Break-Fix vs. Managed Services: What You Need to Know

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Are you constantly dealing with computer problems? Are slow computers or an unreliable network hurting productivity? Or is your IT company taking forever to respond?

We see countless businesses repeatedly run into the same issues when looking for IT support: They don’t understand who they’re hiring.

There are several types of IT companies that provide different levels of service. Here are the differences between a break-fix vs. managed services provider (MSP) you need to know before hiring your next IT company.

Break-Fix vs. Managed Services Providers: What’s the Difference?

With break-fix IT companies, the name says it all. Something breaks, and they fix it. The model actually incentivizes IT issues — not proactive support.

Break-fix companies often work on an hourly basis, with a minimal or no monthly retainer fee. Because they operate on an as-needed basis, break-fix companies offer the bare minimum IT service. They get paid to resolve issues, not prevent them from happening.

This type of reactive support also reflects response time. Break-fix companies don’t staff enough technicians to respond to every call immediately, which delays issue resolution and hurts business productivity.

Technology issues arise out of nowhere at inconvenient times. While break-fix companies may be the most cost-effective option, break-fix repairs often involve unpredictable costs. Without regular monitoring and maintenance, repair costs can add up quickly, costing businesses big in the long run.

What’s a Managed Services Provider?

Unlike the break-fix model, managed services providers are proactive. In addition to managing help desk requests, MSPs provide regular, proactive IT maintenance, including data backup and recovery, storage and cloud security.

Here are some examples of services provided in managed IT support plans:

  • Help desk support & 24/7 monitoring: Manage employee help desk tickets with 24/7 monitoring to ensure your network is protected.
  • Advanced risk and compliance management: Every industry must meet certain compliance requirements — MSPs can manage and make sure your IT systems comply.
  • Proactive system and software maintenance to catch and fix issues before they become costly problems.
  • Server management and configuration: MSPs can set up and manage your servers for you.

There are several benefits to hiring an MSP for your business. Their proactive IT approach means they save you money by preventing issues from turning into downtime or unnecessary business costs. They also provide high-level IT strategy at a fraction of the cost of hiring an in-house team. And MSPs have predictable recurring costs, so you can better forecast and manage your budget.

How to Choose the Right IT Support Model

Every business is different — your IT strategy should reflect that.

Think of IT support like car maintenance. You get your oil changed, check the brakes and rotate your tires regularly to make your vehicle last longer. Or you can ignore standard maintenance and continue driving. Eventually, the car will break down, most likely at an inconvenient time and place, and will cost more to repair it than a simple oil change.

The MSP model is a great option for small and medium-size businesses that don’t have the budget for full-time specialized IT staff. Even if you have an in-house IT team, an MSP can supplement their expertise, providing high-level strategy and specialized advice to help you achieve your business goals.

Proactive, business-focused IT support is key to managing, protecting and growing your operations. The right MSP can help manage your IT environment to protect your data, scale for the future and increase productivity.

Want more insight on break fix vs. managed services? Give us a call today — we’ll do a free network and security assessment and help you get on track to maximizing your IT environment. Contact us today.