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Jargon Buster: Managed Services versus Break-fix IT

So you are looking to outsource your IT Support? Lets Break it Down..

Human hand breaking stone question mark. Problem solvingIf you're running your own business, you'll know that there are always a million and one things on your mind at any given time. Given the high integration of technology in almost every business, there is a good chance that at least one of your bigger stresses is as to whether your IT is functioning properly.

Should technology breakdown, you will need to likely stop what you are doing and focus on getting it working again, which just adds to your stress, inconveniences your staff and your costs you money. This is something business owners don't want, and one of the best ways to minimise the worry about tech is to simply outsource the management of your solutions to the experts.

If you've already made the decision to outsource your IT support, you likely already realise that you still have to choose between managed services or the break-fix IT cycle. To help you make a decision, let's take a brief look at these two concepts, and which is the better choice.

What is break-fix IT?

Break-fix service, in the context of IT, is the idea that the resources you need will be available when you need them. Everything from new computers along with servers and even support are made available to you when and if you need them. Many providers that offer this model of service operate under the assumption that you will contact them when you need something. For example, if a server stops working or your email is not delivering new messages.

The key with this type of outsourced support is that users will get only what they need, when they need it. This makes it ideal for companies that are growing quickly, or see seasonal fluctuations in business because the support can be added or taken away as needed.

However, with break-fix IT budgeting can be tricky because there are inevitably going to be hidden costs. Many cost structures are opaque due to the flexible usage of cloud services, and the risk of higher future charges is real. The other downside is that this is more of a reactive service, you are going to have to know when you need to employ the support.

What is managed services?

Managed services is defined as the practice of outsourcing daily management responsibilities and functions as a method for improving operations and cutting expenses. When it comes to IT, managed services usually cover every aspect of technology from research and implementation through repairs, training and, more. While many Managed Service Providers (MSPs) offer full service solutions, they also offer individual solutions that can be scaled to meet your needs.

One of the biggest advantages of working with an MSP, apart from the fact that you won't have to manage your solutions, is that many operate on a flat or fixed-fee. This makes it easy to budget and even realise cost savings.

So what's the difference between the services?

When looking at these services, it will appear that at first they are quite similar. They are both founded on the same idea: Offering an outsourced IT solution for businesses, and they both offer IT support. The major difference comes in how the providers offer their services.

With break-fix, the service is usually reactive, meaning you will need to contact the provider should you have problems or need to implement a new solution. Manages Services on the other hand are more proactive in that the provider is responsible for your IT and will take steps to ensure it is working, up to date and secure, all without you having to ask.

Why managed service may just be your best option

While break-fix services definitely have their place in businesses, especially in larger ones with a well established IT department, MSPs better serve small to medium businesses who have overworked, or non-existent IT departments. When working with an MSP you can expect the following advantages:

  1. More efficient use of existing resources - Managed services allow company owners and managers to shift their focus from IT support back to their main focus. Be it running the business, ensuring sales are carried out or more. This in turn helps to ensure that your employees are focusing on where their strengths are which equates to increased efficiency.
  2. Rapid response to organisation and business changes - The vast majority of solutions offered by MSPs are highly scalable and can be almost instantly tailored to meet your needs. Experts like us work with you to get to know your business and can better predict future needs, even providing them before you actually know you need them.
  3. Access to the best and most up to date technology - Because MSPs manage your technology, they will often ensure that you have the technology needed to do your job. Beyond that, many utilise the latest in hardware and software to ensure the service they provide is the best possible. By utilising solutions like the cloud, the MSP can pass along the benefits to the end users.
  4. Enhanced security - MSPs who focus on technology don't just manage the solutions they implement, they also manage the security of your technology. By utilising the latest in security software and best-practices they can help ensure that your systems and the important data within are safe.

Of course, there will always be other factors to consider in outsourcing IT support. If you are still thinking which of these types of services is beneficial for you, it’s best to speak with a reliable IT service provider who will advise you based on what you need and can afford. Contact us today to see how our solutions work and can help your business.