Managed IT Services or Break/Fix? Which Is the Right Choice for - WBCB: The Valley's CW |

Managed IT Services or Break/Fix? Which Is the Right Choice for Your Business?



The IT department of most companies does more than what you think they do. They’re an integral part of any business with a sophisticated IT network. This is why many companies specialize in offering IT services to other companies.

In today’s industry, we now have managed services and break/fix models. Both of which help your network to be stable. While they have the same purpose, though, they have different functions.

One provides constant support, while the other operates on an on-call basis. Let’s learn what advantages one has over the other, and let’s see which one is right for you.

What Is a Managed IT Service?

Managed services provide round-the-clock IT support for your company. The Managed Services Provider (MSP) handles all the responsibilities of your system. You shift the burden of monitoring your IT needs daily to them.

How It Works

In a way, an MSP operates like your own IT department. You pay a monthly fee, like a subscription. This includes the monitoring of your system, maintenance and repairs.

The MSP will install a monitoring software in your network.

When something happens within your system, the software will report the issue to the MSP. It will create a ticket, which the provider will then address.

If possible, the technician will fix the issue without going to your site. Otherwise, they’ll notify you of an on-site visit if the issue needs a technician present. Most of the time, though, you won’t even be aware that you’re having issues.

Pros and Cons of Managed Services

As a new IT service model, it aims to fill in the areas where a break fix model may be lacking. However, it may still not be the best choice for your company. Let’s look at its pros and cons to better gauge its capabilities.


You pay a monthly fee, meaning that the costs are consistent regardless of how many issues you’ve had in a month. It’s easier to take that into account when budgeting, and you can ensure there won’t be any surprise costs. There’s no limit to how many times you can enlist their services as well.

Because there’s a team dedicated to ensuring your network is running as smooth as possible at all times, they fix issues as soon as they pop up or even before they happen.

They identify threats and solve them before they even become a problem. This minimizes the downtime. This is important when your IT network is crucial to the operation of your business.

On top of all these, you have the confidence that a team of experts is working on your delicate IT network. They have the latest knowledge and enterprise-level systems you can take advantage of. If you need any tech-related help, you’re free to ask them, too.

In fact, providers have an incentive for keeping your network stable. For this reason, you can have some peace of mind that they’re doing what they can so you won’t have any technical issues.


The monthly cost can become a drawback if you’re not experiencing many IT problems in the first place. Although most of the businesses today have some use for an IT network, not all of them needs extensive monitoring. Many run their normal operations without much issue even if their IT side is having problems.

Furthermore, you need to have a lot of trust for the MSP. They need a complete access to your system in order to perform their job.

You don’t have control over who fixes your system. You only have to trust the provider to let a competent technician do it.

The contract might also be a deal breaker for some, especially to those who fear commitments. This contract may include some terms that aren’t flexible as well. They usually include a standard offering for all their clients.

What Is a Break/Fix Service?

This is a more traditional approach to IT support. In this model, your company itself manages the daily monitoring of your IT services. The only time you’ll need an IT technician is the rare instance the system breaks.

How It Works

A break fix service works like a plumbing service. You don’t need them on standby at your house, monitoring your pipes. If something like a leak happens, though, you call a plumber to fix the problem.

The process is the same in the break fix model. When you encounter a problem, such as a lagging internet connectivity or a virus entering your system, you call the IT service provider to report the issue. It will then dispatch a break fix technician to your site.

The technician will diagnose the problem and then fix it on the spot. Like a plumber, he/she will charge you a fixed rate per hour for the work performed.

Pros and Cons of Break/Fix Services

While this is a traditional model, a break/fix service still has its advantages over the newcomer. Still, it may be time for companies to move onto a newer service, but only if it’s more beneficial. Take a look at its pros and cons to see how it may fare against the managed services model.


The pay structure, which indicates you only pay for the work performed, is ideal in some cases. If you don’t experience any IT issues, then you won’t have to pay for anything. This can be cost-effective for smaller businesses with not much IT needs.

You don’t have to sign a contract or commit to any service. If you liked a particular technician’s job, you can hire him/her over and over again. This is in contrast with managed services, wherein you have to ride out the contract even if you don’t like their services.

Companies with an in-house IT support team might not need a separate service for troubleshooting problems either. After all, they should be able to solve minor issues without the help of a technician. Should something happen that requires more support, that’s the only time they’ll require a technician.

This may also be preferable if your business can handle downtimes anyway. If your operations can still run with some IT issues, you may not need the immediate support of an MSP.


The pay structure can also become a disadvantage in a way that it’s inconsistent. The costs are unpredictable. You’ll have to make sure you always have enough room in your monthly budget for technician visits.

As you wait for the technician to come, the IT problem you’re facing is going to linger. If your system is down, for example, your whole business is also down.

Your employees aren’t going to be productive and you might also face some profit loss. Note that a technician may come within minutes, but it can also turn into hours or days.

All the other responsibilities, including upgrading your system, keeping up with the trends, and so on, are all on you. There’s no incentive for a break fix technician to improve your network. They will only come for the job you’ve hired them to do.

Which Model Is Better for Your Business?

The only one who can decide which one is better is yourself. As you look through the pros and cons of each one, which service do you see will work for you better?


When something breaks, can your business still go on with its operations? If so, you can consider a break fix model, but that doesn’t mean that an MSP isn’t right for you.


With managed services, payment is consistent. This means you’re paying money even if you didn’t experience an issue. Also, there’s usually an initial set-up fee once the contract starts.

For this reason, those with a tight budget might consider a break fix model to be more appealing. However, you also have to take into account how much they’re going to pay if something does break.

Aside from that, you have to consider how much a downtime is going to cost you. Is it viable for your business to have a down IT system for some time? Or are you more willing to pay a fixed fee every month to ensure a smooth operation?


The level of support you’ll need is a factor for choosing which one is better for you. Do you have employees with enough IT knowledge for your day-to-day needs? If you seldom need the help of an expert, a break fix model might be better.

However, if you prefer outsourcing the role of maintaining your sophisticated system, managed services is the better choice. This will then allow you to focus on your business instead. All you need is a reliable MSP like the Be Structured Technology Group to ensure you’re getting what you’re paying for and more.

Learn More About Managing Your IT Needs

Your IT system is a complicated network, which requires only the best people to handle it. Whether you need break/fix or managed services, you have to verify the credibility of the technician/s.

If you want to learn more about the latest technology and news, such as some updates on clean energy, continue to follow our blog.

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