Break-Fix or Managed IT Services

 

Which one is right for you?

Managed IT services and break/fix are both methods used to provide technical support for your IT infrastructure and investment.  What is the difference between them and which one is better for you as a small or medium-sized business owner?

Break-Fix

Break/fix is exactly what it says: your IT system breaks down and you find someone to fix it. Maybe you have a go-to person who works for you doing other duties, or possibly you have an outside tech that you use.  If not, you quickly search online or ask if anyone knows a computer guy who can address the problem.  At the same time, you hope that whomever you choose really knows what they are doing.

Managed IT Services

Utilizing managed IT services involves transferring your IT management responsibility to a Managed Service Provider (MSP).  An MSP can take on the responsibility of taking care of all your IT needs, giving you a single point of contact for your business technology.

When done properly, an MSP provides proactive service, by monitoring your IT infrastructure, computers, networks, etc., to greatly reduce the possibility of problems that could affect the operation of your business.  In fact, in most cases, they can fix problems without even needing to go to a business’s location, interrupting its day-to-day operation.  An MSP, by monitoring your IT infrastructure, will see the warnings your own equipment puts out for potential problems.  The MSP also stays abreast of the technology advances that could help your business, as well as filtering out all the “noise” that the IT industry emits about the “latest and greatest” thing which every business should buy, but which may not really be a help to your business.

An MSP will be familiar with your IT setup and the needs of your IT environment.  This means that when something does go wrong (and we all know it will) the MSP will usually already know how to fix the problem.  Their monitoring lets them diagnose the problem before it even shows up.  Even if you use the same break/fix service each time, they will spend more time to diagnose and fix the problem than an MSP, which has been monitoring and doing proactive maintenance on your system all along.

The True cost

Most small to medium-sized business (SMB) owners see the cost of calling the repair man as their only ongoing IT expense, but in reality, that cost is only the tip of the iceberg.  Most of the real costs are hidden.  When your system is down, are you still paying the salary to your employees, and will you be able to process your billing?  How about your customer service?  If you are using an in-house person to watch over your computers, how are they doing their primary job, when they are dealing with the computer malfunction?  These are some of the hidden cost which don’t show up on your books, but they are there all the same.

Maintaining your business technology is like piloting a ship in icy waters.  It could be like the Titanic, perfect in every way, but unable see the technology “icebergs” around it.  Or it could be like a modern ship that uses remote ocean-monitoring to know where the icebergs are and can thus avoid them, making it safely into port. 
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