It may not be a question that keeps business owners awake at night, but choosing between Managed IT services and break/fix IT support can make a significant difference for companies that heavily rely on their IT infrastructure, not least for the bottom line.
Few SMBs (Small to Medium-sized Businesses) can afford the luxury of an in-house IT team so outsource the majority of their IT requirements. The question is whether they should do this on a retainer basis which is managed IT services, or as and when required, which is break/fix IT support.
Let’s look at the two options.
Managed IT Services
Low Risk – Comprehensive Cover – Quick Response
Managed IT Services are supplied on a rolling contract basis for a monthly fee. The service provider takes a view of the business, the number of users, the volume of activity, the current setup, and future requirements. They run this information against a risk assessment of how regularly their IT services may be required and come up with a monthly cost.
The majority of managed IT services are provided off-site and include antivirus security software, routine server maintenance, user assistance, workstation maintenance, regular back-ups, disaster recovery, and help with daily IT queries. Managed IT services are based on a clear understanding of SLAs (Service Level Agreements). The client is given unlimited, speedy response and helpdesk support.
The Benefits of Managed IT Services
The main advantages of managed IT services are unlimited assistance without fear of cost and the helpdesk for staff and managers. These services maintain productivity levels which are crucial to any business.
Other Benefits Include:
- The fixed cost makes it easy for budgeting
- The IT service provider is incentivized to maintain the systems well because this will ultimately reduce the number of times they need to assist
- Regular servicing of servers and workstations minimizes disruption
- Managed IT services include future-proofing the business with streamlined systems and proactive solutions
- Backups are managed which assists with disaster prevention and recovery
- Security systems are regularly monitored and updated to give the highest level of cover
The Disadvantages of Managed IT Services
The main perceived disadvantage of managed IT services is the fear of not using the monthly subscription. As a fixed cost, the monthly amount must be paid regardless of whether IT services are required.
Other Disadvantages of Managed IT Services are:
- Setup time and resources. Companies may feel they don’t have the resources to work with the IT service provider on the initial setup of the agreement
- Some businesses don’t like the idea of handing over their IT to a third party. It makes them feel vulnerable
- The setup cost of off-premises hardware and technology
Break/Fix IT Support
Variable Cost – Autonomy – Expert Assistance When Required
Break/fix IT support responds to incidents of IT problems that cannot be resolved in-house. The company contacts an ad-hoc IT service provider and asks them to help. The IT service provider then visits the company premises for an agreed call-out fee to assess the problem.
Companies also use break/fix IT support for software and hardware installations and upgrades, the implementation of networking platforms, or for the provision of privacy and security software.
The Benefits of Break/fix IT support
The main advantage of break/fix IT support is that payment is only made for work that is done.
Other Benefits of Break/fix Include:
- Basic elements of IT systems can be managed in-house with the attention to more complex issues being outsourced. This hybrid approach allows the company to retain an element of control.
- The information held within the company’s IT systems isn’t shared with third parties.
The Disadvantages of Break/Fix IT Support
- Unpredictable costs
- Every time a job is allocated to an IT specialist they need time to understand the business and its systems
- There is disruption each time there is a problem. The company suffers downtime while they find an IT service provider who then has to travel to the premises and work on the problem
- An ad-hoc IT specialist won’t be incentivized to offer long-term, proactive solutions to IT challenges or to act in the company’s best interests
Get In Touch
E2E Technologies are a managed IT services provider. Get in touch to find out how we can provide managed IT services to your business.
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