Why managed IT support is better than break-fix

As a company, we pride ourselves on being one of the first companies to start popularising managed IT support in Australia. In fact, our founder Leon Black founded Inspired Techs back at the time when the “break-fix” model was the norm. 

Inspired Techs was born as a way to deal with the problems imposed by the old way. Created with a core vision to bring a much better way of handling IT support for businesses in Australia.

Today it’s becoming ever more clear that managed services are the way to go. And smart businesses are switching to this model in droves. We wouldn’t be surprised if the break-fix model is completely gone in the coming years.

managed it support

However, if you’re still on the fence and need more specifics about why this is happening, read on. We’ve compiled this straightforward summary on exactly why managed IT support is superior. It is by no means an extensive list, as that could fill up an entire book. However, these are the main reasons why you will probably want to go for managed IT support.

Disadvantages to the break-fix system

Broken incentives system

You don’t need a PhD in psychology or economics to know that humans are driven by incentives. And even a cursory glance at the break-fix model will tell you that that the incentives structure is completely broken.

In a break-fix model, the IT support provider has absolutely no incentive to prevent things in your office from breaking down. Why would they? In fact, the more stuff breaks in your office the more money they make.

Now, this isn’t to say that break-fix IT providers go out of their way to “rig things for failure”. Most of them do genuinely fix things to the best of their ability. It’s just that they won’t go that extra mile and perform all those extra checks to make sure things don’t break again.

Managed IT providers, on the other hand, have an incentive to make sure things don’t break. And in this pursuit, they will do whatever it takes to make sure things work smoothly. This even includes working with your staff, giving extra tips on best practices, and so much more.

No way to budget your IT expenses

The reason some new companies still choose a break-fix option is pure inexperience. They often reason that nothing in their office is broken, so why pay for “it stuff” if everything works fine?

And then something breaks out of nowhere and they incur a big unexpected break-fix bill out of nowhere when they least expect it. When you choose to go with the break-fix module you are basically playing roulette.

budgeting managed it support

With break-fix, you have no idea when an unexpected expense will come in, and often it can come at the worst time possible. With a managed IT provider you know your IT costs upfront and can budget for it which allows for some great peace of mind.

Depending too much on trust

You will need some level of trust in the experience and capability of your IT provider, whatever the model. However, due to the way each of the models is structured, you take upon a lot more risk when you go with a break-fix-type provider.

If you really trust a break-fix provider, and you know that they care about your business, you can get some decent results. However, this means that you have to spend a lot more time vetting and interviewing such providers to ensure they have your interests at heart.

On the other hand, when you go for a managed-service provider, your own interests are taken care of by the model itself. The managed-service model ensures that the provider has to care about your long-term IT health and business operations. 

You will still get better results if you do your research and find a provider you can trust. However, you are taking on a lot less risk, and need to invest much less of your trust.

Hidden issues go by unnoticed

While it seems like it, issues in software and hardware don’t just pop out of nowhere. There is usually a slow build-up of smaller issues that are easy to miss. 

When you go with a “break-fix” IT provider, they only fix issues after you notice something and call them to come in and repair it. Inbetween their repair visits, there is nobody monitoring your systems. That means there is nobody to catch those issues while they’re still small and just starting out.

By the time the issue gets large enough for you or your employees to notice it, it has typically become a serious problem. This doesn’t just mean that you get hit with a rather large repair bill. It also means you will probably suffer some productivity and interruption-related costs and issues.

When issues are detected early on, that prevents any sudden business interruptions. And if you’ve ever had an unexpected business interruption at an unfortunate time, you know how disastrous those can be.

Advantages to the managed IT support system

Better familiarity with your business needs

When you work with a managed IT support team on a recurring basis, this allows them to get acquainted with your business. This means getting a deeper understanding of how you do things, your business goals and so much more.

This is very different than break-fix models where a person just comes and repairs broken stuff, with no regard for you or your business needs as a whole.

Now notice a keyword in the sentence above. We say that this model “allows” IT providers to get acquainted with your business. This is an important distinction. Just because the managed model allows providers to care about your business, doesn’t mean they will.

Many “managed IT providers” do actually act as “a bunch of repair people who fix stuff”. It’s just that they charge a monthly fee for it. That’s like getting a monthly bill for a break-fix service.

In that case, you do not actually get any of the benefits that a true managed service can provide. If you want to weed out such poor-quality providers, be sure to check out our guide on finding reliable, honest and trustworthy IT support.

Proactive and preventative in nature

By its very definition, break-fix models are designed to be reactive in nature. Managed IT services, on the other hand, are designed to be proactive, at least in theory.

However, just like with other points in this article, note that this isn’t guaranteed. While a managed approach allows for a proactive approach, not all vendors actually utilise it. There are plenty of “managed IT service providers” out there that act as a team of repair people.

The incentives system simply makes it more likely that a managed service provider will be more proactive. After all, it is in their best interest to make sure that they have fewer things to fix. They benefit from having a preventative strategy in place that stops problems from happening.

The degree to which a given provider is proactive will depend on how good they are at applying this mindset to their strategies. It’s up to you to find a managed IT provider who applies the proactive approach to the fullest extent possible.

Managed IT support provides better value in the long-run

The main reason there are still companies falling for the break-fix model? Many inexperienced businesses believe that it will save them money. This is for a very simple reason. Your upfront cost for a break-fix solution stands at $0. This makes it easy to reason that you will be the lucky one who won’t experience a business-interrupting failure.

After all, things in the office seem to be working ok at the moment. What are the odds something major breaks out of nowhere and you’re stranded with a big emergency repair bill? Well, the odds are actually quite large that it will happen to you, and at the worst time possible. And this is something less experienced business don’t get. That is why some of them will still try to “get away with” a break-fix option when they’re just starting out.

If you’re in this situation, consider that you don’t have to learn this lesson the hard way. You can go for the right option from the get-go. It is always easier to have a short-term mindset, this is normal. However, if you want a successful business in the long-run, you also want to make your decisions from a long-term perspective.

If you’re looking for the right managed IT support provider, you’re in the right place

Inspired Techs was borne out of the vision to introduce managed IT services to Australia. After spending many years in the (then still widespread) break-fix-based corporate world, our founder saw the future and formed Inspired Techs. We’re not just a managed service provider because that’s what businesses look for today. You can say it in our DNA and we’ve built our entire model around maximising the benefits you get from managed IT support.

Feel free to contact us at any time. We’d love to hear from you.