In business, technical issues are par for the course. Over time, your hardware slows down, software glitches and compatibility issues appear, and network outages become more frequent. The most effective way to deal with these problems is to have an expert team diligently watching over your IT.
However, if you have a limited budget, an internal IT department may not be financially feasible for your business. Fortunately, you can choose from two less expensive options for professional IT support: break/fix and managed services.
Understanding break/fix and managed IT services
Break/fix IT support is a reactive approach to IT support. This means that you only get help when something goes wrong. Break/fix support is typically less expensive than managed services, but it can also be more disruptive to your business. When something breaks, you may have to wait for a technician to arrive, which can lead to downtime and lost productivity.
On the other hand, managed IT services focus on preventing downtime in the first place. A managed IT services provider (MSP) will proactively identify and fix problems before they result in downtime. Managed services can be more expensive than break/fix support, but they can also save you money in the long run by preventing costly downtime.
How do break/fix and managed IT services compare?
Here are some reasons why a business might choose one over the other:
If you’re on a tight budget, break/fix IT support may initially seem like a more cost-effective option. After all, break/fix support providers only charge you whenever you experience an IT issue, but therein lies the problem. Many break/fix companies may only fix the surface-level issues, which means the same problems may reoccur costing you more money in the long run.
Meanwhile, managed IT services are all about rooting out the source of the issue and preventing the same issues from happening. For a fixed monthly fee, an IT team will look after your IT infrastructure and make sure it’s always running smoothly. This simply provides more value for your money than a single repair service.
With break/fix IT support, you may have to wait for a technician to arrive, which can lead to further downtime. However, MSPs remotely troubleshoot IT issues and only dispatch technicians when a problem proves too complex. MSPs also proactively minimize the risk of downtime because most of them are contractually obligated to make sure your systems are always functioning properly.
When it comes to scalability, MSPs provide much more flexibility. Their fixed-fee services make it easier to allocate budget and resources predictably. As your business grows, you can seamlessly adjust your service package to accommodate increased demands without the need for significant upfront investments. This adaptability ensures that your IT infrastructure and support keep pace with your expansion, offering a reliable and scalable solution that can evolve with your organization’s changing needs.
IT is a broad field, and no single IT technician can know how to fix every technical issue or optimize every type of IT system. If your business is a smaller operation with simple IT requirements, then a break/fix technician with the appropriate skills will be sufficient. However, if you need help securing your data and setting up your cloud in addition to needing IT support, then you need managed IT services.
MSPs continuously monitor and analyze your systems for signs of potential breaches or weaknesses. This ongoing vigilance allows them to swiftly detect and neutralize any suspicious activities, thus preventing potential security breaches before they can inflict damage. They can also provide more comprehensive security strategies, where various measures like security training and next-generation firewalls are used to defend against a wide range of threats.
In contrast, break/fix providers typically handle security issues on a case-by-case basis. While they might possess some level of security knowledge, it often takes a backseat to their primary focus on resolving immediate technical problems. This reactive approach can lead to a fragmented security strategy, where patches and fixes are applied after incidents occur, leaving your systems exposed in the interim.
Careful consideration of your in-house IT expertise, specific needs and requirements, tolerance for downtime, and budget can help you determine whether break/fix IT support or managed IT services are the best choice. If you are not sure which option is right for you, call us today. We’ll help you hash out your business requirements and see what type of service provider you need in a no-obligation discovery call.