Why “Band-Aid” IT Fixes are Never a Good Idea

Having IT problems is never fun. It is frustrating, time-consuming, and can cost you productivity. But, these problems are inevitable. At some point, you are going to have some kind of issue with your IT, even if it’s just that your email inbox is full, or your password needs to be changed.

When these issues occur, we all want them to be fixed as quickly and efficiently as possible. After all, they are costing us time, money, and productivity. The truth is though, there is something to be more concerned about- and that is “band-aid” fixes.

What is a “Band-Aid” fix?

First let’s start by talking about what “Band-Aid” fixes means. It happens when you have a situation where there is an issue with your IT. This can be any issue- from a program not opening to a server problem. Band-Aid fixes are when your IT professional just fixes the immediate issue, and doesn’t take some time to delve into the root of the problem.

We refer to them as “Band-Aid” fixes because the engineer is merely covering up the issue (placing a band-aid over it), and not taking time to make sure it is really solved.

Think of it like a scrape or a cut. If you were to just cover up a cut with a band-aid, it will probably heal, but it will take some time. If, however, you take time to clean the cut, put some neosporin on it, and then put the band-aid on it, it will heal faster and better, and there is less chance of infection.

It is the same with your IT. If the engineer doesn’t take the time to discover the real problem and clean it up, there is a greater chance of your network getting an “infection”.

Band-Aid vs. Work-around

Let’s be clear though, Band-Aid fixes are different from a work-around. An IT professional might give you a work-around to your problem, so that you can continue to work and not lose any more time than is absolutely necessary. Usually, they will give you this work-around so that you can keep working and they can focus on discovering and fixing the root cause of the issue.

When an IT professional does a “band-aid” fix, they are simply covering up the larger problem by only fixing the immediate symptoms.

Why Is This a Bad Idea?

If the engineer does not take the time to figure out the root cause of the problem, then the problem can (and most likely will) reoccur. The engineer could just keep applying band-aid fixes, but the real problem will never be solved. Not to mention that this root cause could start having a larger impact by creating other issues. If, however, the engineer takes the time to solve the real problem in the first place, there is a very slim chance of this issue ever showing up again.

While it might seem like an inconvenience, it is important to make sure that an IT problem is fixed correctly the first time. Otherwise, it might show up down the road even worse than before, and that could end up costing you even more time, money, and productivity than if it was fixed correctly in the first place.

It is the job of an IT professional to fix your system problems as quickly and efficiently as possible, but it is also their job to make sure your network is as healthy as possible- and this might mean that occasionally, a problem is going to take a little more time to fix.

So while there may be instances where you will want to ask for a work-around to the problem so that you can keep being productive while your IT professionals work on the issue, you never want to ask for the “band-aid” fix.

Have you ever had an experience with a “band-aid” fix? What happened? Tell us about it in the comments!

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