control over technology systems. Evaluating the cost-benefit and matching it with the organization's needs is vital before selecting this IT service delivery model.
The best IT service delivery model depends on your organization's needs, risk tolerance, and budget. It's always best to evaluate your current IT infrastructure, identify your needs and talk to the Managed Services Provider to devise the best plan for your organization.