IT Support Blog for Small Business Owners

Using Time & Materials IT Support? Are You Happy With The Results?

Posted by David S. Mulvey on Thu, Jul 25, 2013

IT Services,IT Outsourcing,IT supportYou probably don’t realize this—but even though you are not an IT expert you can evaluate the best IT support for your business, and avoid those IT companies that are never going to give you great support, no matter how much money you pay them.

This means you can choose between an IT company that truly wants you to succeed in IT rather than spend endless amounts of money fixing never ending IT issues with an IT company that simply isn’t motivated by your IT success.

Let me show you what I mean:

There are two types of IT support companies; the old business model is a Time & Materials company; here’s how it works: When you have an IT issue, you call them, they send out a technician and they fix your problem, they send you an invoice for a few hours’ work and they wait until something else in your company breaks and you call them in again, and again, and again.  You have probably been doing this for years with your IT guy; so what’s so bad with the Break/Fix model?

Honestly, as a business owner, I like the idea of paying as little as I can for IT support, I would certainly avoid hiring a full-time IT geek for as long as I could.  It seems like the Break/Fix Time & Materials approach to an IT problem helps a business owner avoid hiring their own IT employee; you get IT services on demand when you need them and you only pay for what you use in support time. Isn’t that an ideal way to keep your IT costs as low as possible?

Well maybe not; as we all know things aren’t always the way they seem.

Imagine for a moment you are the owner of the IT provider instead of the consumer of the IT service.  How do you grow your IT business and make more money? Well we already discussed that you have to wait until a client calls with a problem, then you send out your best technician so that you can solve the issue in the shortest amount of time so that the client gets the smallest T&M bill possible.  Hmmm do you really think that’s how old style IT companies approach it?

Or more likely, do they send out the least qualified technician that can solve the pain in the slowest timeframe possible so they can maximize the T&M invoice while clearing up the customers’ issue? Herein is the rub, the IT provider is not financially motivated to work as quickly as possible by deploying the highest skilled worker and searching for the underlying issue that will resolve the problem forever.  After all, for the Time & Materials approach to be viable the IT provider needs you to keep calling them--so they never search for the underlying issues that could reduce your need for T&M support! 

So what does this mean to you as a business owner?

With a closer look, you and your business are really at cross-purpose with your T&M IT provider, you each have diametrically opposed agendas:

  • The IT provider wants to maximize the time billed; you want it completed as quickly as possible. 
  • The IT provider isn’t really motivated in solving underlying causes of issues; you want the problem to never return by solving the root issue. 
  • The IT provider is motivated to send the least capable engineer and you want the most talented engineer in the company working on your network. 
  • The IT provider reactively waits until there is a problem to exploit the pain you are feeling with the IT issue, while you really need a proactive approach to IT issues, where things are solved before they become IT impacting.

It turns out; there is another IT approach that will serve you and your company much better than T&M and I will explain what you need to know to choose the best provider for your business!  Download our Free Report on the Seven Signs that its Time to Call for Computer Support.

7 Signs Its Time Computer Support

 

Topics: IT Support, IT Outsourcing, Time & Materials, IT Services

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