Break/fix or managed services: which suits your business?

The urgently growing question among IT managers is: which will provide my business with better IT support, break/fix or managed services?

The answer depends largely on your business needs. We are online every day; requiring IT support is more a matter of “when” than “if”.

So how do you decide which business model suits you? We’ve broken them down so you can weigh the pros and cons of each against your business needs.

If it breaks, we fix it

Break/fix services are a one-off transaction between a for-hire IT technician, and a business that requires specialty IT services. The break/fix technician is hired for a single task – such as repairing infrastructure or installing new equipment – and is paid on an hourly basis for their services. Once the job is complete, the transaction is taken care of, and the technician and business go their separate ways.

This transactional business model is mostly appealing to small businesses that do not require a great deal of IT support, or businesses that have an in-house IT team, but require specialty services. No service level agreement (SLA) is discussed, and a single out-of-pocket expense can be greatly attractive to businesses that do not want to pay the ongoing fees a managed service requires.

The break/fix model is also more appealing to business managers who wish to retain a greater level of control of privacy over their IT networks and infrastructure.

However, utilizing break/fix services whenever you need IT support can have significant detriments. If you’re outsourcing your IT needs only when something goes wrong with your hardware or software, you’ll find yourself suffering the same IT issues again and again.

Break/fix technicians provide reactive, rather than proactive, solutions. This means they only fix the issue at hand rather than search for the root cause. Not only does this cause stress to your staff and customers, it adds up quickly, and you will find that break/fix bill is costing a lot more than you initially believed it would.

Utilizing break/fix services also means you will suffer longer downtime. Break/fix technicians will respond to your request when it is timely for them; they have other clients and your ticket will be further down the line. Their technicians generally work onsite, so you’ll also have to wait for them to arrive at your business to fix the issue. Lastly, as they’re being paid on an hourly basis, they won’t be pressed to fix your IT problem as fast as they can.

Pros of break/fix

Cons of break/fix

Proactive management of your IT 24/7

The managed service model provides ongoing monitoring and maintenance of your IT infrastructure remotely for a fixed monthly fee, the terms and conditions of which are outlined in an SLA.

Managed service providers (MSPs) offer proactive management of your software and hardware as you require it, at a predictable cost. They generally tailor their services to suit your business needs, and employ specialists in every IT field.

The great benefit of outsourcing your IT to an MSP is they will monitor your systems 24/7. This way, their technicians will notice discrepancies within your systems and move to correct them before the issue becomes a broader problem.

As implied, the fast response time and proactive solution greatly reduces your downtime, which in turn, increases your business’ efficiency and productivity.

With constant monitoring and maintenance of your systems, you’ll find that you’re actually saving more on IT solutions, software, and hardware. 46% of companies that have moved to managed services have cut their annual IT costs by over 25%. Most MSPs will keep you up-to-date with the latest software patches and hardware installations at reduced prices as part of your SLA.

Pros of managed services

Cons of managed services

How do I choose between them?

While break/fix services can be beneficial or cost-effective, more and more companies are moving towards managed services to support their IT.

Managed services, in the long run, are more cost-effective; the technicians are more dedicated to protecting your networks and providing proactive, long-term solutions than quick and easy one-stop fixes.

MSPs can be a great investment as they strive to boost your business efficiency and productivity. They aim to become your long-term partner and understand your business so they can provide you with the IT support you actually need.

Break/fix services are best utilized by businesses who have little need for IT support. But in this digital age, few companies can boast not needing any IT support at all.

Talk to the experts…

Whether you’re after one-fix solutions, or ongoing managed services to care for all your IT needs, the best start is talking to the IT experts at BCS365. They’ll give you all the advice you need to start looking after your IT infrastructure in a cost-effective, efficient manner that works for your business.