Managed IT Services vs. Break/Fix Services: Which Should You Choose?

Jul 06, 2017

Whatever your business size, industry or scope, your company needs robust IT. Even companies with dedicated IT personnel will need support from time-to-time to handle upkeep demands and unforeseen problems. In the world of IT services, there are two models of maintenance you can choose from: Break-Fix IT services and Managed IT services.

Managed IT vs. Break/Fix: What’s the Difference?

Traditionally, IT maintenance and fix processes were carried out only when some system suddenly stopped working. This is comparable to how a household calls a plumber only when there’s a problem with water management that needs to be fixed. They would come over to have a look at the issue and then figure out a solution. This model, when mimicked in IT service, focuses on reacting to problems after they have already occurred, and is called the “break-fix” methodology.

On the other hand, a Managed Services approach to IT allows you to hand over your IT responsibility to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) and take a proactive approach to maintenance and management of your systems. Managed IT Services allows constant monitoring and upgrading of your systems, without waiting for something to crash to begin. This allows you to take preventative measures to ensure the smooth operations of all your facilities. You can learn more about what IT Managed Solutions are in our previous post, Managed IT Solutions Explained.

Disadvantages of Break-Fix

The old-school break-fix IT support model often has conflicting business motives. Since IT maintenance providers are only paid to fix problems as they arise, they have no financial incentive to keep your network and infrastructure stable.  Some other drawbacks of this system include:

  • No incentive to upgrade network management tools or automation systems
  • Variable costs (hourly billing), response times and lack of guarantees
  • Increases down time that loses business and revenue

When Should You Choose ‘Break-Fix’?

Despite its limitations, there are some cases in which a traditional break-fix service makes sense. Your company could opt for this model if:

  • Your budget is extremely limited and you must cut costs everywhere
  • You rarely face IT issues
  • You have an onsite IT team on hand to respond to requests
  • Your business is capable of handling downtimes if an issue arises

Managed IT vs. Break/Fix: Which Is Cost-Effective?

The ‘break-fix’ model might seem cost-effective at first since it negates the monthly fee of an MSP. However, in the long run, it rarely turns out to be cost-effective as the potential of a large bill to resolve an issue arises due to lack of foresight. Your business is also likely to lose money from clients as your systems experience downtime.

On the other hand, even though you’re incurring a nominal monthly subscription charge with Managed Services, you get constant monitoring and maintenance. This shrinks your chances of experiencing outages. You can detect and solve issues as they occur, or take preventative measures so they don’t happen. In the long run, it evens out and you’re likely to spend much less on repairs, making it more cost-efficient.

Benefits of Managed Services

While Managed Services are an ongoing expense, there are several advantages to be had by having a specialized IT department on retainer.

  • Fixed costs, with customizable payment modes (monthly/bi-annually/annually)
  • Access to skilled IT professionals, without putting them on payroll
  • Low downtime as risks are monitored and mitigated
  • Access to enterprise-grade automation and monitoring systems
  • Incentivized to keep your network and infrastructure stable

When Should You Choose Managed Services?

Managed Services is ideal for your company if:

  • You can afford a predictable, fixed monthly fee
  • You want the benefits of a top IT team without having to afford their salary
  • You want to maintain a low-risk downtime
  • You want to free up your IT to focus on your core business

ProV is a dedicated Managed IT Services Provider that has rapid response times, the newest technology updates, as well as expert information management and delivery. Using our comprehensive knowledge of the market, we have also put together a list of the top 7 tips for using Managed IT Services in 2017, that you can check out too. For anything else, you can write to us at

New Call-to-action

Share This Article

Topics: Managed Services