Understanding Break-Fix vs. Managed Services | Advanced Networks

A Closer Look at Break-Fix vs. Managed Services

From software management to cybersecurity, businesses face increasing risks of running into technical issues. While hiring IT services is essential to resolving these concerns, whether you choose a break-fix vs. managed services support is a decision left to individual businesses.

If you’re looking to have a problem with a device or software fixed quickly, break-fix may be your best bet. However, if your business has multiple users who would benefit from having access to technical support services on demand, you might consider choosing managed IT services.

In this article, we’ll compare the differences between the break-fix model versus using a managed services provider (MSP) and contrast the pros and cons of each option.

Break-Fix vs. Managed Services: Which is Right for Your Business?

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The Definitions of Break-Fix vs. Managed Services

Break-fix and managed IT services are two different methods of retaining IT support. One is available on an as-needed basis only, while the other offers companies full-time support beyond emergencies.

Below is a comparison of what to expect from these two IT support models.

  • Break-fix: The break-fix model is when companies hire technicians to resolve issues whenever something breaks. Break-fix services are a nimble and cost-effective way of fixing IT problems in real time. Small businesses often retain break-fix IT support by prepaying for a block of hours that they can then apply to issues that crop up.
  • Managed services: Managed service providers (MSPs) act as consultants, helping companies get ahead of issues. With higher support availability, MSPs strategize on how to improve technical infrastructure. To retain managed services, companies may pay annual or monthly fees throughout a set contract length.

Before choosing which model to go with, it’s important to review the pros and cons of break-fix vs. managed services.


Break-Fix Pros

Businesses choose the break-fix model because it’s an affordable and adaptable way to resolve IT concerns.

The top advantages of the break-fix model include:

  • Cost-effectiveness: By only paying for technical support when needed, businesses can save money on IT services. The break-fix model also leaves room in the budget for other technology investments, including software or network infrastructure upgrades.
  • On-demand support: The break-fix model allows businesses to get technical support on-demand. Having an IT expert available during emergencies provides peace of mind that issues will be resolved by a professional in a timely manner.
  • Flexibility: Companies that have an in-house support team may like the flexibility of the break-fix model. While the in-house tech team can take care of proactive support issues or cyber threat prevention, the break-fix service provider can tackle pressing issues.


Break-Fix Cons

Despite its flexibility and cost-effectiveness, the break-fix model has some drawbacks compared to managed services.

The main cons to be aware of with break-fix are:

  • High downtime rates: Since break-fix service providers only intervene when there’s a technical issue, this option results in potentially lengthy and unnecessary downtime. Many businesses can’t afford to rely solely on reactive support, as it can impact profitability.
  • Risk of poor response times: Break-fix service providers serve their customers on a per-project basis only. If you’re expecting fast response times and dedicated service, it’s important to keep in mind that break-fix support is only available to fix the issue at hand when the technicians are available.
  • No customized services: If your business has unforeseen technical support needs, break-fix won’t be sufficient to cover them. Custom requests are not included in these types of contracts.

Managed Services vs. Break-Fix

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Managed Services Pros

When comparing break-fix vs. managed services, MSPs provide the following advantages:

  • High support availability: A robust IT support strategy includes having technicians available for everyday support concerns, such as software updates or website monitoring.
  • With managed services, your business will get a high level of ongoing support that covers various issues, not just catastrophic events.
  • Proactive support: Depending on your service level agreement (SLA), your managed service contractor can proactively resolve technical issues before they occur by upgrading your network components routinely.
  • Cybersecurity expertise: When technical issues arise from malicious activity, you want security experts to stop and mitigate the damage. Your managed service provider (MSP) can perform proactive monitoring to halt cyber threats before they happen.
  • Fast response times: Managed services often include a dedicated technician who is familiar with your business needs and can respond quickly and effectively to immediate concerns.


Managed Services Cons

Compared to the break-fix approach, there are some possible downsides to managed IT services contracts, including:

  • Higher cost: With managed service, you pay a higher fee for service availability that covers a greater extent of needs.
  • Longer contract commitment: By going with the managed service model, you may be engaged in a contract for a minimum of one year, leaving you with less flexibility if your IT needs change.
  • Third-party access to sensitive data: Whenever a business grants third-party access to sensitive information, there’s an inherent risk of data exposure. Checking references and being certain of a provider’s credibility is essential.

Interested in learning more about managed IT services? Check out these blogs:

Break-Fix vs. Managed Services: Make the Right Decision Today

In today’s complex digital landscape, businesses need to know they can confidently rely on IT experts to keep their assets secure and functioning properly.

Get the proactive support your business needs with fast response times by choosing managed services from Advanced Networks.

With our dependable Los Angeles managed IT services, your business benefits from 24/7 technical support along with cybersecurity services and IT consulting and strategy.

For more information, contact us today for a free managed services consultation.


Featured Image Credit: Myvisuals

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