Break-Fix vs Managed Services: What’s the Difference?
There are many contributing factors to your organization’s success, and your IT environment is one of the most important. It’s your technology that empowers your employees to work efficiently and productively. So when you have issues with your hardware or software, it’s a big deal. To prevent costly downtime, you need IT support, but what kind of IT support do you need?
Break-Fix vs Managed Services
When you need outsourced IT service for your devices, you have two options to choose from: break-fix or managed services. Both choices have a few similarities, but there are also important distinctions between the two. In order to know which service you need, it’s crucial to first understand what the services are and how they differ from each other.
What Is a Break-Fix Model?
Let’s first begin by explaining what the break-fix model is. Imagine that you’re working on a project and your computer suddenly fails. If you don’t have an internal department that can fix the problem, the next best alternative available to you is calling an outsourced IT provider that can fix it.
As its name suggests, break-fix services refer to the practice of only calling on a professional IT company when break-fix issues arise or when an upgrade is needed. At one time, this was the prevalent solution for solving IT problems. While it may sound like a reasonable approach, it’s not an ideal solution. The reason why it’s not ideal is because you’re reactively responding to issues rather than actively preventing them in the first place.
What Are Managed Services?
Similar to a break-fix solution, the managed services model provides IT support so your company can stay up and running. By contrast, however, managed services are a proactive approach to IT. So instead of waiting for an issue to pop up, like in the previous example, your managed service provider (MSP) solves issues before they can affect the end-user.
This is a solution where your company partners with a third-party vendor to handle all of your current and future IT needs. Through monitoring and support, they have the ability to identify potential issues as soon as they show up and resolve them before they can become something that disrupts operations. In addition, managed services can offer a variety of services outside simple fixes ranging from cyber security to IT consulting and everything in-between.
Break-Fix Pros and Cons
While there are a handful of benefits that come from using this model, the disadvantages tend to outweigh the advantages. To make it easier to understand, here are some of the pros and cons you should consider before choosing to go down this road:
No monthly costs or contracts: Some companies have little to almost no need for IT support. If this applies to your organization, this solution may be for you since you don’t have to sign a contract or pay a monthly fee.
Simplicity: The break-fix model is an on-demand solution, meaning you only receive service when you request it and you only pay for that one-time service.
Unpredictable costs of break-fix: With this option, you open yourself up to surprise costs. It’s nearly impossible to accurately budget for your IT expenses when there’s so much unpredictability.
Lack of familiarity: When you receive break-fix service, the technician likely won’t be familiar with your IT environment. This can make it harder to get a solution that supports your business goals.
Higher risk: Relying on this type of service is like gambling. You’re betting on the slim chance that nothing happens to your IT that could result in significant downtime.
Managed Services Pros and Cons
The break-fix model is slowly on the decline, mainly because of all the benefits managed services have to offer. Here’s what you should know about this solution:
Predictable costs: MSPs provide their service using a monthly or annual subscription fee. This allows you to properly budget for your IT expenses.
Stability: Your MSP actively manages your IT so your hardware and software is always up to date and performing optimally.
Prevention: In addition to monitoring and resolving issues, your MSP can identify abnormal activity in your network and prevent security problems.
Contracts: Many MSPs require you to sign a contract, which may be too much of a commitment for some business owners. E-N Computers offers contracts with 30-day cancellation terms and a money-back guarantee.
Control: An MSP, like E-N Computers, works with you to understand your business goals. Using this knowledge and following best practices and industry standards, we shape your IT infrastructure to best fit your business needs. This means that we take care of managing your IT for you.
At E-N Computers, we specialize in delivering reliable managed services. This includes cyber security, cloud services, IT consultation, and much more. Our IT professionals are highly trained and committed to providing service that exceeds expectations. If your business needs IT service, let our team help you get the most out of your infrastructure.
If you’d like more information about how to leverage managed IT service in your business, you can download or watch our case study for New Horizons Healthcare. You’ll learn how E-N Computers helped a community health provider in Roanoke, VA to provide top-quality IT service to their 200+ employees with a single IT person.
If you’d like to find out how the costs of managed services compare with break-fix or in-house IT staffing, read our article How Much Does IT Support Cost? There you’ll find a detailed breakdown of the expenses associated with IT different IT support models. And if you’re deciding between managed services and hiring an IT person, be sure to check out Should I Build or Buy an IT Department? There we explain why IT tools, procedures, and management are so important, and how an MSP can help you with those things.
And to learn more about our services, feel free to reach out to us using our Contact Us page or the live chat button.