Break-Fix Method vs Managed IT Services

 What is the break-fix model?

When you need IT help, there are two basic options to consider, break-fix or managed services. These two options are very different, therefore when choosing which IT service type, you would like to go with, it is important to know what can be expected with each method.

Both break-fix and managed services are similar in that they are both providing a form of servicing on your network and IT infrastructure to make sure it is working properly. The biggest difference is, when working with an outsourced IT provider they dig a little bit deeper into your IT process than simply starting and finishing a project with break-fix. With break-fix, you are paying for network service only when an issue arrives, and you need the IT servicer to come in. There are no fixed costs associated outside the scope of the project. A scenario that would best describe break-fix would be if you were working on a document and your computer shuts down. You would then call your outsourced IT provider to fix your computer, and you would be charged for this service after it was resolved. Break-fix is a very basic approach to dealing with networks or IT problems.

Networks are becoming much more complex, and it is becoming harder for companies to manage their users' needs and find the time and resources to maintain a secure system on their own. Not having a managed service to proactively monitor company systems can lead to a higher risk of breaches and security threats. The break-fix method doesn’t manage any of the very complex network systems that exist within many companies. It is a more common method with smaller businesses that have fewer resources.

Break- fix is becoming a less popular method because many people are choosing to partner with a managed service provider who uses a more proactive approach and will constantly monitor your network to fix issues before you even become aware of them.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of break-fix?

Advantages

If you are a company that is not worried about ongoing IT support, break fix may be the method for you. You can use break fix and do not need to worry about paying monthly fees or committing to a contract. You will only be required to pay when you request IT service and receive it.

Disadvantages

Break-fix is not a fixed cost. You will be charged only when an issue occurs and you need servicing, which means it is likely not in the budget or planned for. It is based on the amount of time that it takes to fix the issue and you will be charged on an hourly basis. Not having to pay a set cost every month for your services makes it very hard to budget for and the cost can be very unpredictable each month. There is also a greater change of issues providing little to no warning. These issues can leave you with exceptional downtime, and high costs of downtime until it is resolved.

What are managed IT services?

Managed services are another method to help keep your network running smoothly. The difference is that rather than simply fixing things when they break down, managed services are continually monitoring the network to catch an issue before it arises. Partnering with a managed IT service provider will also help you plan projects and infrastructure upgrades to increase productivity, instead of trying to figure out what to do on your own. This proactive approach is often suited well for organizations that want to invest in their network and pay for peace of mind.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of managed IT services?

Advantages

With managed services the costs are predictable because you are informed of the set price you will pay each month. This cost will be included in a contract that you must sign, ensuring that the costs and fees cannot unexpectedly change. This makes it much easier to budget for. Having managed services also means your network hardware is upgraded to a regular cycle. Software is always checked to make sure that is up-to-date and running faultlessly. With up-to-date software and constant monitoring, managed service providers can prevent security threats or breaches on your network. The management of your network will be fully taken care of and out of your hands so you can focus on your business.

Disadvantages

Although you will receive stability in your budget, your network support comes with something that might scare some business’s, a contract. This can seem like too much of a commitment for some people to make, especially if you find yourself with an unqualified managed service provider. For this reason, before committing to these contracts, it is important to make sure you have thoroughly researched your managed service provider prior to making any long-term commitment to ensure you are fully confident in the decision. Ask for references. Your business is worth the time investment.

Why is this important?

Being knowledgeable of the outsourced IT models, break-fix and managed services, is very important when choosing the right fit for your company. Just as important as picking which type of outsourced IT your company needs is to choose what technology partner you hire for the outsourced IT. You will want to do research and make sure the outsourced provider is reliable and will use the best solutions for your network.