Are we moving away from Break/Fix?
A Seattle IT Consulting expert asks, “Are we moving away from Break/Fix?”
I wonder if we aren’t seeing a change in thinking from the
old break/fix style of Incident management strategy to a cloud based managed services business model. In the Break
Fix model, the client paid for response time and the billable hours after the
system was up and running. Availability
was hardly considered and perhaps customers having yet made the jump in
With an SLA (Service Level Agreement) the Hosting company
guarantees a level of service availability.
If that availability is below the SLA then a penalty is charged but only
for the money paid originally for the service.
It’s really the only way to grade services without a complete failure in
In the article on Cloud SLA’s the writer implies that the
cloud service takes no responsibility for failures or data security. Having worked on various SaaS and Cloud
services for multiple companies including BPOS I do know that there is a
consequence to the host provider when the SLA is not met.
Still that consequence does not equal more than what the
customer is paying to the Cloud provider.
The real problem for the customer is the lost productivity
when the system is down. Whether the IT
department is on premise or in the cloud, there is always a risk that something
will go wrong. Cloud technology tends to
be 5 to 15% more available on average than the typical IT Outsource Company or
IT Department that has no Problem Management role in the support model.
Conservative estimates on the productivity loss during an IT
Failure range between $7,000 / hour and $50,000 per hour for small and medium
size businesses. This is just the business
loss in productivity. The question then is should a hosting company providing a
service at $1000 / month (as an example) pay more than $1000 to the customer
for business losses during an IT outage?
If the power company has a break in a line and can’t provide power for a
day, can the business sue for business losses because there was no power? IT
outsource companies don’t provide that type of guarantee on their services.
In the future I imagine that the SLA will become much more
important. Perhaps Cloud providers will
be rated, perhaps like bonds and credit worthiness is rated, for the quality of
their SLA fulfillment. Because the SLA
is the simplest way to quantify service that doesn’t require a complete
failure, I think the SLA is going away any time soon.