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Break-fix vs. managed services

When contemplating IT support, you may be considering between two models: break-fix vs. managed services. The major differentiator is that break-fix is purely reactive to an identified problem; whereas, IT managed services are a proactive approach. In the past, most small businesses have relied heavily on break-fix solutions. However, as technology becomes more essential to every aspect of your operations, managed services have gained momentum.

What are managed services?

Managed services are when a company engages a third-party IT provider to manage all their technology needs. Managed services providers offer a variety of solutions, including network security, help desk support, hardware management, and more. The services offered are meant to be a complete turnkey solution that removes the day-to-day and long-term responsibilities of IT from the company.  

What is break-fix?

In the break-fix model, companies seek outside support when something goes wrong. While many have depended on this approach for years, it can lead to unnecessary downtime and inefficiencies. Because IT is not managed on a daily basis, those using a break-fix model could suffer productivity issues.

Managed services pros

With managed services, your IT support provider should be simplifying and streamlining. One of the most important benefits is continuous monitoring. Threats, such as phishing attacks, are identifiable in real-time and can be thwarted before a cyberattack occurs. You’ll enjoy 24/7 monitoring from a professional that’s familiar with your infrastructure and IT needs.

Another pro of managed services is that software is always up to date. Regular updates may seem like a small task, but new versions of the software are released all the time. These releases improve functionality and also eradicate old bugs. Your network will always have the latest version of the software, which can help you defend against cyberattacks. Older versions of the software are often vulnerable to attacks. Microsoft recently introduced an update to help curb the growth of malware outbreaks.

Managed services also provide you with help desk support for your staff. Internal help desks are expensive, mainly due to labor costs. For example, the average starting salary for help desk analysts is $41,500, and that number grows for more senior-level professionals. 

In this model, you’re investing all your money in people rather than technology, which could mean you fall behind. Plus, taking away help desk duties from your internal staff means that they can focus on more high-level projects.

With managed services, you can also budget better. You’ll know exactly what you’ll spend each month on IT support versus variable amounts.

Managed services cons

The biggest con with managed services is relinquishing some control. You’ll have to put a lot of trust in your IT partner to keep your network up and running without any hiccups. Developing a good relationship and defining expectations will help you transition.

Next, there’s the necessity of contracts. You may feel initially restricted by contracts and being locked into an agreement. However, contracts are imperative to any business relationship, and they can also define accountability and agreed levels of service.

Finally, you may be concerned about cost because managed services do require an upfront investment. Whereas break-fix is a pay as you go model.

Break-fix pros

There are no monthly charges when you have a break-fix agreement. When something happens or goes wrong, then you’ll be responsible for fees directly related to the problem. You also retain control of all your IT with break-fix.

Break-fix cons

The biggest con is that when something does happen, you’ll have to engage your provider and hope they can address your problems quickly. However, you could spend days waiting on a service window.

When your provider does arrive to assess the situation, you will likely be paying high prices to get your crisis resolved and get your systems back to work. This means you could experience more downtime, which is concerning for your staff and customers. Downtime is expensive and can damage your reputation.

You’ll also always be chasing infrastructure and network improvements. Because you don’t have experts proactively managing your IT, it becomes much harder to have the latest and greatest tech.

In the world of IT, break-fix vs. managed services is a comparison many companies will make. If you’re ready to experience a more streamlined approach to IT, then managed services are for you. Contact us today to learn more.