Break-Fix vs. Managed Services

There are two main types of IT support available when it comes to supporting your business.  The Break/Fix model and Managed services.

Break-Fix

Break-fix is the IT support you receive when you contact a technician after equipment or services have broken down.  It is commonly used by individuals and by startups in their first weeks of operation.  It has no recurring costs attached and seems to make financial sense, before IT issues start to strike.

Managed Services

Managed services support involves monitoring your systems to detect and fix issues.  It provides an ongoing and reliable relationship between your business and IT support. With consistent monitoring and an expert eye, managed services can respond to issues as soon as they occur and often fix them before they start.

Some businesses view purchasing managed services only as an outgoing cost that can be avoided or kicked further down the road.  Saving the fixed monthly cost and only paying for IT once it has broken seems like an advantage.  Compare this, however, to the additional downtime, added repair costs, and unnecessary data losses incurred as a result.  

Which Is Best Suited To Small Business?

Often, small businesses are used to making do with a limited budget and select few resources at their disposal.  Many prioritize running on an ultra-efficient, shoestring purse. However, lowering outgoing costs has to be carefully balanced against business losses resulting from short-sighted financial decisions.  Losing reputation with clients as a result of unavailable or late services is one of the hardest losses to take as a business.

Suffering data losses or being unable to produce deliverables can cause business relations to sour fast. This impact on client relations often hits the smallest businesses the hardest.

The Impact Of Break Fix On A Small Business

Typically, most IT breaks and outages happen during the busiest periods of operation.  This is when the system is under the highest stress and when you rely on it most too.  Often an issue that is happening to your firm may be impacting your competitors too.  It’s during these times you rely on your IT team to get you back up and running fast.  With a break-fix relationship, things might not be so simple.

Without a standing client relationship, an IT firm may not be able to get technicians to you fast.  During busy periods in particular, a firm might not be able to assist immediately as managed clients demand their services. 

This added downtime during hours of peak productivity can cost thousands in missed income.

Often IT firms employed in a break-fix capacity have very little relationship with the businesses they provide for.  In many cases, the attending technician or team have to learn the system from the ground up every time they visit.  These additional hours of billing build up fast.

Technicians or firms contracted for break-fix services rarely have a chance to fully learn your unique system or IT needs.  Without this relationship, there is less opportunity to completely fix many underlying issues.  By working to fix the short-term, immediate problem a technician can fulfil their task and even leave the firm happy with the job done.  Potential unknown problems, however, may have simply been pushed further down the road.

Without a full working relationship or a complete picture of the system, break-fix firms have no obligation to prevent future problems.  By doing so they would in fact lose the chance of potential future call-outs.

The Advantage Of Managed Services For Your Business

Using managed services turns your IT expenses from an unpredictable and irregular expense into a fixed monthly fee.  In return, your IT technicians monitor and maintain your entire IT system.  The goal of IT services is to maximise productivity.  This is done by ensuring the efficiency and reliability of the system minimizes downtime.

Establishing a managed service relationship with a knowledgeable IT firm gives them the chance to study your business needs and learn your unique systems from the inside out.  IT technicians can take ownership as a result and are incentivised to make sure your IT is always running at its best.

Small firms rightly worry about getting technicians on time to fix their systems too.  Response time agreements are often standard components of service packages.  This means that when IT issues do happen, timely response and an urgent fix is guaranteed in writing.  

For managed service clients solving unpredicted IT outages and disaster recovery is priority number one.  Solving issues immediately is always more effective than kicking them further down the road.  With a continued client relationship your tech firm takes ownership of issues in your system.  This means getting you back up and running faster than a break-fix provider.

Most IT breakdown fixes are included within the monthly service fee.  Budgeting for IT failures and unexpected costs is made more cost effective and easier to account for.

Tough Decisions For Small Business

Choosing the right IT plan for your firm is a difficult choice.  It forces you to weigh up what is important for your business.

Many small firms cannot sustain the risks of data loss, unplanned downtime, or the cost of replacing critical systems.  These issues impact smaller businesses much harder than large corporations.

For small business, managed services are the clear better choice.  Give us a call today at 403-262-4015 to talk about how we can help you.