Changes in the IT Maintenance and Computer Support Market

Back in 2008, when the current economic downturn was first experienced, we noticed a change in the market for IT maintenance and computer support. Many organisations understandably wanted to cut back on their IT maintenance costs so moved away from a maintenance contract approach, to using pay-as-you-go. 

Now, however, we’re starting to detect a switch from some larger organisations back to maintenance contracts. But we don’t think it’s anything to do with economic changes, we think it’s actually because organisations are starting to experience some of the disadvantages of pay-as-you-go. 

With a maintenance contract, the IT support company should be providing a proactive support and maintenance service involving regular healthchecks, back-ups, ongoing advice, etc. None of this is provided with pay-as-you-go unless specifically paid for, which it generally isn’t. In addition, Antivirus software may not get updated or data storage may become inefficient because it is not being proactively maintained and considered. 

The net effect of this is that the quality of an IT system will deteriorate over time. Then, when the system goes horribly wrong and needs major attention, another disadvantage of pay-as-you-go may become apparent. 

Lower cost pay-as-you-go IT providers are often single engineers or sole-traders. This means that the speed of response may not be as required, emergency access or ‘quick-fix’ helpdesk support may be limited, and the level of expertise or resource availability may not meet requirements. 

We see the value of both sole-traders and pay-as-you-go. They are ideal for new starters, small organisations or those where the IT need is limited. But it’s interesting that larger organisations who have tried pay-as-you-go are starting to find that it doesn’t meet their needs. 

We provide both maintenance contracts and pay-as-you-go. If you’re wondering what level of IT support would be best for you, this video and guide to Types of Support Available might be useful for you.

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