Managed service providers, or MSPs, have gradually moved from offering break/fix services to offer ongoing, proactive monitoring and routine maintenance of their clients’ IT needs. Many MSPs still offer fix/break as well as managed services; a survey by Ninja RMM estimated 71% of IT service providers worldwide offer both services, and it’s up to the client to decide which works for them.
But which will, in the end, save you the most? We’ve broken down the pros and cons of break/fix services versus managed services so you can weigh them next to your organisation’s specific needs.
What are break/fix services?
As the name implies, the break/fix service model means an IT technician will respond to a client’s request when issues arise, for a one-off fee. The service provider will send a technician to your location, who will then analyse the problems and fix them on-site.
The business is then charged for the services – generally on an hourly basis, plus any specialty software or hardware tools or parts that are needed to remedy the business’ IT issue. Once done, the transaction is ended, with no follow-up or future commitments from either party.
Pros of break/fix services
- You get what you pay for: businesses only pay for services rendered. This is particularly advantageous for smaller businesses who don’t want to work a monthly MSP into their budget.
- You have control: some businesses prefer to maintain a level of control over their software and hardware that they’d have to relinquish upon contracting an MSP; they get to decide when and why to call for help.
Cons of break/fix services
- Unpredictable cost: IT issues that arise and force businesses to seek support are usually unexpected, which means the business is forced to pay an out-of-pocket fee they didn’t budget.
- It’s going to be awhile: your business is going to suffer downtime from IT services while you seek support and then wait for the providers to respond. Response times from break/fix service providers will depend on the severity of your issue, how long it would take to resolve the problem, and their backlog of jobs.
- No guarantees this won’t happen again: break/fix services generally don’t come with a guarantee that the issue won’t arise again. No preventative measures are included to try and maintain the solution the technician has implemented.
What are managed services?
Managed services is a broad term; it refers to a business which charges a per-user, or per-device, ongoing management and maintenance fee. The terms and conditions are detailed in a service level agreement (SLA) which is usually customisable to your business’ IT system needs.
Organisations that contract managed service providers pay a flat monthly rate for remote IT support, security, proactive services – any IT services that can be outsourced, customised to the needs of the organisation.
Pros of managed services
- Fixed fees: you’re able to keep track of your monthly budget and not have to worry about forking out an unexpected cost when something goes wrong with your software or hardware; an agreed-upon fee is struck when you contract an MSP.
- More affordable than in-house IT: you’ll get all the benefits of having an in-house IT support team without having to pay the full-time wage.
- Stability and reliability: MSPs provide 24/7 maintenance and monitoring of your IT systems, which means as soon as something goes wrong, you can rest easy knowing someone will respond quickly.
- Preventing the same mistake: unlike using the one-time break/fix services, MSPs are locked into a partnership with you long-term, and it’s in both of your best interests that the same IT issues don’t keep coming up. When your MSP fixes a problem, they’ll take further steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
- Peace of mind: let’s face it, running a business is hard enough without having to worry if your systems and servers are fully functional. Knowing you have IT experts monitoring your IT systems 24/7 will take a weight off your shoulders.
Cons of managed services
- Initial set-up costs: many MSPs charge up-front expenses that may cost more than a one-off break/fix service. This is down to the fact that MSPs need to first integrate their off-premises hardware, software, servers, and network monitoring to align with your equipment.
- Loss of control: you have to put a lot of trust in your chosen MSP – they’ll have complete access to your system. Deciding whether to trade that feeling of autonomous control for full IT oversight can be a challenge.
Get more for your money
While break/fix services may have once been seen as the more cost-effective option, the managed services industry can offer you more for your money – more services, more solutions, more support, and more peace of mind all for one low price.
So, if you’re ready to make the smart choice for your business, contact the experts at INTELLIWORX today to explore the world of possibilities that a top managed service provider can unlock for your business.