Opposing Goals: Break Fix vs Managed IT Services

Sam Bloedow
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Do you and your provider share the same goals?

If you have a role in making decisions about your company’s Information and Technology, you have probably come across the terms Break Fix vs Managed IT Services, but these terms can be rather vague. Understanding the type of service that is provided is important. When you are choosing an IT managed services company, assess whether the goal of the provider matches that of the client to either just keep up, or use technology to move their business forward.

What is Break/Fix IT?

Break/Fix IT is a model of service that reacts when problems occur. Charges will include materials and an hourly labor rate. If you’re lucky, the materials needed for the repair are inexpensive and easy to acquire. If the material needed is something like a server, then the cost can be a big hit on cash flow and time.

One of the costs of Break/Fix IT is the decreased productivity or downtime that results from the problem. This can be huge if a whole department or the entire company is affected. Even if one or two users are impacted, the lost time can add up to many thousands of dollars very quickly as issues linger on and on.

What are Managed IT Services?

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) that offer fully managed services have a proactive approach to Information and Technology. They offer services for a fixed monthly fee and they focus on preventing problems from occurring in the first place. They utilize technology tools that monitor and maintain networks and systems including security and data backup.

Fees are not based on a set amount of contracted hours but on the size and complexity of the network. This type of problem prevention comes with predictable billing and the best MSPs collaborate with clients to strategize their IT investments so that they can control costs and budget for future hardware or software refreshes or improvements.

The Fully Managed Service Mindset

The biggest difference between break/fix and fully managed IT services is that services are set up more like a whole outsourced IT department and are in concert with the client’s goals. No one benefits from downtime. The client wants their employees to be productive and efficient. The managed service provider wants the network to be operational – all the time.

Checking to see if this is the goal is how you can discern whether the provider you are considering will deliver fully managed IT services or if they are just offering break/fix with a set monthly allocation of time and dollars.

Managed Services for Business Transformation

The complexity of Information and Technology for business is increasing at a phenomenal rate. Supporting users with workstations and servers is just part of the scope of work for MSPs. Security, data management, cloud computing, and mobile devices are all components that require expertise to implement and maintain, but with complexity comes great opportunity to leverage IT for business success.

IT can be a contributor to your growth by empowering your company to achieve its goals but you will probably need a partner with the experience, tools and insight to make it happen.

If you are evaluating IT Managed Service Providers, your conversation should be about more than tools and technology. Get this E-Book to learn about 5 Questions to ask when you are choosing an IT support company. 

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