Break-Fix vs Managed Services: What’s Best for Your Business?


When you own a business, there are tons of details to juggle. One of the biggest challenges a business owner faces is how to manage your budget. The key is to learn ways to minimize expenses.

One effective way to reduce costs is by using managed services or break-fix rather than having an in-house IT department. In recent years both types of IT support have become increasingly popular with many small businesses.

Let’s take a look at some of the differences between break-fix and managed IT services to see which one might be the best fit for your company. 

Break-Fix vs Managed Services: What’s Best for Your Business?

If you’re wondering if you should go with break-fix or managed services, we take a look at the pros and cons of each.

There’s no denying that IT technology has become a significant aspect of doing business. From WiFi to mobile devices, and email to digital services, your business simply can’t afford to not be connected to your team or clients at all times. 

Every minute that your network is down, or a piece of IT equipment is broken, it puts a strain on your ability to efficiently conduct business. So what’s the best way to keep everything up and running?

The Break-Fix Business Model

This type of service works basically like calling an electrician or plumber when you need a quick fix. They come to you and take care of the problem, charging a fee based on the amount of time spent on the individual repair.

The emphasis is on fixing problems that have already happened. Thus you will be responsible for managing all hardware and software issues on a day to day basis. Under this model, many companies typically have an employee or two who are savvy enough to solve minor problems as they arise. 

Disadvantages of the Break-Fix Model

One disadvantage with break-fix is when IT problems occur that can’t be solved by an employee with limited tech skills. This is when you’ll need to call a break-fix service to step in and save the day.

A second disadvantage of this model is that when someone is dispatched from outside your company to fix a problem, they will not have a working history of your system. This could likely result in a delay in identifying the problem and implementing a solution. Thus increasing the odds of prolonged downtime.

Other disadvantages of the break-fix model include: Every time you experience the same problem, each repair is billed separately, thus your overall cost will be higher. You’ll experience more downtime. The IT service provider has no real incentive to implement long-term fixes. And response time is dependent on location and availability.

Advantages of the Break-Fix Model

The primary advantage of the break-fix model is you only have to pay when services are needed. Whereas managed services charge a set monthly fee.

Is Break-Fix the Right IT Model for Your Business?

There are a few things to consider, such as budget limitations that might force you to cut costs in other areas of your business. Also, this model might be right for you if you experience a limited number of IT issues.

Break-fix also might be right for your business if you have employees who are tech-savvy and are thus able to solve most problems themselves. And perhaps your business is capable of handling downtime without suffering too much lost productivity.

The Managed Services Model

When a company utilizes the managed IT services model, you shift the responsibility for keeping your system up and running to the service provider. This way you are able to relax knowing that your system is being proactively monitored 24/7 for any potential issues that might arise.

Disadvantages of the Managed IT Services Model

The most significant disadvantage of utilizing this type of service is the expense. After all, you’ll be paying a fixed monthly fee even if you don’t experience any major system issues. Or you might discover that you only take minimal advantage of the service, only needing them once or twice a month for the same fee.

Although this might dissuade some companies from outsourcing their IT to this type of service, the peace of mind it provides can often be worth the monthly cost.

Another disadvantage related to price is that most managed services charge an initial setup fee. 

Advantages of the Managed IT Services Model

The most notable advantage of outsourcing the daily management of your IT is that your system will receive preventative care to ensure that it stays up and running without experiencing costly interruptions.

These types of services are able to install system patches and updates, monitor firewalls, detect hackers, and update your hardware and software as needed, and are available 24/7 to resolve unexpected issues.

Another important advantage of using managed IT is that you know up-front what it will cost, and can thus budget accordingly. Here’s a good source to learn more about managed service providers.

Is Managed Services the Right IT Model for Your Business?

This might be the right model for you if your business can afford the fixed monthly fee. It can also be a significant benefit if you typically experience a lot of system issues and need to know that help is available around the clock.

Managed IT services is ideal for minimizing downtime that could result in costly disruptions to your business. 

Determining the Best IT Service for Your Business

Each year IT is becoming more and more important to every kind of business. It’s something we all typically take for granted until the moment there’s a problem.

Choosing between managed services and break-fix is an important decision. This article provides information to help you decide which type of IT service will set serve your needs. Keep in mind that it’s not a one-size-fits-all decision. After all, every business has a different budget and different needs.

Just beware that if you don’t plan ahead, then you’re essentially planning for trouble.

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