Break/Fix vs. Managed Services – What’s the Difference?

If you don’t have the right in-house resources to manage all the IT needs for your business, you may be considering enlisting some help. It can be challenging and confusing to step into the world of third-party providers. There are various business models in the industry – from basic staff augmentation to full-fledged IT strategic planning and implementation – but the most common models can be segmented into either Break/Fix Services or Managed Services.


Here are the pros and cons of these two types of IT Service:



This is exactly what it sounds like: something breaks, and you contact your IT provider to troubleshoot and fix it. This could take mere minutes or up to numerous days, depending on the issue. This method was extremely common in years past due to the limited number of devices and less reliance on technology for business functions.




No monthly service fee

Unforeseen issues can be extremely expensive

No commitment/requirement to use

Diagnostics & repairs can take days – during which your systems may be inaccessible

Issues often go unnoticed for a period of time, making the problem worse

Billing by incident can make budgeting difficult

Technicians are not always familiar with your systems


In today’s technology-driven world, Break/Fix services really only work for companies that don’t completely rely on technology or for those who do have in-house IT teams that sometimes need a little extra help.


Managed Services

A Managed Service solution differs from Break/Fix services mainly in that it takes a proactive approach to IT management via 24/7 monitoring and preventative maintenance. Your IT provider takes a high level of ownership over your infrastructure and hardware, ensuring everything plays nicely together from the start.





IT budget is fixed at a monthly rate

Monthly fee for service, even when there are no issues

Stability in knowing your provider is familiar with your systems

Agreements require a minimum contract term (usually 1-3 years)

Monitoring systems identify problems before or as they occur

Provider can supply all hardware and offer a pre-determined refresh cycle

Low risk of downtime / guaranteed uptime backed by Service Level Agreement

Can be used to supplement in-house IT staff


With Managed IT Services, you’re paying for the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing your systems will simply work. If anything goes down, your provider will know about it right away and get to work fixing the issue – sometimes before you notice anything is amiss. In this digital day and age where all our working devices are connected, it can be an insurmountable task to keep tabs on every single device. The advantage here is that they’re all monitored by your Managed IT Team so you aren’t relying on discovering a problem yourself days, weeks, or months after it becomes an issue.


The right move for your business

Whichever option you choose, you won’t be alone in getting some outside help with your IT services. Recent data suggests that a huge percentage of business owners are making the move toward outsourcing some or all of their IT services within the next 5 years.



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