Many issues that impact productivity go unreported.
Staff knows there is a commitment from them required to initiate a service request. They will have to disrupt their day to call or email and allow someone to work on their system. So many times the issue that hinders their productivity but does not exceed their tolerance for technology problems go unreported. Like a dripping faucet that leads to big water bill, the productivity hit slowly adds up. Proactively improving processes to reduce the number of problems per endpoint is central to the way we deliver IT services and critical to reducing your overall technology costs.
The single most important thing IT providers can do is schedule time for proactive service.
This isn’t time to address reactive tickets or problems. But time specifically meant to do nothing but look for ways to improve your IT systems, make them more reliable, have better documentation, and increase productivity. This is what drives a client’s business success. Break/fix relationships have an incentive not to do this. If nothing breaks they don’t get paid. Yet we know that technology breaking is the biggest driver of technology expense because it impacts payroll costs.
Not only does T&M have an incentive not to prevent problems, there may be reluctance to initiate proactive work because it will have to be justified on an invoice or performed at no cost. There are best practices and procedures that are in the best interest of the client but if the provider is left with the choice of justifying the work or doing it at no cost, the threshold to do the work is high. Many times this means small items that should be done but would be tough to justify are not done. Over time, just like that dripping faucet, it adds up.
Business and technology strategy are usually missing from break/fix. Or they are limited if they are there. Strategy, planning, budgeting, and improving are critical to the success of our clients. Meeting with them regularly to provide this “virtual CIO” service helps them make decisions based on what they know, not based on what they don’t know. Time and Materials rarely does this.