Guest Column | August 28, 2013

Is The "Break/Fix" Model Still Viable?

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By Justin Crotty, senior VP and GM, NetEnrich, Inc.

Technology breaks. It’s a reality we all face, but how a solutions provider chooses to manage the breaks is what separates the good from the great.

The truth is, VARs and MSPs are always “fixing” stuff, even in a 100 percent-proactive managed service model. The difference is, in managed services, the fix is part of a larger IT service engagement and usually goes unseen until reporting day. Whereas, when it comes to the traditional “break/fix” model, the solutions provider is the “IT-for-hire” shop that is brought in to do the job and get paid (once). 

While both models will get it done, a proactive service model is what keeps the money coming in, generates more business value, and allows the technology to run at optimal performance levels. So, is “break/fix” still a viable approach?  Sure. But it’s not sustainable and doesn’t do your business any favors.

Here’s why: “break/fix” is an old term that puts you, as a VAR or MSP, in a reactive service mode. Second, it’s not an ongoing moneymaker. While there is margin, it’s not recurring revenue and won’t provide you with a pipeline of profits to build from. Third, businesses want fixed costs, not unexpected expenses. By selling IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) you’re taking the uncertainty of IT off the table, and delivering a more predictable cost structure that offers demonstrable value. 

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