Break-Fix vs Managed IT Services: Which Is Better for Your Business?

  • calender Image April 14, 2021
  • Posted By Jason Pietryga
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There are two main ways to approach managing and supporting your IT if you don’t want to hire a full-time IT employee – leave it alone and just fix it when it breaks (the so-called “break-fix” approach), or hire a managed IT services provider to proactively manage and maintain it. So which is right for your business? Let’s explore.


Break-Fix IT Services: A Quick Fix That’s Costly in the Long Run

Break-fix might seem like a decent option for businesses that are just starting out or trying to keep costs low. But it’s an approach that will probably cost you more in the long run than proactively managing your IT, not just in financial terms but in the stress, uncertainty, and distraction it can cause.

How Your IT Is Like a Car

Well, not just one car. Think of your IT like a fleet of company cars (not too hard to do now that cars are almost just big computers with seats and wheels anyway), dozens of them. Hopefully you don’t just drive them for 5-10 years until parts just start falling off it or the engine stops working or a tire pops on the freeway.

No, you have team that checks and maintains the cars for you a day-to-day basis, changing your oil, rotating your tires, routinely checking and filling up all your fluids, etc. It’s not something you can handle in your spare time, or give to someone as a side job, or ask your nephew or niece that knows their way around cars. When you do it the right way, your cars run better and more efficiently, last longer, and are less of a liability and safety hazard.

It’s the same with IT. You shouldn’t be spending tens or hundreds of thousands on PCs and servers, then doing nothing to maintain them. They’ll gather viruses and overloaded storage drives like cars gather road wear; they’ll be slow; they won’t get the updates they need; then they’ll crash or get hacked when you least expect it, which’ll take you days or weeks to deal with and cost you a fortune to replace.


Managed IT Services: Invest a Little Now to Save a Lot Later

managed it services

With managed IT services, you’ve got multiple eyes on your IT at all times.

Your IT systems and network are at the heart of your business enterprise. So, it makes sense to establish a robust management and upkeep system to make it run smoothly.

What Are Managed IT Services, Exactly?

A dedicated IT management partner. The core idea here is fairly straightforward – you have a dedicated IT management partner company working with you. So, while your business runs, the IT experts ensure everything IT in your business runs to perfection. This translates to better software performance, proactive troubleshooting, anticipated IT solutions before your business needs them and much more.

Strategic guidance. Further, if you are a growing business, then your business IT systems will need scaling to keep pace with the market. Strategic IT planning with your managed IT services partner can help define how your company will grow. Their extensive insight and expertise allow you to foresee your company’s growth and select the right IT investments for its future.

Security. Additionally, using managed IT services adds a whole new layer of security to your entire business systems network. This means considerably higher insulation from cybersecurity threats as well as ongoing monitoring of all such vulnerabilities across your business enterprise. 

How Managed IT Services Keep You Ahead of the Curve

Managed IT services ramp up a lagging IT upkeep process to enable round the clock working and seamless tech integration. This means your business process will virtually never suffer slowdowns from tech glitches, errors and breakdowns. Staying ahead of the emerging tech also peaks performance potential, vastly superior IT security and high resulting revenue generation.

The pace of technological advancement along with rising cybersecurity threats are a concern for all businesses. Using robust IT systems to develop, support and substantiate their IT needs these service partners are a key asset to any IT-based business process.


Break-Fix and Managed IT Compared

  Break-Fix IT Support Managed IT Services
Planning None; this would just be IT consulting High-level planning and reviews included or offered as part of a package; helps businesses improve their IT from year-to-year and stay on top of trends
Expertise Low-mid. Depends on the vendor. At least knows the basics and may have a specialty or two. Keep in mind that the best MSPs will avoid break-fix support due to its inefficiency, so you’re unlikely to be dealing with the most skilled people High, with specialists in every area including Windows, cloud, virtualization, server management, networking, and more; technicians often recruited from enterprise IT departments, bringing their experience and expertise with them
Reliability Low. Break-fix doesn’t maintain your IT, so it’ll only last as long as the products do under the given conditions without any support. High. The skilled professionals at a managed IT services company will manage and maintain your IT 24/7, predicting and preventing most outages before they can occur.
Support Slow to nonexistent. Your on-call IT department or guy/gal may be on vacation or busy doing something else when you reach out. Now you have to spend time finding and vetting a new one. Or if they’re available, it may take them a while to get caught up with your environment, since they haven’t seen or touched it in months or years. Fast to immediate. Your managed team will respond to alerts and issues as they occur. And when you reach out for help, we’re already familiar with your environment so we can get straight to work.
Cost Zero upfront costs, with occasional break-fix payments (usually $100-$200/hr), with huge unpredictable costs in the long term due to lost productivity, security breaches, compliance violations, outages, etc. Predictable, ongoing month-to-month costs, usually about $50-$150/employee/month; maximize productivity and avoid large unpredictable costs

Should You Get Managed IT Services for Your Business?

Managed IT services are a comprehensive solution for businesses of all sizes. The cost is relatively higher than break/fix IT solutions but the benefits are considerable. In comparison, break/fix IT management can only address IT issues when they arise. This can cause delays and the support quality varies by a lot. For basic-level IT management, break/fix options can work decently. However, if you want 360 IT management that can grow with your business’ IT systems holistically, managed IT solutions are the right choice. 

Break-Fix vs Managed IT Services

Break-Fix vs Managed IT Services: Which Is Better for Your Business?

There are two main ways to approach managing and supporting your IT if you don’t want to hire a full-time IT employee – leave it alone and just fix it when it breaks (the so-called “break-fix” approach), or hire a managed IT services provider to proactively manage and maintain it. So which is right for your business? Let’s explore.


Break-Fix IT Services: A Quick Fix That’s Costly in the Long Run

Break-fix might seem like a decent option for businesses that are just starting out or trying to keep costs low. But it’s an approach that will probably cost you more in the long run than proactively managing your IT, not just in financial terms but in the stress, uncertainty, and distraction it can cause.

How Your IT Is Like a Car

Well, not just one car. Think of your IT like a fleet of company cars (not too hard to do now that cars are almost just big computers with seats and wheels anyway), dozens of them. Hopefully you don’t just drive them for 5-10 years until parts just start falling off it or the engine stops working or a tire pops on the freeway.

No, you have team that checks and maintains the cars for you a day-to-day basis, changing your oil, rotating your tires, routinely checking and filling up all your fluids, etc. It’s not something you can handle in your spare time, or give to someone as a side job, or ask your nephew or niece that knows their way around cars. When you do it the right way, your cars run better and more efficiently, last longer, and are less of a liability and safety hazard.

It’s the same with IT. You shouldn’t be spending tens or hundreds of thousands on PCs and servers, then doing nothing to maintain them. They’ll gather viruses and overloaded storage drives like cars gather road wear; they’ll be slow; they won’t get the updates they need; then they’ll crash or get hacked when you least expect it, which’ll take you days or weeks to deal with and cost you a fortune to replace.


Managed IT Services: Invest a Little Now to Save a Lot Later

managed it services

With managed IT services, you’ve got multiple eyes on your IT at all times.

Your IT systems and network are at the heart of your business enterprise. So, it makes sense to establish a robust management and upkeep system to make it run smoothly.

What Are Managed IT Services, Exactly?

A dedicated IT management partner. The core idea here is fairly straightforward – you have a dedicated IT management partner company working with you. So, while your business runs, the IT experts ensure everything IT in your business runs to perfection. This translates to better software performance, proactive troubleshooting, anticipated IT solutions before your business needs them and much more.

Strategic guidance. Further, if you are a growing business, then your business IT systems will need scaling to keep pace with the market. Strategic IT planning with your managed IT services partner can help define how your company will grow. Their extensive insight and expertise allow you to foresee your company’s growth and select the right IT investments for its future.

Security. Additionally, using managed IT services adds a whole new layer of security to your entire business systems network. This means considerably higher insulation from cybersecurity threats as well as ongoing monitoring of all such vulnerabilities across your business enterprise. 

How Managed IT Services Keep You Ahead of the Curve

Managed IT services ramp up a lagging IT upkeep process to enable round the clock working and seamless tech integration. This means your business process will virtually never suffer slowdowns from tech glitches, errors and breakdowns. Staying ahead of the emerging tech also peaks performance potential, vastly superior IT security and high resulting revenue generation.

The pace of technological advancement along with rising cybersecurity threats are a concern for all businesses. Using robust IT systems to develop, support and substantiate their IT needs these service partners are a key asset to any IT-based business process.


Break-Fix and Managed IT Compared

  Break-Fix IT Support Managed IT Services
Planning None; this would just be IT consulting High-level planning and reviews included or offered as part of a package; helps businesses improve their IT from year-to-year and stay on top of trends
Expertise Low-mid. Depends on the vendor. At least knows the basics and may have a specialty or two. Keep in mind that the best MSPs will avoid break-fix support due to its inefficiency, so you’re unlikely to be dealing with the most skilled people High, with specialists in every area including Windows, cloud, virtualization, server management, networking, and more; technicians often recruited from enterprise IT departments, bringing their experience and expertise with them
Reliability Low. Break-fix doesn’t maintain your IT, so it’ll only last as long as the products do under the given conditions without any support. High. The skilled professionals at a managed IT services company will manage and maintain your IT 24/7, predicting and preventing most outages before they can occur.
Support Slow to nonexistent. Your on-call IT department or guy/gal may be on vacation or busy doing something else when you reach out. Now you have to spend time finding and vetting a new one. Or if they’re available, it may take them a while to get caught up with your environment, since they haven’t seen or touched it in months or years. Fast to immediate. Your managed team will respond to alerts and issues as they occur. And when you reach out for help, we’re already familiar with your environment so we can get straight to work.
Cost Zero upfront costs, with occasional break-fix payments (usually $100-$200/hr), with huge unpredictable costs in the long term due to lost productivity, security breaches, compliance violations, outages, etc. Predictable, ongoing month-to-month costs, usually about $50-$150/employee/month; maximize productivity and avoid large unpredictable costs

Should You Get Managed IT Services for Your Business?

Managed IT services are a comprehensive solution for businesses of all sizes. The cost is relatively higher than break/fix IT solutions but the benefits are considerable. In comparison, break/fix IT management can only address IT issues when they arise. This can cause delays and the support quality varies by a lot. For basic-level IT management, break/fix options can work decently. However, if you want 360 IT management that can grow with your business’ IT systems holistically, managed IT solutions are the right choice. 

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