Break Fix vs Managed IT Services – Which is Better?

With the growth in technology year after year, this has only enhanced the rise of Managed IT services as technology has grown more complex despite its user-friendliness. In the past, whenever something broke, businesses would contact a specific company that deals with these technologies to repair them. However, with the rise of managed IT services, companies are now able to access a single company for all of their IT concerns.

Yet still today, many people wonder whether the older model – the break/fix model – is better or worse when compared to a managed IT service provider.

What Is The Break/Fix Model Really?

This is the older way of supporting anything IT. The break/fix services are typically fee-based models and depend on customers to contact the specific company’s IT services whenever repairs or upgrades are needed. They can also be used for troubleshooting as well.

Furthermore, these kinds of models do not commit to any service-level agreements either. This is notable as things like the fees and how long something will take to repair will fluctuate based on the problem and how long it’ll take.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of This Support?

Even though there are some glaring issues with this support, there is some appeal on the client’s perspective. Of note is the lack of an up-front investment in IT services. It is entirely pay-as-needed which can save someone money long-term if they take good care of technology and have routine maintenance checks.

This is also appealing to small businesses who struggle to start up and try to save some money in certain areas.

Another great perk to this model is that it’s hassle-free for the providers themselves. They’re only charging technician labour and parts. They remove the need to create various products, getting new clients, and creating contracts which a managed IT service provider would do.

The downside to this model though is there is a significant lack of proactive monitoring or preventative maintenance. The maintenance can be mitigated if a company’s own IT department is familiar with the technology and can run maintenance but beyond that, it’s difficult and time consuming, and many businesses won’t be able to do it properly. As a result, companies may find replacing technology faster since most will have to wait until something breaks down in order to fix it.

That can be compounded further depending on the technology in question. A printer in some cases isn’t a huge loss to some companies. However, if a server is down, this can disrupt everyday business and can cause frustrated customers.

Furthermore, because there is no binding agreement, it is in a service provider’s best interest to take a long time to repair and fix the problem. This can end up costing businesses more than just the large repair bill after the problem is resolved.

An Alternative: Managed IT Services

The break/fix model was once the standard IT service delivery model. And while it does have its perks, many providers are moving away from that model and find it better for them and customers to be offering managed IT services. Over the past decade, the IT environment complexity has expanded, shifted and impacted many businesses as a result. The idea of sending in a single repairman to fix problems whenever isn’t feasible when more businesses are adopting technology and can’t wait days or even several hours any longer.

Beyond that, larger amounts of endpoints create complex IT networks and major IT security concerns so a new solution is more often not needed.

Enter managed services, where instead of reacting to every repair as needed, systems are proactively monitored and routine maintenance is performed as part of a service contract. Under this model, clients are billed a fixed rate monthly or annually for the service and backed by a service-level agreement.

This offers massive advantages since it provides steady and predictable revenue for the providers and affordable rates for their customers. Beyond that, the proactive monitoring also means there is significantly lower chances of any problems occurring during the operation of a piece of technology. There isn’t any waiting time for repairs either.

Also, managed IT service providers are able to expand by offering various services which can increase revenue streams and further benefit customers. Some of them include:

  • Endpoint monitoring and management – proactive monitoring and management of IT infrastructure on-premise, remotely, or in the Cloud. This can also cover automated processes for regular server and workstation maintenance.
  • Help desk – a more highly comprehensive and focused customer service avenue for people with questions or need further priority to their issues.
  • Security – provides an entire security plan entailing everything from encrypting data to ensuring all devices and programs are updated and protected.
  • Backup and disaster recovery – ensures that if anything were to happen to a company’s data, there is a full-fledged plan to bring a company back online in a matter of minutes without any delays. This process is even tested regularly to ensure consistency and effectiveness.

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