Pros and cons of ad hoc vs managed IT


Small businesses, especially start-ups find it difficult to justify monthly retainer fees for managed IT support.

Instead, a business owner will usually try to deal with IT themselves (or get their Office Manager to do so for them) and then pay an IT engineer on an ad hoc basis.


There are advantages of ad hoc IT support:

    1. It’s cheaper
    2. You can choose how much involvement you want your supplier to have
    3. There’s usually no contract to sign
    4. You’ll often start by trying to fix things yourself – and get to learn a lot in the process
    5. You get months when no external services are needed – more cost saving
    6. You control what software and equipment get purchased
    7. You can take security risks if you feel the business benefits justify them
    8. You can use different suppliers and determine which are generally better


However, here are some disadvantages

    1. Ad hoc support means you need to manage the person doing the work – directing them towards a solution. If they are the IT expert and you’re not, management is difficult.
    2. Ad hoc IT tends to encourage “sticking plaster fixes”. They’re often urgent problems and therefore they often get short term fixes which can rear up again.
    3. When the problem does recur, will you have to pay again? This can cause conflict.
    4. IT companies prioritise contract customers. They respond more slowly to ad hoc customers. Will you be happy with a slow response?
    5. IT companies allocate the less experienced personnel to the ad hoc jobs.
    6. Because they don’t work with their ad hoc customers regularly, IT engineers aren’t so familiar with the IT setups. Also there’s less chance of there being any documentation.
    7. That means they can’t work so accurately. Mistakes are inevitable.
    8. This all means the work takes longer
    9. And is less reliable.
    10. As you’re paying by the hour, it means you might question the invoices. This all takes time and can be stressful.


At Cubit Technology, we aim our services at businesses who are dependant on IT and have 8 or more computers. Charging a flat monthly fee means:

    1. You’re giving the whole IT infrastructure to the IT experts – it’s for them to manage efficiently
    2. The focus goes on prevention rather than cure.
    3. Responsibilities are clear
    4. You get an IT strategy and everything stems from that
    5. You can accurately plan expenditure
    6. You get IT administered accurately by people who understand the equipment and the software licensing
    7. Instead of conflict, you’re in partnership with your IT provider
    8. Quality of work tends to be higher
    9. Speed of response will be faster
    10. Value for money is usually higher