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Managed IT Services vs Break-Fix IT Support: What to Expect


Break/Fix Support

With break-fix IT support solutions, help desk or technical support is mostly provided by you, the customer, contacting your IT Service provider because you are having an issue. They will not see the problem before you do because there is no monitoring or reporting in place. 

The support only starts when you create a ticket, make a phone call to a support line, or send an email to their support inbox. Let’s take a deeper dive into Managed IT Services vs Break-Fix support.

Typically, most of your support is provided by a technician who resolves issues on-site, reactively to a downtime situation, or on a scheduled visit. You can then expect a bill for time and materials.

The break-fix IT approach was the industry standard until the mid-2000s – back when email could be down for a day, cybersecurity risks like ransomware didn’t exist, employees could wait weeks for a fix, and updates could be done occasionally to IT Infrastructure. 

The Managed Services Support Alternative

With managed IT services, your support partner by nature will still provide you reactive support – esp. to your employees that need help – but the difference is monitoring, licensing management, disaster recovery, and business continuity planning in order to succeed with the true goal of proactively mitigating IT issues that can present downtime. 

If your business still lives in the 1990s, you can probably get by with reactive-only service – but we’ll take a wild guess that is not the case. Esp. since the creation and adoption of the cloud in the mid-2000s, there has been a steady change away from break-fix to the managed services model.

Did you know?

A quarter (25%) of SMBs said the per-hour cost of downtime for their business was between $20,001 and $40,000. That’s a significant hit to the bottom line!


Break-fix IT Support, by industry definition, is purely reactive.  Often, it’s an IT guy that services a few customers and is usually overbooked. Some claim to be proactive and do offer some management tasks like backup or system updates. 

However, with any Break-fix, your support technician relies on you to tell them when there is a problem, make updates, or provide any IT consulting for projects.

Managed IT Services, on the other hand, whether in full or in conjunction with your IT department (Co-Managed IT Services), are there to provide proactive, reactive planning, management, and implementation to keep your business always running.

FAQs About Managed Services and Break-Fix IT Support

Q: What are managed services and break-fix IT support? 

A: Managed services refer to an approach where an IT provider like Total Networx takes proactive measures to continuously monitor, maintain, and manage your IT infrastructure. On the other hand, break-fix IT support involves addressing IT issues only when they arise. With managed services, the goal is to prevent problems before they occur, whereas break-fix support focuses on fixing issues after they’ve disrupted operations.

Q: How do managed services ensure proactive IT maintenance? 

A: Managed services involve continuously monitoring your IT systems to identify and resolve potential problems before they lead to downtime or disruptions. This includes regular software updates, security patches, and performance optimizations. Total Networx employs a proactive approach to keep your systems running smoothly and prevent issues from causing significant downtime.

Q: What are the advantages of choosing managed services over break-fix support? 

A: Opting for managed services offers several benefits, such as reduced downtime, improved security, predictable IT costs, and enhanced long-term planning. Managed service providers like Total Networx provide proactive monitoring and maintenance, leading to fewer unexpected issues and higher operational efficiency compared to the reactive nature of break-fix support.

Q: How does break-fix IT support compare for addressing immediate issues? 

A: Break-fix support is primarily focused on resolving immediate IT problems as they arise. While it can provide quick fixes, it lacks the preventative measures managed services offer. Break-fix support may lead to higher downtime, unexpected expenses, and a less strategic approach to IT management compared to the comprehensive coverage provided by managed services.

Q: Can a business switch from break-fix to managed services? 

A: Businesses can transition from a break-fix IT support model to managed services. Total Networx, for instance, assists in a smooth transition by assessing your current IT infrastructure, identifying areas for improvement, and creating a tailored managed services plan. This shift allows businesses to enjoy proactive IT maintenance, reduced downtime, and improved efficiency.

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