Whether it’s a large enterprise or a small business, IT systems and applications are at the heart of day-to-day business operations. When it comes to IT support, organizations follow two main schools of thought.
One approach is highly proactive, while the other is more traditional and reactive. But which model best suits your business needs? Let’s take a look.
Managed Services vs. Break-Fix: What’s the difference?
The managed services model depends on a managed services provider (MSP) to proactively engage in real-time monitoring to actively manage enterprise IT infrastructure to negate any potential downtime.
This means that your MSP will maintain, patch, update and upgrade systems as necessary to ensure smooth operations across the business.
The more traditional and reactive break-fix model involves waiting for systems or applications to malfunction before calling someone in to fix it.
What are the key advantages of having a Managed Service Provider?
If you compare managed services vs. break-fix, the advantages and disadvantages are quite striking. If your organization follows the managed services model, the business can benefit from: access to skilled IT professionals with a wide breadth of knowledge, enterprise-grade automation and monitoring systems, tighter security due to a centralized vendor management plan, and efficient system design.
The managed services model also frees up in-house IT teams to focus on the core of your business operations; especially if the some of the IT processes you are running are not critical. The MSP focuses on monitoring your network in real-time, maintaining stability, and taking proactive measures to meet technology and regulatory changes. Additionally, as system complexity increases, the need for higher level support also increases; this support generally would need to come from your MSP with experts in your industry.
When engaging with an established MSP, you can also get guaranteed notifications and reaction times to network issues that arise via a service level agreement (SLA).
In contrast, if you follow the break-fix model, your IT maintenance provider will not be tasked with keeping your network and infrastructure up and running, instead, they are only called when a problem arises. Without a co-managed network by the MSP that is focused on augmentation of your current oversight, you lose out on: regular patching, network hardware and software upgrades, and invaluable advice that could maximize your network’s potential.
However, there are some businesses that continue to follow the break-fix model.
When is the break-fix model right for your business?
Despite its limitations, the break-fix model can be highly suitable for your organization if core business operations aren’t dependent on technology. Or, your firm may have a large enough team onsite with a wide enough breadth of knowledge and enough time to meet all technological and regulatory advances. Also, the break-fix model may be an appropriate if you do not have a complex system design that requires higher level support.
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