The Break-It, Fix-It Mentality of Information Technology

We all know someone, maybe even ourselves, that has operated under the “it’s fine” mentality at some point in his or her life. The squeaking noise the car makes when we brake doesn’t sound right, but hey, it still works fine. Of course, in no time at all, that little squeak becomes grinding and now it’s time that it must be fixed… actually past time.

Instead of simply replacing the brake pads (average $150), now not only do the brake pads need replacing but also the rotors and calipers, pushing that number up above $600.00… ‘4 times’ what the cost would have been, if only preventative maintenance had been done.

Human behavior is interesting. Why do we procrastinate? Why do we think just because something seems to be working, that it’s fine? Why do we accept “that’s the way it has always been?” Why do we have a “Break It, Fix It” mentality? There are a lot of reasons; here are a few.

  1. The perception it will take too much time
  2. The belief it will cost too much money
  3. The willingness to continue to accept things as they are
  4. The rut of reacting to issues instead of preventing them

Guess what? That “Break-It, Fix-It” mentality may have carried over from our personal life and has become more and more prevalent in our organizations and businesses with our information technology (IT). If an organization or business continues to accept the above, it can result in overwhelming negative effects.

Break-It, Fix-It / Negative Experiences

1. You’ll experience the same problems over and over again, as the root cause of the problem isn’t addressed.

2. You may end up with outdated systems that cost you in more problems and even data security issues.

3. You may have to wait for hours, days, or even weeks to get the service you need.

4. You won’t get proactive services to prevent IT downtime or interruptions.

5. You’ll experience unexpected IT costs. Break-It, Fix-It companies typically charge by the hour and many times there is a trip fee. With Managed IT Services, you pay a fixed monthly fee.

6. Extended and frequent periods of downtime end up costing you in upset staff, customers and negatively impact your reputation.

How Is Technology Involved in Everyday Life? Even in the simplest of things…

  • Remote Control for your TV
  • Lights come on when you walk in a room
  • Low air tire warning light on your car
  • Oven telling you that it’s been preheated

Without question, the future of technology is constantly changing, becoming more complex and expensive to manage. So, hiding from it won’t work, assigning it out without oversight does nothing, and permanently keeping that Break-It, Fix It mentality will just cost more in the long run… more time, more money, more energy, and more frustration.

So, what’s the answer? You must change your mindset and culture… you can no longer accept “it’s fine,” when you should expect excellence in every area that information technology has to offer.

Remember… technology is supposed to help us in convenience, efficiency, and save us time and money.

So, here’s a starting point… write up a ‘Technology Plan.’

What is a Technology Plan?

  • It should always be an important part of your ‘Strategic Business Plan.’
  • Include IT solutions that support your organization or business needs and priorities
  • Be sure to leverage the best IT tools to achieve your strategic objectives
  • Include an IT product roadmap that takes you from today to 3-to-5 years from now
  • Utilize any and all resources that strengthen your IT infrastructure, IT talent (inside or outside), program management, services and support.

It should also include your resources and budget… know your numbers, both hard and soft costs!

  • IT Support & Service
  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Cloud Services
  • Backup and Disaster Recovery Services
  • IT Project Costs
  • Phone System
  • Printing and Document Management

The Choice is Yours!

You have a choice whether to accept this new culture of experience and expectation. It isn’t easy to change a mindset, but if you are striving to become the best, the most effective, highly efficient, and increase your customer service, then you really don’t have a choice. You have to shift from reactive to proactive!

I shouldn’t say you don’t have a choice. You can use the Break-It, Fix-It or as some call it, the fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants approach, or you can use my sometime favorite… just throw the laptop against the wall technique. It isn’t very effective, but it makes me feel better.

Without a doubt, public perception will pick up on whatever choice an organization makes. What will be changing is the culture going from reactive to becoming proactive, and the results will be noticed.

Remember, as Albert Einstein said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”

Organizations today must embrace that new culture of proactive IT service so everyone they serve can feel the benefits.

The Benefits:

  • More productive employees
  • Increased efficiency
  • More focused organization/business
  • Customer satisfaction increased
  • Better morale
  • Lower overall information technology costs
  • Increased functionality
  • Better technology value
  • Reduced risk
  • Better work/life balance
  • Enhanced security
  • Better HIPAA compliance
  • Peace of mind

This is not a typical technology information piece; its intent is to look at technology with an open mind and consider new approaches… more effective ones!

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