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What’s the difference between Break/Fix IT Services and Managed IT Services?

Feb. 05, 2021 IT Support for Business

Explore the key distinctions and decide which option is right for your business

Are you a business owner in search of IT services for your company? You’ve come to the right place! 

We’re discussing the differences between the two most common types of IT services for business: Break/Fix IT Services and Managed IT Services.

These two models present differences in cost, contract requirements, and services offered, so it’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of each before making your decision about which to use. 

Continue reading to explore the advantages and disadvantages of Break/Fix IT Services and Managed IT Services before deciding which is right for your business!  

What are Break/Fix IT Services?

With Break/Fix IT Services, you receive services from your IT support team when there is an issue with your business’s technology or an upgrade is needed.

With this type of service, a technician visits your office to diagnose and fix a problem, and then charges you for the services rendered during the visit—no contracts or ongoing fees required.

Break/Fix IT Services traditionally include: 

  • Hardware installations and upgrades
  • Peripheral equipment installations
  • Network repairs
  • Initiating new cyber security defenses, and
  • General IT training or education services.

What are the advantages of Break/Fix IT Services? 

The main advantage of the Break/Fix IT model is that you get the IT services you need when you need them, so there’s no chance of paying for services that you may not use. 

There is very little, if any, ongoing support provided to your business by the IT company, although some may provide instructions on how to avoid the same issue in the future. 

Some small businesses with their own IT staff prefer this model because they feel like it provides them with greater autonomy and control in fixing IT complications on their own, while also having a support team available for large-scale issues as needed.

What are the disadvantages of Break/Fix IT Services? 

With Break/Fix IT Services, you’ll be charged as soon as the technician arrives at your office. Without any prior experience with your IT systems, it may take the tech hours—if not days—to diagnose the problem before beginning to fix it. Some providers even charge for initial or post-service consultations on top of the specialty tools and parts needed to fix your systems.

This brings us to the predominant disadvantage of Break/Fix IT Services: cost. Not only are the services extremely expensive, but they’re often an unexpected expense for your business’s budget. This can be a burden for a company of any size, but especially small and mid-size businesses who often don’t have excess funds to spare.

The downtime you experience while waiting for an issue to be resolved by a Break/Fix IT Service provider can also be costly for your business. Without a team monitoring your systems and regularly providing upgrades, no preventative measures are put in place to stop problems from occurring before they happen. It’s inevitable for hidden threats to build up over time that could’ve been avoided with regular IT services. 

What are Managed IT Services?

Managed IT Services refer to your business partnering with a third-party IT service provider who manages all of the IT needs of your company. 

The terms of service are usually agreed upon with a contract that details the terms and conditions for the scope of the IT services at a fixed monthly price. 

The services provided by a Managed IT Service provider often include:

  • Technical support with computer, server, and network issues
  • Continual monitoring of your servers, networks, and systems
  • Security patch and update management
  • Recommendations on hardware and software upgrades
  • Installation of hardware and software.

Read more:

The no-jargon guide to Managed IT Services

What are the advantages of Managed IT Services?

With Managed IT Services, it’s often quicker to resolve even the toughest IT issues because your service provider is already familiar with your systems, so they can spot the root cause faster. This allows them to get to work fixing the issue right away, without having to spend hours diagnosing it. 

In most cases, you also won’t have to worry about paying extra fees because emergency support is covered by your monthly fixed price. The predictable costs offered by Managed IT Services are a huge asset to businesses who need to rely on advanced IT systems, but can’t risk unexpected repair expenses. 

Plus, with continual monitoring and proactive maintenance services, most IT issues are prevented from happening in the first place. 

What are the disadvantages of Managed IT Services?

For most business owners, the main disadvantages of Managed IT Services come down to two things: contracts and trust. 

The contract required to receive services from a Managed IT Service provider can feel like a sizable commitment for some business owners. However, it’s important to remember that the contracts don’t just benefit the provider, they also promise the level of service your business is guaranteed. 

Some company leaders also struggle with the amount of trust that must be put into Managed IT Service providers. Your IT service provider will have complete access to your systems, which can feel like you have less control. But in reality, it’s a partnership with terms agreed upon in your contract—they can’t do anything that you haven’t agreed to.

Which option is right for your business? 

While both options will provide your business with IT services, only one reigns supreme: Managed IT Services.

With reduced cost, proactive maintenance, and a trusted partner by your side, Managed IT Services will provide your business with everything you need and more. 

In need of Managed IT Services? 

With over 30 years of experience and a people-first approach to IT, we’re proud to help businesses across Central Florida and Southeast Michigan scale and grow with a comprehensive range of IT solutions. 

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