The Differences Between Break-Fix vs Managed Services

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Every business faces technology challenges, from system failures to software glitches.

A survey by Gartner revealed that the average cost of IT downtime is approximately $5,600 per minute, which translates to over $300,000 per hour for many businesses. This statistic underscores the critical need for reliable and effective tech support.

As Adam Radulovic – CEO of, says, “The right IT support is your best defense against costly system failures.”

Choosing the right support model is crucial to ensure smooth operations and avoid costly downtimes. The debate around “Break Fix vs Managed Services” is not just about choosing a support strategy but about aligning business needs with the right service approach.


Understanding Break-Fix Servicing

The break-fix model is a traditional approach to IT support. In this model, businesses contact a service provider when a technical issue arises. The provider then assesses and resolves the problem, charging a fee for the service. It’s akin to calling a plumber when a pipe bursts – you get help when needed, but there’s no ongoing maintenance or monitoring.

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Advantages of Break-Fix Servicing

  • No Monthly Fees: Unlike managed services, the break-fix model does not require monthly fees. Businesses only pay when they need support.
  • Simple and Direct: This model is straightforward – you have a problem, you get it fixed.
  • Flexibility: Break-fix offers flexibility, especially for businesses with fewer IT demands.


Disadvantages of Break Fix Servicing

  • Unpredictable Costs: Costs can vary greatly depending on the nature and frequency of issues.
  • Reactive Approach: It’s a reactive model, addressing problems only after they occur.
  • Longer Response Times: Since support is not pre-arranged, response times can be longer, potentially leading to extended downtimes.


The Managed Services Model

Managed IT services offer a more comprehensive approach. Under this model, a service provider MSP (Managed Service Provider) proactively monitors and maintains a business’s IT infrastructure. This service often comes with a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that outlines response times and the scope of services.


Advantages of Managed Services

  • Proactive Monitoring: Managed services focus on preventing problems before they occur.
  • Predictable Monthly Fees: Businesses pay a fixed monthly fee, making budgeting more predictable.
  • Comprehensive Support: This model often includes a wide range of services, from cybersecurity to data backup.


Disadvantages of Managed Services

  • Higher Upfront Cost: The regular monthly fee can be higher than the occasional break-fix servicing.
  • Less Control: Some business owners might feel they have less control over their IT environment.
  • Complexity: The range of services offered can be complex and might require more time to understand and manage.


Break-fix vs Managed Services: Comparing the Two Models

Feature Break Fix Servicing Managed Services Model
Service Approach Reactive – Service provided after problems occur. Proactive – Ongoing monitoring and maintenance.
Payment Model Fee for Service – Pay per issue resolved. Monthly Fees – Fixed monthly payments for services.
Predictability of Costs Variable – Depends on the frequency and severity of issues. Predictable – Fixed monthly costs.
Service Scope Specific to the issue at hand. Comprehensive – Includes a wide range of IT services.
Response Times Can be longer, not predefined. Defined in Service Level Agreement (SLA).
Preventive Measures None – The focus is on fixing existing problems. Included – Focus on preventing issues.
Ideal for Small businesses with less frequent IT needs. Businesses requiring regular, comprehensive IT support.
Long-Term Benefits Cost-effective for infrequent issues. Reduces downtimes, enhances security, and prevents issues.
Control Over IT High – Direct involvement in each issue. Lower – Managed by the service provider.
Scalability Limited – Based on the ability to handle individual issues. High – Easily adjusts to growing business needs.


Transitioning from Break-Fix to Managed Services

Transitioning from the break-fix model to managed services requires careful consideration. It’s important to evaluate your business’s current and future IT needs, the potential impact of downtimes, and the benefits of a proactive IT management approach.

Break Up With Break-fix Services and Choose XL’s Managed Services

Break-Fix vs Managed Services


The decision between “Break Fix vs Managed Services” is a significant one for business owners. While the break-fix model might seem appealing due to its pay-per-issue structure, it often leads to unforeseen expenses and disruptions in business continuity. Managed services, on the other hand, provide a more holistic and proactive approach to IT management.

XL is a leading provider of Managed IT Services. By choosing for your managed services needs, you benefit from our comprehensive support, including enhanced cybersecurity measures, data backup and recovery solutions, and a commitment to rapid response times, as outlined in our Service Level Agreements.

Our team of experts works tirelessly to ensure your IT infrastructure supports and enhances your business operations rather than being a source of stress and uncertainty.

Reach out to XL today for a free consultation, and let us show you how our managed IT services can transform the way you handle your technology needs, allowing you to focus on what you do best – running your business.


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