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  • Writer's pictureLuis S. Diaz II

Managed Services vs. Break-Fix IT Support: Making the Right Choice

Updated: May 23

Outsourced IT - Technology Managed Services

A rise in the importance of technology in the business world is undeniable. Business and technology are inseparable. Most organizations rely on devices, internet connectivity, and applications to perform their day-to-day operations. Some of these use cases are communication (email, VoIP phone systems), collaboration (applications, cloud services) and storage (hardware, data backups). As these businesses vary in size, so does their reliance on technology.  


Computer in need of service.

What happens when something so critical to operations does not work as expected? An example of such an issue may be a system breakdown, network disruption, or hardware failure. Issues of this nature may be caused by virus attacks, user errors, hardware failures or software malfunctions. Staffing talent to support these technological needs can be very costly, and inefficient. Most professionals inside the IT industry have a niche that often leaves certain areas unaddressed or inadequately serviced.  


Enter outsourced IT companies. These companies, such as ours, have a team of certified technicians with varying specialties that cover the broad spectrum of business technology needs. A relationship with an outsourced IT company can take two forms: Break-Fix or Managed Services.  


Break Fix 

Broken Computer

Break-Fix can be summarized as the reactive approach. Something breaks and service is required to fix it. This model is defined by hiring IT service providers on an as-needed basis. When an issue begins to interfere with operations and cause down time, then and only then will an IT professional be brought into the fold. The service provider will perform one-time services to get operations back up and running. After this transaction, a relationship IS NOT established and there is no continuous support or maintenance work performed.  


Pros 

  • Upfront Cost – popular for small businesses that are not overly reliant on technology. 

  • Control – choose to pay for support on an as-needed basis. 

  • Flexibility – not locked into long-term commitments or contracts. 


Cons 

Virus infected computer
  • Unpredictable Cost – Short term solutions lead to multiple invoices. While you might save upfront, the patch does not fully address the issue. 

  • Slower Response Times - depends on availability of service provider. Significant downtime can negatively impact brand reputation, service quality and most importantly revenue. 

  • Hidden Threats - small lingering issues can cause severe damage when unattended for extended periods of time 

  • Lack of relationship - technicians will not know your system, which takes time (billable hours) to understand before resolving any technical problems. 


Managed Services 

Managed Services is the proactive approach to technology systems. Once technological needs are established a strategy is drawn up to promote stable operations without hassle. A service level agreement (SLA) establishes a working partnership between client and service provider. Businesses can focus on doing what makes them money without concern about their computer systems. Technicians continuously monitor and support all devices/endpoints to maximize uptime and optimize business performance.

Full scale business IT solutions

By creating resiliency inside an organization's technology systems, businesses are better prepared to handle any obstacle. These solutions are important for growing a business since they are scalable to meet dynamic needs. Services include Endpoint Protection, Help Desk Support, Network Management, Cybersecurity, and Data Backups.  


Pros 

Outsourced IT contracts for small to medium sized businesses.
  • Simple – Complex technologies will be demystified by communicating to leadership comprehensively to promote transparency.  

  • Fast – response times are defined in Service Level Agreements. Minimize downtime to mitigate the effect on productivity and revenue. 

  • Reliable – having technology you can depend on makes doing business easy. Quick access to a team of technology experts is a valuable resource. 

  • Secure – protect sensitive business and customer data. Resiliency against cyber-attacks will keep a business's doors open no matter the threat. 

  • Customizable – the services offered are industry specific and unique to individual business needs. 


Cons

  • Service Contracts – signing with a service provider should be a well thought out decision. 

  • Time - creating a long-term plan and forging a trusting relationship takes effort. Communication and transparency are critical.


“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 

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