Imagine this: you’re onboarding a new client, just getting ready to sign a big deal. You’re one click away from entering the final details in your CRM and bam, your computer crashes. You call your co-worker to see if they can enter it for you, but their system is down too. You call your IT specialists, who you’ve hired on a break/fix basis. The good news? They know how to fix the problem. The bad news? They’re swamped and won’t be able to start fixing it until next Monday.

Now rewind that scenario and imagine that the day before you close that deal, your IT firm calls you up to tell you they’ve noticed a glitch. They’ll need to run some diagnostics, but don’t worry — it can all be done from midnight to 2 AM and you won’t notice a thing. The next morning you wake up and close the deal, without giving your IT issues a second thought.

That is the difference between break/fix support and managed IT services.

What is break/fix?

Break/fix IT services can seem like a good deal at first. Your IT service provider will only interact with your business when you have an issue that needs fixing, and they charge on a case-by-case basis. Here are the pros and cons of a break/fix model:

Pros

  • Fee-for-service. No monthly contracts or subscriptions.
  • Autonomy. If your in-house IT team can handle it, they’re free to do so.
  • Control. You choose when and how much you want to spend on IT services.

Cons

  • Budget uncertainty. If you run into big problems, you could end up with a hefty price tag.
  • Misaligned incentives. Your IT service only gets paid when there’s a problem… meaning they win when you lose.
  • Reactive, not proactive. Fix/break services only come into play once something has broken… not beforehand, when the problem could have been prevented or remediated.

What are managed IT services?

When you choose managed IT services, you’re outsourcing shared responsibility for your entire IT ecosystem. You’ll have a holistic relationship with your IT service provider, who uses their own network of systems and trained personnel to monitor and address IT issues as soon as they arise, or in some cases, even before. In most cases, managed services cover 24/7 network monitoring and security, system maintenance, software updates and patches, redeployments, live support and admin management. Here are some of the pros and cons of the managed IT model:

Pros

  • Predictable payments. You choose which subscription model you prefer, and get budget certainty in return.
  • System stability. With 24/7 monitoring and proactive maintenance, plus the incentives tied to prevention, managed IT services can solve IT issues before they become headaches.
  • Staff savings. Spend a fraction of what you’d pay for an in-house IT team.
  • Stay ahead of the curve. Managed IT service providers give their clients more secure and future-proof IT environments by managing network performance, security, backup, emails, helpdesk and more.
  • With TLC Solutions, there are no contracts. We also offer free onboarding so you can get to know us with no commitments.

Cons

  • It can feel risky to outsource such an important and expensive function but rest assured, TLC has got your back.

At TLC Solutions, we’ve noticed a trend away from the break/fix model and towards managed services. It makes sense to us, especially as more and more companies move towards a remote work model. And although there’s no “one size fits all” IT management solution, it’s worth reviewing your current IT service solution to see if you’re really receiving the proactive support you need.