Break/Fix vs. Managed IT Services: What’s the Difference?

Technology is constantly evolving, with new devices, solutions, and threats surfacing almost continuously. In a world of such fast-paced change, you almost certainly aren’t using the exact same phone, business website, or marketing strategies you used ten or even five years ago. So why should you use the same IT solutions?

That’s what you’re doing when you use break/fix services. The method of years and decades past, where you call an “IT guy” to come fix your computer when something breaks, is no longer adequate for modern businesses.

Since businesses rely so heavily on technology for nearly every process, your infrastructure needs more care now than ever. It’s not enough anymore to wait until something breaks; you need proactive care for your IT systems to prevent expensive downtime and productivity-draining holdups.

With that being said, let’s break down what break/fix and Managed IT Services are and how they approach IT issues differently.

What’s the Difference?

A break/fix IT approach follows the fee-for-service method. It means that whenever you need IT support, you contact an IT company who sends one representative to your location to fix your problem, and then they bill you for the work that’s been done after it’s completed.

Conversely, managed IT services provide you with constant support and proactive planning. When you utilize managed IT services, you generally partner with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) to receive monthly services.

Then you receive IT consulting and strategizing services, constant network monitoring and help desk support, cybersecurity protection, and other services that will keep your IT functioning smoothly. An MSP will also help you put plans in place to improve your IT structure and strategy in order to make processes more efficient.

Risks of Break/Fix IT

To the frugal business manager, break/fix IT support may seem like the more simple solution at first glance; after all, that way, you don’t need to worry about IT except when something goes wrong. However, when you weigh the importance of IT in a modern business and the benefits of comprehensive IT support when compared to only occasional repairs, the risks of relying on only a break/fix service model become clear.

Lack of Support

When you use a break/fix approach to IT services, you’ll likely only have the support of one IT representative. You run the risk of that individual not being able to deliver results should there be a personal emergency or high volume of customer issues. Additionally, should you face a large-scale issue, one person likely won’t be able to resolve the issue quickly.

This issue has become especially apparent in the past few months as businesses transitioning to remote work have caused a massive increase in support requests.

A Managed Service Provider, on the other hand, has a full team with sufficient personnel to pick up the slack when an emergency strikes.

Lack of Expertise

On a similar note, the lack of support from a break/fix provider can prove limiting when you face a particularly advanced or difficult issue. An MSP will have a diverse team of experts who make it their goal to be up to date with the most advanced threats and solutions, and in the diversity of experience that comes with a large team, you’re more likely to find someone with the knowledge needed to solve your problem.

No Investment in Your Business

A break/fix provider will have no investment in your business beyond solving the issue at hand. That’s not to say they won’t do their best to solve your current problem, but they have no incentive to go above and beyond to help prevent future problems, since they only get business from you when you’re having issues.

An MSP, on the other hand, is motivated to detect and prevent problems before they arise, since as your IT provider, they will be responsible for fixing future issues with no increased benefits for them. Whether you call IT support with one issue or twenty, your MSP’s rate remains the same, so it’s in their best interest to prevent problems altogether.

The managed service model inherently forces your provider to be invested in your business and its success, so you’re sure to get better, more efficient, and more lasting results.

Unpredictable Costs

With a break/fix approach, there’s no way to predict the ever-changing costs of IT repairs. You may go through periods of time without having to pay anything, but as soon as something breaks, you’ll be forced to pay the (often extremely expensive) amount set by the provider to fix it.

The managed service model incentivizes mitigation of issues at a flat and predictable rate. You can fully budget your IT costs without unexpected issues causing costs you can’t afford.

Aside from the hard costs of IT support and maintenance, the rate of downtime and productivity will also affect your final financial performance. Every minute you spend with your systems down, waiting for someone to show up and solve your issue is time when potential customers can’t reach you and the costs of downtime increase.

An MSP helps you avoid financial losses from downtime altogether by keeping your systems healthy and functioning 24/7. And the long-term strategizing help you get from an MSP also helps increase your productivity and overall business growth by capitalizing on your technology.

Save Money With Managed IT Services

Partnering with a Managed Service Provider isn’t just about hard costs (although it can help you save on those, too); it’s about implementing the solutions that will help your business become more profitable and effective both now and in the future.

If you’re searching for new IT support solutions, an experienced Abilene Managed Service Provider can not only fix things when they’re broken, but also help prevent problems before they affect you and strategize for business growth. That’s why an MSP’s true value comes from its knowledge of how to combine tech solutions with business processes for long-term growth.

Get in touch with Tolar Systems today for a free consultation and strategic business IT solutions that help your company grow.

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