There’s a few different ways you can support and maintain your computer network at work. Often, poor decisions are made in efforts to cut costs.
Some companies focus on the break-fix method. Often no “Solution” is implemented, and their network is a mash up of different 3rd party software applications used to backup, maintain, support, provide remote access, etc…
Other companies focus on actual solutions, integration, and using different pieces of software that are integrated and developed by large companies often the same company.
When a company decides to implement a “Solution” for their internal infrastructure, it costs more upfront. It needs to be implemented, it needs to be configured, and of course there will always be post-implementation support to deal with all the bugs, and changes that occur.
When a company decides to use the break-fix method, they often purchase a low end server designed just for file-sharing, and a few other small components. This is usually cheaper upfront because in this circumstance, they don’t have a true computer network (some IT people will argue this), nothing needs to be setup, configured, and it often only provides the single service they purchased it for.
A full infrastructure “Solution” often includes systems that provide file sharing access, patch management, remote access, e-mail, backup systems, and other systems all integrated in to a single sustainable system. These systems can often be monitored, and when issues to arise, they can be pro-actively troubleshot before they escalate into bigger issues that can cause downtime, and/or data loss.
Using a bare bone network without a “Solution” often means nothing is integrated, nothing can be managed or monitored, and as the requirements of the IT system grow with the company, a hodge-podge of 3rd party applications are installed which wouldn’t be as reliable as a full-fledged solution.
Often when a company does implement a solution, then later decides to neglect it by not supporting it, these solutions often can run for some time before a failure occurs with the users. When a failure does occur, it often can be resolved in a faster fashion then if the solution was never implemented in the first place. Keep in mind that even if the system is working and not being supported, valuable maintenance is NOT occurring that should be. One of the biggest problems that arise from this is security issues.
Companies that implement a break-fix type solution, often already have numerous security issues and holes that are not known. Their systems are often not configured in a way to be managed, so the computers (and server) are often full of junk, malware, spyware, and often viruses (even if virus protection is installed).
If you choose the break-fix method, you have an unstable environment which will constantly require support to maintain and keep it running. And DON’T forget that this is the perfect opportunity for a break-fix IT Service provider to keep coming on-site and billing you.
Break-fix types of networks often have limited backup, limited security protection, limited functionality, and in the event of a disaster usually always mean downtime.
An actual solution provides your business with a feature rich stable and secure foundation in which you won’t worry about your IT Systems, or your data, security, etc… They are easy to maintain (such with Managed Services), and can make sure your systems keep up with your business.
Overall, by going with break-fix you will be paying out on a continuous basis for support that wouldn’t be needed. These costs are usually always higher than if you would have installed a full infrastructure solution. Every time you need to use your break-fix systems for something new, you will have to fork out money for these features, and of course it will increase your monthly spending on maintaining and supporting these, every time just adding to the complexity of your network.
When it comes to upgrades, actual solutions usually have migration paths that make upgrading extremely easy, whereas with break-fix type of networks you often have to start from scratch.
How do you want your network to run?