Break/Fix vs. Managed IT Services: Which Is Better for Your Business?

Today’s businesses have become heavily reliant on modern technology for their mission-critical processes. While the right blend of technology is crucial for maintaining your competitive edge, improving efficiency, and staying in control of your budget, there’s no denying that unexpected downtime is something you’ll have to deal with on occasion.

The typical modern enterprise technology infrastructure comprises a wide array of applications, devices, and protocols, meaning there’s a whole list of things that can go wrong. The challenge lies in preventing problems from arising in the first place and minimizing its effects, and that comes with identifying which IT support model works best for your business.

Here are the fundamental differences between the break-and-fix and managed services support models to help you decide.

Break/Fix IT Services

The classic IT support model is reactive rather than proactive. It’s exactly what it sounds like —when something goes wrong, you call in a technician to address the problem as soon as possible, preferably before the downtime leads to significant revenue loss.

Break/fix technicians typically charge by the hour, making costs unpredictable, since it’s often impossible to determine how long it will take to resolve a particular issue. Furthermore, you may need to pay more to replace any hardware that cannot be repaired.

Although cloud computing has become the standard in today’s workplace, almost every business still relies on in-house IT to a degree. Even those that store all their apps and data in the cloud still need their own networking infrastructure and, in most cases, thin client computers to access the internet.

For this reason, you’ll occasionally need to rely on the break/fix support model. Break/fix can also work out for small businesses that rarely face any technology issues and larger businesses that have their own in-house IT departments to take care of everything.

Managed IT Services

Although managed IT services have been around in some form since the late ‘90s, this support model exploded in popularity with the emergence of mobile and cloud technologies. These subscription-based packages offer comprehensive and proactive care, which means they’re designed to prevent problems from arising in the first place.

But perhaps the most obvious benefit of adopting a proactive IT support model is that you can expect fewer unpleasant surprises. Your network infrastructure will be monitored around the clock so issues can be addressed as soon as they become known, minimizing adverse effects on your business processes.

Managed services also go hand-in-hand with cloud computing, whereby your apps and data are stored in an off-site data center, which also takes care of the bulk of your computing workloads. The result is greatly reduced dependence on in-house hardware and other resources. Instead, maintenance, upgrades and repairs are entirely the responsibility of the vendor, and you’ll be guaranteed a certain minimum level of service and uptime as defined in a service level agreement (SLA).

For most SMBs, managed IT services present the obvious choice when it comes to implementing a first line of defense against cyberattacks and unexpected technical problems. Best of all, this proactive maintenance is delivered in the form of a predictable monthly subscription package, making IT budgeting a lot easier. In other words, it presents a low-risk strategy that frees up your in-house resources and sees your employees spending less time trying to solve trivial IT problems and more time doing their actual jobs.

Which Is Best for Your Business?

Both support models have their pros and cons, but managed services are almost always preferable in the case of any business that doesn’t have or can’t afford to develop its own IT department. There may still be the rare occasion in which you need to call in a technician, but the less you rely on break/fix support and in-house IT, the more chances you have to grow your business and avoid costly downtime.

Dyrand Systems provides managed IT services and cloud computing to businesses in Vancouver. Call us today if you’re ready to take advantage of worry-free IT.