To survive in today’s market, business owners must be proactive when it comes to their company’s technology. There’s just too many ways for systems to fail, and being reactive can end up costing you thousands of dollars in lost revenue. In this MSP vs Break/Fix comparison, we’ll show you what you need to know to make the right decision for your company.
At Agile EM, we don’t believe in waiting around for things to break (which is known as the Break/Fix IT model). Instead, Managed IT Services are a “proactive” care approach that conserves resources and saves money.
Just as a human would avoid sickness with exercise, healthy food, and vitamins, Managed IT Services aim to avoid breakdowns and failures with regular hardware maintenance and consistent network monitoring. As a result, Managed IT Services can help businesses of all shapes and sizes avoid soul-crushing downtime, lost opportunities, and all that stress.
What is Break/Fix model?
As the name implies, Break/Fix IT services only interact with your business when IT problems strike. Similar to a plumber, you call them when something breaks.
This is reactive way of handling your crucial business IT systems. The vendor is working on the problem that has already happened.
This ad-hoc approach to network, hardware and software servicing doesn’t provide for pre-emptive or continuous support, though some servicers may offer suggestions or instructions on how to avoid future problems.
What is a MSP (Managed Service Provider)?
“Managed IT” creates a holistic, ongoing relationship between a company and the IT servicer. MSPs predominantly work off-premise, using their own network of systems and trained personnel to actively monitor and address IT problems as they’re identified — which is often well before they become system failures at client’s business location(s).
Let’s Examine the Issues with Break/Fix
There are several issues with the Break/Fix model. Here’s a list of the main concerns.
Mo’ problems, mo’ money.
Biggie said “mo’ money, Mo’ Problems,” but problems is what Break/Fix is all about. More problems is a good thing because more problems mean more money.
Time is money
Break/Fix technicians charge by the hour. The longer the problem takes to fix, the higher the fees.
Break/Fix carries far less predictability and far more pricing variability, as different system repairs or malfunctions carry different price tags. Organizations facing problems have no choice but to pay what the technician charges
Repeat service fees
If the problem happens again, which we all know is something that happens a lot, Break/Fix will charge for every time the problem occurs. They are there to fix the current problem, not to investigate and solve a deeper underlying cause (as a MSP would).
The Break/Fix model promotes the wrong incentives. There is virtually no incentive to ensure the clients’ systems as stable as possible.
System stability is not a goal of Break/Fix, as it generally means less breaking, less fixing, and less billable hours.
No network management tools
The MSP leverages these superior tools to provide security and stability to keep problems to a minimum. There’s no incentive by the Break/Fix servicer to invest in network management tools.
No Maintenance Automation
And there’s no incentive to invest in maintenance automation – both of those things are an expense that helps eliminate problems, which Break/Fix gets paid to fix.
Worst disasters = most profitable for Break/Fix
Finally, the clients biggest IT disasters take the longest to fix and are, therefore, the most profitable for Break/Fix IT.
The bottom line is the Break/Fix model is broken!
The Break/Fix IT hourly fee structure is counter to the interests of the client.
Have you heard of The Agency Dilemma?
The Agency Dilemma is the myriad of issues that arise when a client relies on a service provider who doesn’t share the same goals as the client.
In the “Break/Fix” IT model, servicers act in their own best interests, which are often contrary to those of their client.
In the MSP IT model, the opposite is true. There is an ongoing servicer agreement and mutual alignment of goals to keep all of your systems secure and running smoothly.
How MSP is Different
Managed Services is the opposite of Break/Fix. Its objective is to remove the Agency Dilemma by aligning the goals of the service provider to the client.
- Flat Rate pricing. MSP is different in how the work is billed out. The client pays a fixed monthly fee, for which the MSP is tasked with keeping the network up and running – no matter what.
- Incentive to keep network running smoothly. Keeping a client’s network as stable as possible is in everyone’s best interest. The client desires a stable network (so their business can run smoothly) and the MSP can work more efficiently when problems are minimal.
- Pro-Active Maintenance. MSP’s do as much preventive maintenance as possible to avoid future problems (the opposite of Break/Fix).
- State-of-the-Art Tools. The MSP invests in automation tools to monitor and manage the network as efficiently as possible. These tools stop problems before they happen and they are tools that Break/Fix techs don’t use.
With MSP, Agency Dilemma is Eliminated. Interests are Aligned!
The goals and interests of the MSP and the client are aligned. The goal of both the MSP and the Business owner for their computer networks is to maximize profit by eliminating downtime.
There’s no place for Break/Fix in a modern business operation. Break/Fix works for leaky pipes, not computer systems.
What companies benefit most from the MSP model?
The companies that benefit most from the MSP model are companies that have a computer system they use to run their business. Not just email and web browsing, a network with advanced applications that often involve various complex databases.
Are you considering Managed IT Services for your company? We can help. We’re happy to answer any questions you have…contact us >>here<<.