Break/Fix and Manage IT Services are really just industry terms for two different approaches to IT support. Break/Fix is sort of as the name applies, something breaks, and your IT guy comes out and fixes it. Where as Managed IT Services is a more holistic approach to IT support, where your IT guy often knows BEFORE something breaks. What’s the big difference here? Well, mostly downtime, although there are man other differences as well.
For one; in the break/fix scenario, your IT person may not have real incentive on fixing your system. Why would they? They get paid every time they come out, so until you move on to someone else because the same things keep breaking, it’s definitely a win/lose scenario. Where you as the business owner are the loser. The other part of this scenario is that the IT person may be legitimately fixing the issue. However, because you as the client are not a managed client, the real issue can sometimes be much more difficult to find when a tech can only see what they experience in that single visit. How many times is the issue resolved when the tech is looking over your shoulder?
Another thing to consider is response times or SLAs (Service Level Agreement). For the average IT shop, Break/Fix work is at the mercy of their current workload, and Managed Service client request and issues are scheduled, because most issues are not surprises. This is because once you’re contracted with an MSP (Managed Service Provider), your issues become their highest priority. And most provide a specified SLA, so you know you’re going to get help when you need it, within the timeframe outlined in the agreement.
As a break/fix client, emergencies can also cause you to suffer from unexpected costs. In fact, typically since it’s something broken, unless you can wait to have it fixed, it can always be an emergency. And in any industry, if it has to be done right away, there is a cost associated with that.
With Managed IT Services, there are many benefits you can usually count on:
- Fixed monthly fees to keep things running smoothly – Now your IT company has some skin in the game. They don’t fix it, they keep trying until they do, at no extra cost to you.
- True network insight – MSPs often invest in the latest monitoring, CRM and alerting tools to know 24/7 what’s going on in your network.
- Reduction in downtime – While it’s not possible to avoid all downtime, Managed IT Services will give you the benefit of very little or at least planned downtime. This allows for proper planning and scheduling to reduce lost labor and mitigate cost.
- Many providers are now providing what’s called vCIO or Virtual CIO services. This helps complete the circle for an outsourced IT department to provide almost the same services as your own entire IT department, at a fraction of the cost!
Now, I will be the first to tell you, Managed Services are not for every client. Some clients have very simple, easily managed networks and only need the occasional issue to be resolved. Sometimes these clients are also able to wait a day or two. If this is the case for you, then Break/Fix is the way to go.
However, if downtime is a big issue or network stability is a big problem that is causing your lost labor. Email us at email@example.com