Break/Fix IT Support vs Managed IT Services

Efficient and functional IT systems are essential in every aspect of business today. Whether you’re looking to protect client or company-confidential data, or simply ensure that your team members have functioning technology and the support they need to be productive, reliable and secure IT operations are at the heart of every successful modern business.

Some businesses opt for what is known as “Break/Fix” for their technology management. In this model of IT services, the experts only come into the picture when something breaks or you know you need an upgrade. You pay per project or service. 

On the other hand, in the Managed IT Services model, the Managed Services Provider (MSP), essentially becomes your outsourced IT department and is a team dedicated to managing and monitoring your technology 24/7/365, not just when you contact them for help. You typically pay according to a monthly service agreement. 

In this article, we present our case for Managed IT Services and why the Break/Fix IT Model might not be the best way forward for your business.

Does The Break/Fix IT Model Actually Fix Anything?

Some business owners view Break/Fix IT as having two benefits. Namely that by waiting until something goes wrong, you avoid the monthly costs associated with Managed IT services, and you also have control over when you ask for IT support.

While this is true, there are substantial drawbacks to this that Managed IT Services inherently solves. These drawbacks include:

  • There’s increased downtime: With Break/Fix, there is always an increased delay between an outage and it getting fixed. The process typically goes like this… Something breaks and your business operations grind to a halt. You then reach out to the IT support company and they get to you when they can. Once they do get to you, there’s no defined pricing, which means you’re haggling, and they may try to upsell you or charge you for something you don’t need. You may also decide to just put a “bandaid” on the problem because it’s the least expensive option with no real plan to address the core problem(s) for the outage in the first place. Which leads us to the second issue… 
  • It’s not a long-term solution: With Break/Fix, you get temporary solutions for long term problems. A Break/Fix IT company is not incentivized to create long-term solutions because their business model relies on technology consistently breaking. 
  • You never gain an upper hand on IT risks: The two issues above result in you never being able to gain control over your IT risks. You’ll always have the risk of business disruption and it may come at a time when your business simply can’t absorb the impact. 

Managed IT Services Are The Long-Term Solution

With the Managed IT Services model, you get a partner that is incentivized to keep your business running as efficiently as possible. Due to the nature of their model, the Managed Service Provider runs more efficiently and becomes more profitable when their clients’ IT systems are running as efficiently as possible while experiencing the least amount of downtime possible. 

To achieve this, Managed Services provides a host of benefits that Break/Fix does not offer, including:

  • Business Continuity: The MSP will implement Business Continuity strategies and methodologies to ensure your business operations maintain consistent uptime. System upgrades and security patches are proactively planned ahead of time to minimize business disruption and mitigate IT risks.  
  • Backup and Disaster Recovery: The MSP will implement a Backup and Disaster Recovery plan so your business and its valuable data can get back up and running in as little time as possible in the event of an emergency. Emergencies include things like hardware failure, ransomware attack, natural disaster, among other events.  
  • Cybersecurity: Today’s businesses are at risk for cyber breach more than any other time in history. Because cyber breaches can lead to downtime, an MSP will implement a security plan to mitigate the threat of data loss and theft due to cyber attack. More on this below…

Increasing Security Risks

The biggest risk to your business with the Break/Fix IT model is that it doesn’t put in place a robust System Security Plan (SSP) designed to protect your data from cyber theft. Not having a cybersecurity plan can lead to substantial security risks to your business and the inevitable loss of money when your system goes down. As a business owner, it is natural to have valuable data on your systems. Project files, sensitive customer information vital to your business operations, passwords, credit cards, and much more, all reside on your network. Would your business be able to survive if these records were lost or stolen?

With a Managed IT Service model, the safety of this data is constantly monitored and protected. However, with a Break/ Fix IT model, you’re just playing a waiting game of when your systems will go down or any number of confidential data accessed by hackers. The two biggest threats include hackers breaking into company software (which is then distributed to clients) and ransomware. Huge companies have been affected by this, from 20% of Facebook’s users telephone numbers, gender and country being leaked in 2019, to 100 million CapitalOne users being hacked

You might find your systems down for days, while your information is freely available to the opportunistic cyber criminal. The Break/Fix IT model relies on you realizing your system is down, you contacting the IT company, and then them trying to identify a problem that has already run rampant in your network. Although Break/Fix IT might seem cheaper, in the long run, downtime costs approximately $5,600 per minute, which is far more impactful on your business, and that’s not taking into account the cost risk associated with data breaches, as well as the impact to your company’s reputation.

Manage Your Security With A Managed IT Services Approach

Managed IT services take a proactive approach to potential problems, and identify issues before they pose a risk to your security or cause system downtime. 24/7/365 monitoring of systems means that Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can detect new threats before they are anywhere near a data breach.

While business owners may consider MSPs more costly in the short term, MSPs save you the infinite costs associated with downtime, security, and reputation. You’ll also increase team productivity as they can work on effective systems without frustrating downtime. If you did want to put a price on that, studies show that disengaged employees can cost a company around 34% of their salary per year, so in the battle of Break/Fix vs Managed Services, MSPs are still going to save you money – approximately $16,000 per employee. Combine that with the $5,600 per minute of downtime, and it does start to add up.

You’ll also have the added benefit of more efficient and streamlined business operations, benefitting your teams and your clients. You won’t have to employ that lone IT specialist, instead you receive a team of qualified professionals for the price of one. 

MSPs also give you the gift of control over your systems, making them winners when considering Break/Fix vs Managed Services. Expert MSPs like Tolar Systems can provide you with the following services:

  • Complete Security packages including user training and even dark web monitoring.
  • Full backup and disaster recovery proactive action plans and strategies.
  • Office 365 and integrated VOIP for technology upgrades and faster communications.

As an MSP, Tolar Systems takes the extra step in Managed IT services, and not only provides the above services and support, but also offers tailored user training as value-added professional development for your teams. 

Contact Tolar Systems today to find out how when considering Break/Fix vs managed IT services, Tolar Systems can help you save time and money for your business.