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


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. 

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.

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.

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.

We will review the difference between Managed IT Services vs Break-Fix IT Support when it comes to IT Budgets in an upcoming blog.

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