The break-fix model is usually what people consider when they picture IT support. Experts wait for IT issues to arise, and fix them when they get a call. The difference between break-fix vs. managed services is that managed IT support doesn’t simply wait for problems to occur.

People who stay with the break fix approach usually do it out of the belief that it’s more cost-effective. However, the truth is that managed services are truly the more cost-effective approach.Rob Gluckin, Chief Executive Officer, GTG Networks

Although 64% of businesses now use managed services, most still revert to the break-fix model if they don’t have a reliable managed service provider (MSP). If you’re one of them, you likely understand how tricky the transition can be.

To help you with this, our article will explore the key differences between the two service models, their pros and cons, and offer some tips to make transitioning from break-fix to managed IT simpler.

What Are Managed IT Services?

Managed IT services are outsourced technology services offered by managed services providers (MSPs). The MSP model is a proactive approach to IT support that focuses on preventing issues instead of waiting for them to occur. 

Typically, an MSP charges a monthly fee for all services provided. The flat rate you pay will vary depending on the provider you choose. However, it is usually more cost-effective than purchasing a wide range of services from various providers.

What Are Break-Fix Services?

Break-fix services are a reactive approach to IT support. You only pay for them when needed, but those costs can add up if you frequently need IT services. Break-fix services cater to businesses seeking flexibility. They allow companies to address problems as they arise without needing an ongoing service level agreement (SLA). 

However, the inherent nature of break-fix services means that response times can vary, potentially leading to longer downtimes during critical moments.

Break Fix vs. Managed Services: Pros & Cons

If you’re still not sure about the switch, and want a quick reference to help you weigh the pros and cons, here’s our overview of them.

Break Fix ServicesManaged IT Services
ProsIdeal for businesses with very few IT problems, as you only pay when you need support.You can choose your service provider for each issue, giving you flexibility in who you work with.Offers continuous monitoring, maintenance, and early detection of issues to prevent downtime.Typically includes agreed-upon response times, which are often faster due to proactive service arrangements.
ConsExpenses can vary widely and become unpredictable.Support is provided on an as-needed basis, which can lead to longer wait times during crises.Some businesses may feel they have less control over their IT systems.Often requires a long-term contract, which can be a drawback for businesses looking for more flexibility.

What to Consider Before You Switch IT Service Models

Your Organization’s IT Needs

Examine your current IT challenges and needs. Understanding if you require frequent fixes can help you identify which services you need most. Generally, organizations with few IT requirements can get away with staying with the break-fix model. 

However, you should consider that using managed services instead can increase overall operational efficiency by 45-65% even if you don’t face frequent technical difficulties. 

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Compare the potential costs of managed IT services against the expenses of break-fix support. Managed services may seem more expensive upfront, but they can reduce the unexpected costs of emergency issues. Given that 96% of organizations have at least 1 emergency IT outage within a 3-year period, that benefit alone can justify the move to managed IT.

Assess the Impact on Your Team

Think about how this switch will affect your in-house IT team. Managed IT services can free up your team to focus on strategic projects instead of daily issues. Determine if your staff will require training to work with the new service model.

Assess The Impact on Customers

Think about how the change will affect your customers. The new model should enhance their experience or add value to your services. Keep them informed about changes and improvements if they use your IT support system.

Risk Management

Identify potential risks associated with the switch, including technical, financial, and operational risks. Develop a plan to mitigate these risks to ensure a smooth transition. In most cases, avoiding these risks is as simple as choosing a good provider.

Evaluate Long-Term Benefits

Reflect on the long-term advantages of switching to managed IT services, such as improved efficiency, reduced downtime, and better security. These benefits can support your organization’s growth and development over time.

Plan Your Transition

Outline a plan for moving from a break-fix model to managed IT services. This plan should include timelines, key steps, and how to avoid potential disruptions to your operations. Smooth transitions minimize downtime and maintain productivity.

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Transitioning from Break-Fix to Managed IT?

If you decide to switch, you must know where to find a dependable MSP. Choosing the wrong provider can leave you in a worse position than the one you were in when you were dependent on break-fix services. 

Businesses throughout Florida count on GTG Networks to keep their IT operations running smoothly. We’re happy to work with clients from across the state, country, and world to minimize tech disruptions so they can get more done daily.

If you want to see if we’re a good fit for your business, please reach out to us!