Managed IT vs. Break/Fix is a question many small and mid-size businesses deal with on a regular basis. All organizations need to make decisions to increase organizational productivity, but also reduce costs whenever possible. When it comes to unexpected issues caused by IT maintenance, is your business prepared to deal with them immediately? Having preventative maintenance and effective disaster avoidance strategies may add expenses to your budget that you hadn’t considered, but have you calculated the hidden costs of downtime caused by an outage?
Technology problems always seem to come out of nowhere at the most inconvenient times. And those intermittent technology issues may just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your larger IT environment. Taking a short view approach, where recurring maintenance costs are avoided to save the budget, you’re following the break/fix strategy. Simply said, you only fix your computer equipment and applications when something is broken. Let’s compare this to a car. If nobody is looking under your car hood performing the required maintenance, eventually it will stop working, and you’ll be left with a hefty bill to get it going again. The same can be said for business technology. But if you’re willing to review your budget to find those hidden costs of downtime, you might consider moving to a managed service provider instead. In the long run, it could be the smart and more cost-effective choice for you and your business.
While break/fix models may save you money in the short term, costs can add up quickly over time. Most break/fix repairs come with unpredictable costs, and it’s hard to budget for those fixes since you don’t know when they may occur. Also, the break/fix technician only gets paid when you have an issue that needs to be fixed. It is in their best interest to keep you on this model with frequent problems, because that’s how they earn their money.
By contrast, managed service providers are organizations of IT professionals whose job is to keep your business up and running seamlessly while improving your efficiency. They offer constant monitoring of your system, helping to prevent and reduce system downtime and increase your productivity. As a business, you can focus on what your expertise is, while your managed service provider works proactively to identify and prevent threats to your IT systems before they happen. The goal of the managed service provider is for you to have a predictable and consistent system. A managed service provider can also help you automate business processes to make things less cumbersome and more efficient, and regular maintenance by the managed service provider ensures they are intimately familiar with your systems and there are clear, repeatable processes to solve any issues.
While the value of working with a managed service provider is beneficial for your business, like anything worth having, it has a cost. Most managed service providers require a monthly fee for their services. When selecting a managed service provider, make sure their plan is comprehensive and covers all of the items you need. It should include antivirus, network monitoring and help desk support, process automation and even cloud migration services and disaster recovery and backup systems. The cost of a managed service provider may seem a bit steep when things are running smoothly, but having your systems and data protected and an expert available if you have an issue is what can increase your company’s overall productivity.
As businesses look for ways to minimize risk and avoid downtime, break/fix is becoming less common. While budgeting for a managed service provider requires a commitment, it generally will provide you with increased productivity as your business can focus on what they do best. And the benefits of using a managed service provider are prevention of critical data loss, optimal system efficiency and ongoing security for your business. Ultimately the decision of how you care for your IT environment is up to you. But with a managed services provider, you can find the peace of mind you need.