Managed IT services v break/fix IT support – Which works best for your business?

Over the past decade, managing IT has become more complex and time-consuming for all businesses. Yet the notion of small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) having an inhouse IT team to handle this change has dwindled at a similar rate….

IT Managed Services or Break Fix IT Support

To manage this paradox businesses outsource IT functions to a third party IT specialist. But how might this work?

SMBs can either opt for IT managed services or break/fix IT support. Let’s take a look at what each provides.

What are managed IT services?

Managed services are subscription or contract-based, provided by IT Managed Service Providers (MSPs) for an agreed monthly fee. The cost depends on the anticipated amount of work needed to efficiently run the client’s IT function based on the complexity of the current setup and the number of users.

Predominantly conducted off-premises, managed services are provided with SLAs (Service Level Agreements) for the scope of work, 24/7 monitoring and security, and access to helpdesk support.

Managed IT services include routine server maintenance, workstation maintenance, fixing common IT problems, the implementation of antivirus and antimalware security software, and back-up and disaster recovery.

What is break/fix IT support

This is when a business experiences an IT problem that can’t be fixed in-house so asks a third party IT specialist to resolve it. This happens on-premises on an ad-hoc basis, for which the IT specialist charges an hourly rate and call-out charge.

Break/fix IT support is also used for software and hardware installations and upgrades, initiating privacy and security software, and the build and repair of networking platforms.

How do you know if your business needs managed services or break/fix IT support?

Break/fix IT support is on the decline due to the influence that digital transformation has had on how SMBs manage their IT infrastructure. But, how do you know if managed services is right for your business? Here we take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both.

Advantages of managed IT services

  • Easy to budget with a fixed monthly cost.
  • The 24/7 service provides prompt responses to any IT incidents.
  • There is a helpdesk for managers and staff using workstations which keeps productivity on track.
  • The IT specialist is incentivised to be proactive by keeping systems running smoothly and offering suggestions to make that happen.
  • Remote Managing and Monitoring (RMM) software minimises disruption to the business when work is carried out.
  • Servers and workstations are regularly maintained and managed.
  • Backups are managed and streamlined.
  • Managed IT services provide robust security along with disaster prevention and recovery.
  • The relationship between the business and the IT specialist builds over time, helping to streamline processes and implement employee best practices.

Disadvantages of managed IT services

  • Loss of in-house IT control can seem challenging for some businesses.
  • Some setup costs to create off-premises monitoring technology and hardware may be prohibitive.
  • There is the risk of paying for services that may not be used.
  • The resources required to set up and agree contract SLAs may prove difficult to apply.

Advantages of break/fix IT support

  • Payment is only required for work done.
  • An in-house IT officer can look after some of the basic elements of the IT infrastructure and only call in external help for more complex work.
  • There are no outside agencies with access to the company’s IT systems.

Disadvantages of break/fix IT support

  • IT costs are unpredictable which is unhelpful when budgeting.
  • Each ad-hoc IT specialist will need to learn about the business and its IT system before starting on the job. This time costs.
  • The downtime for the business when a problem occurs is exacerbated by the time taken to find someone to fix it, particularly as the business will not be a priority for external IT specialists.
  • The client becomes the decision-maker of what the problem is and who to contact to fix it.
  • There is no incentive for an IT specialist to suggest or implement lasting system solutions.
  • Businesses risk relying on ad-hoc IT experts to act in their best interests.

Can we help?

E2E Technologies are a managed IT services provider. We provide bespoke packages to suit the needs of individual businesses. Contact us for a no-obligation conversation about your IT requirements.