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Clients are usually presented with two options when soliciting IT services: managed IT services or break/fix IT services. Many clients don’t understand the difference between these two options. However, the option you pick will have significant implications for your business’s IT systems. Consequently, it is important to make an informed decision.
Managed IT services entail hiring a managed services provider (MSP) to manage your IT system and handle day-to-day IT operations. The MSP is usually a big IT services company staffed with certified and experienced IT specialists and equipped with the necessary resources to handle all manners of IT operations.
Managed IT services are continuous and proactive. This means that the MSP will monitor your business’s IT systems 24/7 and carry out the necessary operations as scheduled. The MSP will also try to detect and fix problems as they occur. More importantly, the MSP continually improves your IT systems, giving you an edge over the competition.
Managed IT services are usually rendered remotely, but the MSP’s technicians will come on-site when needed. The services rendered will depend on your chosen IT service plan — different plans offer varying IT services. MSPs charge a monthly flat rate determined by your selected IT services plan.
Pros of Managed IT Services
A managed IT services plan has a range of benefits to offer, including:
Cons of Managed IT Services
Managed IT services also have their shortcomings, including:
Break/fix IT services entail calling an IT technician whenever your IT system needs fixing or maintenance. The technician provides the requested services and then leaves. They can offer their services remotely or on-site, depending on the nature of services requested. The technician charges an hourly fee, and the rates vary depending on a range of factors.
The main aspect of break/fix IT services is that they are reactive. Most businesses call the technician only when something goes wrong. This is often not enough in a highly competitive business landscape where IT is an integral infrastructure.
Pros of Break/Fix IT Services
Some of the benefits of working with a break/fit IT services technician include:
Cons of Break/Fix IT Services
Break/fix IT service plans also have a range of shortcomings, including:
The answer to this question is easy: managed IT services are better than break/fix IT services. There are several outstanding factors to back up this answer.
The Problem with Break/Fix IT Services
Break/fix IT services are reactive, meaning that the technician comes after a problem occurs, as mentioned. This disrupts your business’s operations, especially if the problem is bad enough to cause downtimes. Downtimes can bring your business to a halt for hours or days, and the average business incurs losses as high as $5,000 per minute of downtime.
Additionally, break/fix IT services are limited in scope. The technician doesn’t care whether your IT system is outdated — they may inform you about it, but they will not do anything about it until you request the service. Outdated IT systems are inefficient and a liability.
Speaking of limited scope services, it is also worth noting that many local break/fix IT technicians have limited resources. They may not offer every service required, and the quality of their services is not always optimal.
How are Managed IT Services Better?
In contrast, managed IT services are continuous and proactive. The MSP assigns a team of technicians to monitor your IT systems round-the-clock. This enables the MSP to detect problems before they occur, preventing downtimes and other disruptive problems.
Additionally, the MSP can respond to emergencies immediately, limiting your losses. You always have a team on standby, and they are equipped with everything they need to solve complex problems.
MSPs also have a good understanding of how your IT system works and what it needs, owing to the continuous monitoring. As such, they can tell when it is outdated and implement the necessary updates. This makes your IT system will be optimally efficient, giving you an edge over the competition.
The Cost Illusion
Many businesses that choose break/fix IT services do it to save money. MSPs charge a monthly premium, while break/fix technicians charge per hour. However, these businesses don’t consider the hidden cost associated with downtimes when problems occur and an inefficient IT system. Ultimately, you will save more in the long term by working with a managed service provider.
The differences between break/fix and managed IT services point to the latter as the best option for businesses. Outsourcing your services to a Managed Services Provider (MSP) is like having an in-house IT department staffed with talented technicians always on standby. What’s more, the cost of services is more than worth it — and a break/fix option may cost you more in the long term.