Break/Fix vs. Managed Services: Which is Better for You?

Break-Fix vs. Managed Services

Global IT spending is set to hit $4.6 trillion in 2023. Such great investments by companies demand that they perform their due diligence to ensure that they are yielding maximal ROI. For many businesses, that means investing in IT support services. The question, then, is break/fix vs. managed services – which is more appropriate for you?

Below, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each model in order to better help you determine which makes the most financial and technological sense for your business.

To that end, let’s begin by defining the terms in the break/fix vs. managed services question.


Break/Fix vs Managed Services Defined

Break/fix services are pay–per–use services that can handle simpler IT tasks like:

  • Issue remediation
  • Network monitoring
  • High-level cybersecurity

To name a few.

Essentially, a problem appears, and your IT support solves it in a reactive way.

Managed services, by contrast, offer a variety of services in addition to the ones listed above, including:

  • Cloud implementation, support, monitoring, and maintenance
  • Disaster recovery and data backup planning
  • IT roadmapping and vCIO services
  • Data migration
  • Staff cybersecurity training
  • Enhanced cybersecurity services
  • Network updating, patching, and upgrading
  • Technology lifecycle management

And more.

Essentially, the break/fix model is your bare-bones IT necessity, ensuring that your business-critical IT tasks are accomplished.

Conversely, the level of service you receive with end-to-end managed IT services greatly outpaces that of the break/fix model, solving both your IT issues in the present as well as proactively addressing ones that you would encounter in the future as your business grows.

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Business owners that are expecting high growth, in other words, tend to lean towards fully managed services in the long run as there are a variety of benefits that they’d otherwise miss out on by opting for the break/fix model.

This also tracks with spending: 89% of companies expect to grow or maintain their IT budgets this year.

Does that mean that prima facie businesses are always better suited making use of the managed services model? Not necessarily.

Let’s take a look at specific use cases below.


When Break/Fix Makes Sense

If your business has a trusted in-house IT team that simply needs supplemental support, it may not make sense to hire end-to-end managed IT support.

There are a la carte options for managed services, but for businesses that have competent IT employees ready to handle larger projects like cloud migration, server migration, lifecycle management, long-term IT planning, etc., then maybe all they need is a bit of proactive monitoring and support.

In this instance, it can be more efficient to utilize a break/fix model.

That said, hiring an in-house team is virtually always going to be more expensive than leveraging end-to-end outsourced management. 

What’s more, your team has to have a wide range of domain expertises – cloud, cybersecurity, network support, data backup planning, and all the other various IT tasks that a thriving business ought to invest in. These discrete elements of your IT stack/services all require specialized knowledge. In other words, it’s rare to find a true Swiss Army Knife worker or a couple of IT workers who can manage it all.

And once your team grows beyond two or three members, your IT costs can begin to eat away at your revenue. 

But in the event that you do have a group of talented subject matter experts on your team, then the lower-level supplementary services of break/fix make sense.

Furthermore, if you have highly specialized technology that requires constant on-site monitoring and maintenance, then you must hire an in-house IT team, and again, supplementing them with break/fix services for other areas of your business can be cost-effective.


When Managed Services Make Sense

For any business that needs scalable, long-term support for all of its technology assets, managed services are the right choice.

These are often more cost-effective (see below for details on pricing).


That’s because your managed services provider (MSP) will not only be able to address things like network downtime (which can cost a business thousands of dollars per minute) and cybersecurity threats (a critical need as more and more small businesses are targeted by cyber criminals) but also provide long-term value.

You’ll benefit from:

  • Workflow automation
  • Threat identification and remediation
  • Fast response times (on-site and off-site support)
  • vCIO support and long-term planning
  • Seamless scalability
  • Technology procurement and implementation

In other words, the highest yield investments in IT can be found within your managed IT services package. And all this is backed by a guaranteed service level agreement (SLA).

If you want to be totally relieved of your IT management burden and ensure that your technology only ever helps your business grow – and not get in its way – then fully managed services make the most sense.


Comparing Pricing Models BreakFix vs. Managed Services

Finally, it’s worth comparing the two different pricing models.

Break/fix will be charged as a fee for the service model. In other words, you only pay for the services you use. So if your business only faces the occasional technology hiccup, this can keep prices down while ensuring your business can resolve its technology issues.

Conversely, since break/fix services are charged on an hourly basis, it can lead to unpredictable costs. For instance, if one month you encounter a major IT issue that causes a number of additional disruptions to your stack, that could cause a huge spike in your invoice that month.

Managed services are often fixed, usually on a per-user or a per-device basis or a combination of the two.

You can usually expect to pay anywhere between $100 to $400  per user per month, depending on the scale of services needed, the devices maintained, the size of the business, scope of the work, etc.

That’s just a rough estimate, however, as each individual business’s needs are different.


Break/Fix vs. Managed Services: Finding the Right MSP for Your Business

Managed Services vs. Break-Fix

Freepik, Credit: marcovector


Managed IT services can be among the best investments your business makes. You can end your technology disruptions permanently with a single investment while helping your business grow.

But investing in the right MSP can be difficult. But luckily, you’ve found iT Blueprint.

We are a leading IT partner that has helped over 180 clients achieve IT success for the past two decades. Schedule a call for a free consultation with iTBlueprint today!

We will work closely with your business to customize an IT plan that perfectly meets your needs – and never charges you for superfluous services.

This way, with one fixed monthly fee you can rest easy knowing you’ve achieved maximum ROI on your managed IT investment.


Freepik, Featured Image Credit: marcovector


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