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The Changing Face of IT Support: Break-Fix vs. MSP

As business technology has evolved, so has the need to ensure that it is well maintained in order to keep the business itself running smoothly and customer data protected, for the sake of both parties.

However, many business still choose the ‘Break-Fix’ model, which essentially means that tech support are performed on a “time and material” basis. Sometimes these come with a contract, other times it’s just a question of “God, it’s broken, call those IT guys”, which is clearly a great recipe for losing business and profit and if you deal with sensitive information, such as customer credit card details), then you could also be liable for a fine.

The main issue with the Break-Fix model is that it is usually performed within working hours only and that it’s essentially the most expensive choice, when compared to using a MSP (managed service provider) model. The downtime that can be associated with choosing this model should beg the question, can your business really afford to be offline?

What is an MSP?

An MSP is an IT support provider that will provide a business with a contract that means that they can manage and maintain all of your business systems, from individual workstations, to networks and more.

Some of these offer cloud-based solutions depending on the nature of your IT infrastructure, be it on premise, or hosted in the cloud. However, there will also always be some end-user hardware involved in any business. This isn’t a problem though, as unlike the Break-Fix model, MSPs monitor hardware for potential issues and don’t simply wait for them to stop working effectively.

Why choose an MSP?

There are so many reasons you should, they’re almost too many to list, but as an overview:

  • Minimal downtime for your business
  • Data backup and disaster recovery plans
  • Most cost-effective
  • Maintenance of your infrastructure
  • Proactive approach
  • Improved security
  • 24/7 monitoring

So really, the question is, why haven’t you?

Upfront costs

Many companies don’t choose the MSP model as there is sometimes an associated up-front cost that they don’t see the value of until it’s too late. Of course, these days, many IT support providers will allow businesses to pay monthly, with some set up fees involved in the beginning, depending on the IT company you’re dealing with and the state of your infrastructure. All in all though, it costs less than the Break-Fix model in the long term and you will get certain ROI.

I have a SMB – surely it’s too much for me?

Not at all, if you have a business that uses technology (and what doesn’t these days?), then you need the right support. MSPs tend to be tailored towards the client’s needs and priced accordingly, so you needn’t worry that your small business can’t cope with the cost. It’s usually very costly to have an IT engineer brought in on call-out charges, so it’s worth looking at getting a contract in place.

It’s really all about future proofing, if a disaster occurs and your IT systems with it, let’s face it, is the Break-Fix model really the right solution for any business?