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Managed Services vs. Break-Fix IT

October 6, 2015

By: Charly Hartley, Senior Marketing Specialist

Every company needs an Information Technology (IT) support system in place. Typically in a small to mid-sized business, IT resources are limited – perhaps there is someone who specializes in IT or, more likely, someone acting as the IT person in addition to their main role as accountant, secretary, office manager, dispatcher, owner…you get the idea. That’s not usually an optimal solution, because your IT resources can be quickly overwhelmed.

It’s easy to fall behind on important maintenance including backups, updates or patches, and security. The odds of an IT outage or other critical problems negatively impacting your business are greatly increased if this happens. Imagine your email server crashing, your customer database, financial data or network goes down – your company would be facing productivity and revenue losses.

When looking at the choices available, there are a couple of popular solutions: Managed Services or Break-Fix IT. Both models are very different, which creates some common misconceptions about which model is most effective, not to mention budget-friendly.

Break-Fix IT

Years ago, maintenance was only available in the form of breakfix. In a Break-Fix IT scenario:

  1. Problem arises (computer virus, network connectivity issues, data security breach).
  2. Issue is reported to your IT service provider.
  3. IT support technician is dispatched to your location to resolve the problem or works on it remotely.
  4. Technician diagnoses and resolves the problem.
  5. You are billed for the work the technician performed.

Many small companies utilize the Break-Fix model to cut costs and minimize budget. The challenge is that it’s impossible to predict when something will break or the financial toll it will take on your company. This leads to an unstable and truly unpredictable budget. The reality is that in today’s tech-driven society, Managed Services are typically cheaper than Break-Fix.

Managed Services

Over time, IT support professionals developed processes and procedures that would test IT systems for potential issues that could manifest down the line. This evolved into the Managed Services model. A Managed Services scenario looks like this:

  1. Problem arises.
  2. Monitor software sends a notification to IT management provider before or the instant an issue occurs.
  3. IT support professional diagnoses the problem without any need for a call or filing of a report.
  4. The problem is resolved, either remotely or on-site.

This model involves a more proactive approach to technical help with effective methods for preventative care and regular maintenance to your system, providing a stable budget allocation. IT management companies monitor your system 24/7 to ensure everything runs smoothly on a regular basis. You also gain access to an entire team of IT experts, taking pressure off of you or your small in-house IT department. The main benefits of Managed Services are:

  • Operational efficiency is increased
  • Operating costs are reduced
  • You gain cost-effective access to IT professionals
  • Downtime is minimized
  • You can focus on running the business, not the technology
  • You gain peace of mind from knowing that your network is monitored 24/7/365

Of course, you should consider how much the survival of your business is dependent on your IT system and how an IT problem will impact your business in downtime when choosing between Managed and Break-Fix IT models. Only you know your budget, but can you afford to delay maintenance of your system and risk a full-fledged IT crisis? Does it make more sense to pay a monthly fee to keep problems from occurring in the first place? Keep in mind that paying a monthly fee for an IT professional to handle your IT infrastructure not only minimizes productivity disruptions, but it can free you to focus on doing what you do best: growing your business.

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