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Managed Service Providers vs. Break/Fix

Which is the better model in today’s modern IT environment?

Young Asian colleagues discussing project in modern tech support office

How we respond to IT problems has changed drastically over the years. In fact, before the rise of MSPs (managed service providers) most models were based on a “break/fix” approach. Where an MSP looks to take over and monitor a company’s IT infrastructure and security, break/fix was as it sounded: fixing issues when they occurred.

How does that compare, however, to the modern approach? Companies don’t always have the financial resources to manage IT and IT problems. Therefore, break/fix approaches have sharply fallen in use and popularity.

There are a variety of reasons for this. Primarily, the philosophy of break/fix is outdated in today’s IT environment. “Break/fix” implies a reactive approach, only addressing concerns when they show up, versus a proactive defensive. If we were to make a modern comparison, break/fix is like going maskless during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Break/fix solutions also fall under scrutiny since the model is only encouraged to provide temporary, momentary support, and not long term solutions. For example, an MSP might help a company recover lost data and then assist them with stronger backup-recovery options. A break/fix solution would only focus on retrieving lost data, not create a foundation to prevent the issue from happening again.

In the juvenile IT days, break/fix had a place, though with the onslaught of ransomware threats and need for cloud support, among things, it’s insufficient to handle the tidal wave of problems businesses face.

Why break/fix is on the way out

“Reactive philosophies,” or otherwise defense strategies relying on responding to a problem only when it’s a concern don’t fit the modern IT environment. Attacks and other IT disasters cause serious levels of downtime, which can cost a business thousands in damages.

Temporary solutions, again, do not provide long-term support and conditions for preventing attacks. Ransomware, for instance, relies on penetrating networks and collecting information for long periods of time before finally executing its payload. At that point, a “fix” is too little, too late.

A proactive defense, which relies on things like good security habits, layered networks, and sensible IT organization, is vastly less cost-intensive and a more practical approach to IT solutions.

Consider the cost factor of downtime too, which results with improper IT infrastructure. It can, on average, cost a business $5,600 a minute.

Is an MSP solution better?

So, what about solutions with a managed service provider?

Unlike a break/fix model, an MSP is designed for long term support, working for the needs of an individual company. They typically scale their pricing for affordable options and operate for the success of a business, not adopting a model where they wait for disaster to strike.

It’s been reported by numerous industries based on consumer surveys their IT costs are greatly reduced. Respondents to an Orion survey, for instance, said they reduced IT spending by 50% while a range said they reduced annual costs from 1 to 24%.

Additionally, keep in mind an MSP draws from a wider array of IT expertise and strategies, all of which are offered to their clients. That’s a huge bonus, as smaller businesses often lack the capital or resources to maintain a strong IT infrastructure. Also, consider that MSP’s provide constant support, whereas break/fix solutions are temporary.

In today’s fast-paced digital economy and cyber industry, break/fix is simply an outdated model. A managed service provider option is vastly more reliable and practical.

For more information on how an MSP can assist you, contact Bytagig today.

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