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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Understanding the Difference Between Break-Fix IT Support and Managed IT Services

When a business’s technology breaks down, it can be costly. Break-fix IT support is reactive and can lead to escalating repair costs.

Managed IT services function like a virtual IT department and help keep technology problems from occurring in the first place. This model is more cost-effective than the break-fix model and offers several benefits.


If you choose break-fix IT services, it’s important to remember that you will be charged every time an engineer is called out to fix your technology issues. This can quickly mount up, especially if you have multiple concerns.

These services also take longer than managed IT solutions because technicians must familiarize themselves with your IT infrastructure when they come in. This means your business will experience more downtime while waiting for experts to fix your IT problems.

Managed IT services, on the other hand, provide you with a predictable monthly budget and fixed service-level agreements for your tech needs. This approach to IT allows you to focus on your day-to-day operations while knowing that your IT infrastructure is in good hands. This can help you save money by avoiding costly repairs and disruptions to your business. Ultimately, it’s an investment that will pay off in the long run.


Some business owners are happy with a break-fix model, mainly if they use less technology in the office and only need to check emails and browse competitor websites. This way, they only pay for IT services when needed and do not worry about paying a monthly fee or being locked into a contract.

However, the disadvantage to this is that it takes longer for IT experts to fix a problem, meaning that your business may experience more downtime and lose money in the process. A break-fix provider might also need more expertise to handle larger IT projects or advise you on infrastructure improvements that could benefit your business in the long run.

In addition, the cost of a break-fix IT support model can take time to track as it is typically determined on a case-by-case basis. This can lead to hidden costs and challenges in preparing a budget.


A business can choose either model, but both have pros and cons. Ultimately, the decision should depend on a company’s size and reliance on technology.

With the break-fix model, businesses pay for service as it happens. This approach can be affordable in the short term but doesn’t provide a budgetary base to support IT operations over time. Additionally, it leaves businesses vulnerable to unanticipated costs and downtime, directly impacting productivity and revenue.

With managed services, businesses receive 24/7 IT infrastructure monitoring and preventative maintenance. They can also rely on faster issue resolution, which increases employee productivity. Additionally, they can rely on an experienced team of IT experts to handle complex projects and provide a complete business solution. They also offer a predictable monthly fee, making them more scalable and cost-effective than the break-fix model. This enables firms to keep ahead of the competition in an ever-changing IT landscape.


While break-fix IT support is cheaper than managed services, it doesn’t offer the same level of security. An MSP takes proactive measures and next-generation antivirus. This prevents cyber threats from affecting your IT environment, saving you money in the long run.

Break-fix IT service providers often charge by the hour. This can result in providers spending less time educating themselves about new technologies, making them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. It also can leave your business in a position where you depend on an external IT company and feel like you’re not in control of your IT infrastructure.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your business needs, size, reliance on technology, internal skill sets, and growth trajectory. It’s essential to carefully vet potential IT service providers before committing. This includes assessing their technical capabilities, security posture, client references, and working jointly on transition plans. Internal escalation procedures, service menu design, and knowledge transfer are examples of achieving a smooth transition from break-fix to managed IT services.

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