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Break/fix or managed services: which will save you more?

In this digital world, break/fix and managed services play a big role in keeping your IT infrastructure running smoothly.

However, both have fundamental approaches when it comes to taking care of your software and hardware – and you want to be sure you’re choosing the most cost-effective business model.

What are break/fix services?

Simply put, break/fix services are a one-off transaction between you and a managed service provider (MSP) who you call to fix your IT infrastructure when something goes wrong, or if you need new hardware installed. You contact them, explain the issue, and wait for them to remedy the problem. Once their work is complete, you pay their bill, and your business together is completed. Easy done.

The beauty of break/fix services lies in its simplicity; you don’t need to hash out the terms and conditions of a service-level agreement (SLA) while your business suffers from downtime. Break/fix services charge a flat fee by the hour.

However, break/fix services do come with certain detriments. For instance, as the company charges by the hour, they will generally not rush to have your problems dealt with as fast as possible.

Another flaw in this business model is that you will likely suffer a longer period of downtime while you search for a break/fix service, contact them, and wait for them to respond.

No up-front or ongoing investment: it can be much more cost-effective to simply pay out-of-pocket for your IT infrastructure when you need to, rather than outsource your IT support entirely and pay a monthly fee for services you may not need.

Keep hold of the reins: only hiring an MSP for your IT needs when required means you have greater control over your IT infrastructure. The need for privacy may outweigh the defences an MSP can provide.

You’re paying an unexpected fee: when something in your IT infrastructure breaks, you may find yourself in the unpleasant situation of not being able to work an unexpected fee into your budget. Paying out-of-pocket is unpredictable, but sometimes, unavoidable.

Repeated breaks, repeated bills: if the same hardware or software issue keeps occurring, you’ll find yourself paying the same bill over and over. This weighs heavily against the simplicity of a flat hourly fee.

Reactive responses instead of proactive solutions: break/fix IT technicians will fix your problems without providing any ongoing solutions. Tying in with the point above, you may find the same IT problems occurring at a greater expense than you expected.

Longer downtime: when something goes wrong with your IT infrastructure, you have to reach out to a break/fix service and wait for them to respond. As they doubtless have other clients, your issue won’t be at the top of the list, and your employees and clients will experience greater downtime.

What are managed services?

Managed service providers are a third-party IT support business that manages the IT needs of other companies for a fixed monthly fee. They generally consist of IT experts and specialists that are familiar with all the tech and products companies need to run these days – cybersecurity, cloud computing, the modern workplace, and much more.

By monitoring and maintaining your IT infrastructure remotely, MSPs will keep a close eye on your systems and servers so that when a problem does occur, they’ll be on it immediately.

Predictable costs: once you’ve worked out an SLA with your chosen MSP, you’ll be paying a single monthly cost for them to manage your IT infrastructure. Predictable budgeting gives a peace of mind, and there’s no nasty shock when you suddenly have an out-of-pocket expense.

More affordable than in-house IT: an MSP will provide all of the expertise and support of a full-time IT team at a fraction of the cost. Or you may find downsizing your IT team and having them work alongside an MSP to be both efficient and cost-effective.

Proactive, not reactive: your MSP will look at the core issues of any tickets raised and focus on fixing those core problems, rather than just the surface issue. This means it is far less likely the same problem will resurface.

They’re on the ball: remote monitoring software means your MSP has around-the-clock services dedicated to maintaining and protecting your IT infrastructure. If something goes wrong while you’re not in the office, you can rest assured that your MSP will be on top of things before you even hear about it.

It’s a partnership: the best MSPs will want to know your business from the inside out so that they can provide you with the software, hardware, and solutions customised to your exact needs. Their reputation relies on you experiencing the best IT support you could want.

Initial set-up costs: most MSPs charge an initial upfront fee. This is due to the time and extra effort it will take for them to integrate their off-premises software and hardware with your on-premises IT infrastructure.

You pay regardless of what you use: it may be that you contract an MSP and find that you’re paying for services you don’t actually need. However, most MSPs are open to rearranging their subscription to suit your wants – rather than risk losing you as a client altogether.

So which business model will save you more?

Choosing between break/fix and managed services will largely come down to two things:

  1. Your monthly budget.
  2. How integral (or not) IT is to your business.

It could be that you don’t rely heavily on IT to run your business, in which case, break/fix services is the more cost-effective solution.

However, if you rely heavily on IT – and most companies in this digital age do – then you need the peace of mind that comes from knowing your IT is in good hands, at all times. 46% of companies that have moved to managed services have cut their annual IT costs by 25% or more.

In the long run, choosing to outsource your IT support will save you more than waiting until things need fixing.

Talk to the IT experts at Linktech Australia to discover how they can streamline the smooth, secure running of your business.