Understanding Break-fix verses MSP

Break/Fix vs. Managed IT Services

Break/Fix is a reactive approach of providing IT support to customers. Break/Fix services are generally fee-based and rely on a customer contacting the IT services company when repairs or upgrades are needed.


While break/fix usually works where the IT Services Company charges an hourly rate plus the cost of parts (also known as time-and-materials), there are some exceptions. For example, a Break/Fix IT company might offer discrete services, such as virus removal or data migration, at a flat rate instead of an hourly rate, usually because the contractor has a clear scope of the time and deliverable involved.


Break/Fix vs. Managed IT Services
Break/Fix is distinguished from Managed IT Services. Managed IT Services is an approach in which an IT services company will take responsibility for customers’ IT systems and provide remote monitoring and management. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) will determine what is covered and not covered in a Managed Services contract. Sometimes an SLA will cover a limited scope, or only perform operations remotely, for instance.


Whereas Break/Fix services resolve their customers’ IT issues only when support is requested, managed services providers (MSPs) take a proactive approach to prevent potential IT issues from disrupting uptime and employee efficiencies.


The Break/Fix model is inherently “Broken”

In the IT services industry, the Break/Fix service model has received criticism for taking a reactive approach to maintaining IT systems for clients. The controversy of the Break/Fix service model is multifaceted. Some IT services companies that focus on Break/Fix will end up “billing the customer” more cost per year than if a proactive approach was chosen. This direction is where taking a proactive approach is gaining more influence with small to medium-sized businesses.


Some IT managed service contracts are inclusive of both proactive and reactive care plans. This encourages businesses to fix problems before they become catastrophic for their business. Unmonitored and non-maintained systems are ripe for massive issues such as data loss, malware/spyware infection, or ransomware attacks.


Infected and poorly maintained systems can also cost money in losses in efficiencies for employees. Well maintained systems and computers not only keeps employees happier, but it also allows them to do their jobs with fewer issues and conflicts.

The Ancillary Benefits of Managed Services

The value of MSPs proactive approach is starting to be more understood by the business world due to the ancillary benefits with employee efficiencies, happier work experiences and increased uptime at a relatively fixed monthly cost. It generally works better for a companies for budgeting to know how much IT maintenance costs are involved before the year begins. By securing a prepaid MSP plan, companies and organization can have piece of mind that they have an IT partner that will be available when they need them, while monitoring potential issues 24/7.

Transitioning to Managed Services

While Break/Fix was a prevalent model for providing IT support a decade ago, many IT services companies have transitioned to the managed services model. However, many IT companies continue to offer Break/Fix services for customers that still see it as a fit.

If you are looking to transition to a managed services model, engaging a company like CCNY Tech can be an extremely viable option, as CCNY Tech offers a “hybrid approach” to managed services. Our CCNY TechAgent service allow for quick reactive response via ticket while we can monitor, patch and remotely assist when issues arise.


Contact a representative at CCNY Tech (315-724-2209) to learn more how the TechAgent program can help your business or organization, maintain a quality IT experience.


CCNY Tech delivers IT Services across Upstate New York
Utica |   Syracuse  | Ithaca  | Albany  | Rochester


CCNY Tech offers small businesses in Upstate New York ways to be proactive with their security measures, while being on-call to handle technical issues that come up. Contact a specialist at 315-724-2209 and ask about the exclusive TechAgent program that has been built around helping SMBs to increase uptime, while staying within budget.

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