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Break/fix or managed services: which is better for your business?

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In the modern workplace, IT infrastructure is a must-have. To deliver the fast and efficient service that your customers expect, you need to ensure that your IT systems, hardware, and software is running smoothly at all times.

So which service do you look to – break/fix, or managed services? We’ve broken down the pros and cons of each for you to weigh against your business model and budget.

What are break/fix services?

Break/fix services are just that: business that you employ only when something has gone wrong with your IT infrastructure, or if you need software updates beyond your internal IT team. You contact an IT technician, explain the issue, and they remedy the problem. Once their job is finished, you pay the bill, and your transaction is over.

Break/fix technicians charge on an hourly basis, which adds to the simplicity of the exchange; no service level agreement (SLA) is discussed, no terms and conditions hashed out. You pay an out-of-pocket flat fee for services rendered; no ongoing cost can be more beneficial to your business than ongoing payments for ongoing maintenance you may not need.

Only calling on outsourced IT services means you and your IT team have greater control over your IT infrastructure; a certain amount of privacy and authority must be ceded if you were to outsource some or all of your IT needs to managed services.

However, break/fix services come with some detriments, particularly if you rely on efficient, up-to-date IT infrastructure. One major disadvantage of relying on break/fix services is that you will suffer increased systems downtime. You will have to wait for the technician to respond to your request, and as they generally need to be on-site to repair the issue, you will wait longer for them to arrive.

As stated previously, break/fix technicians charge by the hour. This can also come with a shortcoming: the technicians will not be in a rush to fix your issue or update your software as quickly as possible.

Break/fix services also work with reactive solutions, rather than proactive. The technician will fix the problem you have called them for without implementing any ongoing solution. This means your IT may experience the same problems, which will end up costing you greater downtime and a greater out-of-pocket expense.

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What are managed services?

Managed services provide full IT support and management to other businesses for a monthly fixed fee. Managed service providers (MSPs) have a large team of IT experts with varied knowledge of everything a business could need. This could be anything from advanced cybersecurity and cloud platforming, to full Microsoft Office 365 suite management.

Your chosen MSP will take the time to understand your business so that they can offer you the right services. With their expertise, they may be able to offer suggestions and options designed to streamline your workplace productivity and efficiency. The full terms and conditions of your partnership will be spelt out in an SLA. You’ll be expected to pay an agreed-upon monthly fee, and in return, you’ll get peace of mind knowing that your systems are being monitored for any discrepancies.

Your MSP will remotely monitor your systems and servers 24/7. When something goes wrong, your systems will experience less downtime – your MSP will be on the issue as soon as you contact them, or even before then.

Outsourcing to an MSP also has cost benefits. While you will be paying a regular monthly fee, this cost would still be less than employing a full-time, in-house IT team. The predictable budget will also give you peace of mind as you won’t find yourself paying an unexpected, out-of-pocket fee when your IT needs attention.

However, you may find that you’re paying for services that you do not require. This could add up to an unnecessary expense that you can’t justify. But don’t just void your partnership: talk to your MSP about changing the terms and conditions of your SLA. Most managed services would rather downgrade your subscription than lose you altogether.

Which suits your business?

It’s tough to decide on the best IT support model, especially when you’re not sure which one suits your needs more. The main factors to consider when deciding are your budget, and how much your business utilises IT infrastructure in its day-to-day operations.

It could be that you haven’t traditionally relied on IT to run your business. In this instance, break/fix services would be a cheaper and more efficient solution for you. Although, you will need to take precautions that the solutions being implemented are proactive and will guard against the same problems occurring again.

However, if your employees use IT devices regularly – and most companies in this digital age do – then you need to know that your IT is up-to-date, secure, and running efficiently, at all times. In the long run, this could save you more on IT software and hardware, as well as reducing downtime. 46% of companies that have moved to managed services have cut their annual IT costs by 25% or more.

Talk to the experts

If you are still unsure which business model your business requires, talk to the IT experts at Lindentech and get a free quote. They have all the services your business requires to run smoothly and efficiently, and will help you figure out how to streamline your day-to-day operations with the right IT solutions.

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