Managed IT Services vs Break-fix Services


As a business grows in Melbourne, its technology needs tend to grow with it. A common way for this to occur is through the purchase of new hardware or software, which can be necessary if your company is growing rapidly. However, many companies are unable to stay on top of all their technology maintenance and are forced to get outside help.

There are two common ways that businesses try to solve this increasingly difficult issue:

1) Managed IT services

2) Break/fix services

Break/Fix Service Providers vs Managed IT Services

The difference between managed IT services and break/fix can be described as such: manage IT services means that the company will take care of issues at whatever time they happen; whether that is during work hours or on a weekend – service call appointments are scheduled to always fit with your schedule. With break/fix, technicians come out right away and fix any problems they encounter without knowledge of what else may be wrong or if their fixes may cause other issues down the road. As technology advances rapidly, you need someone who knows how to not only solve today’s problems but also prepare for future ones so you’re not stuck paying big bucks for an issue that wasn’t properly handled in the beginning.

Many companies are choosing managed IT services over break/fix in order to minimize downtime and outages and to prevent problems from escalating due to improper fixes. Managed IT services help make your network more reliable and stable by providing proactive monitoring that detects issues before they affect you or your clients.

By outsourcing unmanaged services such as managing backups, troubleshooting security vulnerabilities, updating software/hardware, etc., they usually come with a hefty price tag for maintenance fees. Very often these companies will charge exorbitant prices simply because they can get away with it. With managed IT, service providers, you pay a flat rate without any hidden costs or surprises. Not only is this more cost-effective than break/fix services but most managed providers offer unlimited support so there are no unexpected charges. They will handle issues as they arise and you will not be left without help if your internal IT department is unable to resolve the problem.

Managed IT services also allow you to improve productivity and manage costs because they give you access to a team of certified technicians that can provide expertise in many fields. When an issue arises, managed service providers offer round-the-clock customer support which helps ensure that problems are resolved quickly before they become bigger problems. This allows businesses to focus on their core competencies so they can operate at full potential.

Nowadays, managed service providers provide all types of managed services such as managed backups, cloud computing, hosted voice systems, etc., so clients don’t have to worry about those mundane tasks anymore. And because managed service providers are familiar with the technology used by your business, they can deliver services smoothly.

It’s true that managed IT services do not come with an unlimited budget and it costs more than break/fix services, but the benefits far outweigh the extra expense. Overall, if you choose a managed IT services provider, you will be provided with peace of mind knowing that your network is safe and secure. That’s why we at AIPP (Association of Information Processing Professionals) strongly recommend using Managed Service providers for all your computer problems.


Break-fix computer service for smaller businesses

Although this method can work well for smaller businesses in Melbourne, it does have some significant drawbacks that may prevent larger companies from using break/fix services. Break/fix services are often understaffed, causing the problem to get fixed quickly but not persisting after that, which might lead to more downtime at a later date. In addition, break/fix providers only do what’s necessary when they visit your site-if there’s an underlying issue causing your computer problems, they’ll likely miss it unless pointed out. Finally, since these companies don’t typically offer any support after the service call, they do not help prevent future issues.

This means that you’re still on your own when it comes to finding and training staff (and dealing with their mistakes), while also having to figure out how to support software or hardware upgrades. Depending on your level of IT expertise, this can be time-consuming or even impossible without additional funding for staff members.

Get contracts in place

If you are using break/fix services, make sure your contract includes some form of guaranteed response time (for example, if a technician doesn’t show up within two hours of being notified about an issue). It’s also smart to have them document what work is done during each visit so that you have records in case something goes wrong later.

The rise of managed IT services

Managed IT services are increasing in popularity in Melbourne due to the increasing complexity of technology. Instead of hiring your own staff, paying for expensive software or hardware upgrades, and dealing with hiccups on your own, a managed service provider (MSP) will take care of everything for you. If any problems arise, they quickly resolve them before they become a larger issue. They can monitor your systems 24/7/365 using Atera or NinjaOne without you having to worry about hiring someone or calling around to find help late at night. Perhaps most importantly, MSPs have access to more resources than the average business owner would know what to do with, so if something goes wrong that they can’t fix immediately, they simply swap out hardware rather than putting it back the way it was.

When using break/fix, you are essentially at the mercy of your computer tech for hours on end until they arrive to fix the problem. When using an MSP, technicians are constantly monitoring your network so that they can address potential problems before they develop into something larger. This is just one piece of the puzzle that goes into making managed IT services worth every penny in comparison to break/fix services.


What are Managed IT Services?

A managed IT service provider is usually an outside company who will manage or oversee your current in-house IT group. The managed service provider then takes care of the day-to-day small, but important tasks that keep everything running smoothly. Managed providers often come in when an organization has grown out of its current in-house setup or maybe they are just tired of paying for in-house employees and equipment which doesn’t necessarily need replacing every year like it does with in-house IT groups. These days many businesses have decided to go this route so there is a wide variety of options available to you as a consumer for this type of service. There can be a lasting partnership between a business and a managed service provider so it’s a good idea to do your research before deciding.

Extra services

Many businesses in Melbourne don’t realize it but a break/fix service does not include many of the services that can come along with a managed provider. Break-fix is the one who comes in if there is a problem and fixes it, no questions asked. A managed provider will at least ask what caused the issue so they know how to avoid it in the future and may even give you suggestions for upgrades or other changes that would provide solutions without having to completely replace an old device or system. The goal of these types of service providers is to maintain an efficiently working computer system where everything runs smoothly and everything gets done as expected. Managed IT services look at larger issues than break/fix providers and need to work with you to make sure the system is running as efficiently as it can be.


You want your equipment to work at its best all the time. If something goes wrong, you need someone who knows what steps to take and how to solve them without causing bigger issues or causing worry that valuable data may be lost. The key is building good relationships with service providers so they know your business well enough to help out when there are issues. Not all IT service companies know how businesses operate; therefore, knowing your company inside and out helps service providers understand where potential problems could come from so they can look for them before any damage can occur. By utilizing managed IT services you are also able to take advantage of network surveillance systems to ensure the security of your company and your valuable data.

How do MSPs ensure the quality of their work?

MSPs perform regular audits to ensure that they meet any security standards your business demands, including HIPAA requirements for medical businesses. They will often take industry-leading steps to secure your systems and data, such as using two-factor authentication processes, keeping up-to-date with patch management, and other services many cloud providers offer today. If you need additional help meeting compliance standards, an MSP will be able to assist you in complying with all necessary regulations at a moment’s notice.

Real-life scenarios where MSPs outshine break-fix services

Software upgrades/patches

Let’s say it’s time to upgrade software. With an MSP, it’s simply a matter of informing your provider that you will need certain software by a given date. They will then take care of upgrading all systems within the time frame you have specified. However, if you are using break/fix services, you must contact each provider to upgrade one machine at a time. This can be time-consuming and expensive over the extent of several machines or devices.

Network or computer issues

If there is ever an issue with your network or computer system, an MSP will often have technicians ready for dispatch in case something happens during off hours. Even better, they are likely monitoring your system constantly so they can proactively address any potential problems before they escalate out of control. If only we could say the same about break/fix services.

Tips for choosing the right MSP

It’s actually not that difficult to find an MSP that offers these services, however, it is important to shop around so you are able to get the best service at the most affordable price possible. One of the main advantages of using a managed IT services provider rather than working directly with an IT support company is the ability to have one point of contact for all of your business needs.

Gather a list of options

The first task when looking into hiring a Managed Service Provider would be getting a list of several good options available in your city or state. There are many ways to go about this, you could ask friends or family if they know someone who has worked with an MSP before and can recommend them, or if you have experience with them yourself that’s even better because you would be able to tell others about your personal experience. Another option available online is reviewing MSP’s located nearby on websites, where users can go and write reviews of different companies they’ve worked with past clients.


Once you have a list of several good MSP’s it’s time to narrow down your selection by comparing their website statistics. Most MSP’s provide information about themselves including what product lines they carry, how much funding they received to start the business, if the Managed IT provider has any certifications that shows that they are well versed in technology , and other important facts like how many employees work for them currently . The more positive reviews an MSP has written about them online, the better chance you have at finding a provider that can help your business.

Selection process

With this information about what Managed IT provider is best for your organization, it’s now time to look into the different types of ways those companies provide services. Certain providers may specialize in certain areas of technology or be more experienced with specific software packages or hardware platforms. When it comes to maintaining an enterprise-level organization, having a good team of engineers on staff means they will always be there when something goes wrong and need to be worked on immediately. While another MSP might only have one engineer on their team who knows how to work on a specific type of technology that isn’t widely used by many organizations which could mean hours lost during business hours due to the fact that he only has one engineer who knows how to work on this type of technology.


Study MSPs packages and offerings

MSPs usually offer a number of different packages for their customers to choose from based on how much support or granularity they need within their organization or business. There are often corresponding rates depending on what package you select as well, so there can be significant cost savings if you opt for a higher level of service rather than a lower level.

Advantages of Managed IT Services


Managed services providers have armies of engineers at their disposal, so they can take care of any problem that arises that day instead of possibly wasting hours or days due to a lack of staff who know how to fix a specific problem. This is why it makes sense for companies to use managed IT services.


When you get rid of having all these responsibilities in terms of maintaining the systems and software, an enterprise can save money by not hiring more employees or even outsourcing some tasks because there’s no need when they use Managed IT service providers. When you factor in all these cost savings along with increased security measures provided by MSPs, it only makes sense for organizations large and small to outsource the management of their IT infrastructure.

Scalability and adaptability

Managed IT services can even provide benefits such as increased scalability and adaptability for organizations, which can be extremely important if a business keeps growing or needs to start outsourcing its manufacturing.

Focus on your business

There are numerous benefits of outsourcing your managed IT services. For one, by outsourcing your IT infrastructure to a Managed IT Services provider you’re able to focus more on what matters most in business, just running the day-to-day operations of the company.


Now, some companies prefer to handle everything in-house especially when it comes to their network administrators or systems engineers since they want complete control over their data and security, but there are also many disadvantages with doing it this way. One of the main problems is that you have too many people who need training on managing a network, along with having major firewalls put in place to protect all of your sensitive information.

Tools for all jobs

Another problem with self-management is that employees might not always have the proper tools for the job, which can lead to an inefficient running of your business. You could have employees coming in on weekends or logging in during off-hours trying to figure out why a certain server isn’t working, wasting valuable time when they could be doing something more productive.

Managed IT services are what most companies are moving towards in order to help fix these issues by relying on outside service providers that you hire to manage all of your IT-related needs.

What are the disadvantages of managed IT services?

Even though managed IT services can be much better than break-fix services, there are still some disadvantages:

  1. Your business needs to have a long-term commitment because managed IT service contracts tend to be longer than other types of IT support agreements and the costs may seem too high for businesses that do not use technology very often or at all. This is why it is important to think about whether your business really benefits from these kinds of equipment before purchasing one or not.
  2. There is not always complete transparency in regards to what you might be getting yourself into because part of the agreement means that the company providing them will fix any computer problems on behalf of your company however they deem fit. This means that if your small business does not many computers or if the agreement only covers computers that only work when they are fixed a certain way, you might end up getting stuck with a repairman making frequent visits to your office.
  3. Managed IT services also means that the company providing them owns all of your equipment and this could make it harder for a company to be flexible in regards to what type of business they want to run because the IT solutions provided by the service provider have been arranged in such a way that it is best suited for other types of businesses.
  4. Another major downside for small businesses who choose to outsource their IT services rather than trying to manage it on their own is that any issue that crops up with an item throughout the duration of the agreement will be handled by the service provider.
  5. If a company has a contract with a managed IT services provider, they will typically have to sign a legal document stating that even if it is found out later on that the item their business was using malfunctioned because of some kind of default setting or something similar rather than the damage done through normal use, it will not be covered under the warranty agreement.
  6. Because of all of these pitfalls and more, you can often find many small businesses who need better solutions for their IT services but are finding it difficult to do so because of how expensive they would end up being when compared to hiring expert help from time to time when they have an issue arise.

Advantages of break-fix IT services

When your computer malfunctions, one of the most frustrating things is finding an efficient way to fix it. Break-fix services are there to help you in these times of need. You can expect they will come out to your place and diagnose the problem within 24 hours. They also have a number of payment options, including offering you a loaner item, so that when they do fix the problem they don’t leave you high and dry with no means of getting any work done or being able to play games online. Even better is if you have purchased an extended warranty on your device, most companies offer Break Fix service for free when this happens instead of charging you more money on top of what is already paid for an extended warranty.

Break-fix services are good for small businesses that don’t have very much money to spare or whose employees won’t find it convenient to handle their own problems. The biggest positive of this system is the costs associated with Fix-it contracts are usually relatively low compared with what they charge per hour on top of the initial fee, so if you only have a few issues every once in a while, this may be your best bet.

You only need to pay for services done.

Since break/fix services are billed by clock, you can conserve your budget.

Break/fix services already have a good reputation for being cost effective and efficient. They also have a lot of experience in fixing computer problems so they do the job quickly and effectively.

Disadvantages of break fix IT services

You’ll need to wait around, sometimes up to several days or weeks, to get things done…

If there is an emergency on your network, you’ll need to wait until someone is available before they can start work. This could be hours or even days depending on the time of day that it occurs, how far away the technician lives from you etc. Also since your business relies heavily on technology , this may put them out of commission for a period of time which can be inconvenient and stressful.

However, since not all problems can be fixed over the phone and some issues will come up more frequently than others, break-fix services may not actually save you any money at all. Also, keep in mind that these accounts do require contractual obligations which means you’ll have to pay even more if things don’t work out.

Managed services may not be for everyone but the payoff can be worth it if you have a lot of time to burn on small issues or just don’t want to worry about small problems that come up every now and again, as this is a sure-fire way to prevent them from becoming big ones.


What should you look in a break-fix computer service?

Break-fix IT services are the best option for any company that needs an “on call” service. When it comes to your business, you need someone who is available whenever you need them and has enough experience to sort out most problems quickly.

Break-fix services should be able to:

  • Provide remote access – sometimes the problem isn’t with a computer but rather a router or internet connection, if you’re having connection issues (and other people aren’t) then someone from the office will probably need to go up and check things out anyway. Having remote access means that this can be done remotely which is better for everyone. However do make sure that before giving anyone admin rights they’ve been through some kind of identification processes like two-factor authentication (Google Authenticator, Authy, etc) or a basic password strength test to make sure that they’re not going to be an easy target.
  • Set up automatic updates – it’s the little things that can get you into trouble if you don’t get them done. Make sure that your staff is ticking all of the boxes in regards to security and software updates across any network-connected devices. This will ensure that when something comes out with a patch (which usually fixes multiple issues in one go) everyone is protected. If there isn’t someone who can do this then it could mean the difference between business continuity and closure so look for professional IT service providers who keep themselves updated on new products and trends in technology.
  • Lend equipment when necessary – sometimes when you move into a new office location, there isn’t enough equipment to go around. When this is the case, you might need to hire a temporary server or buy an extra computer for someone who needs it while everyone else gets by with what they’ve got. Be careful when hiring out equipment though because if something happens to it then your business could be liable.
  • Weigh up costs – break-fix services may seem like a far better deal at times but make sure that you are looking at the bigger picture before signing on the dotted line. You will receive service from IT companies without having any legal obligation to pay them which means that they are working only because they want to get paid for their knowledge and expertise in the industry, not because you have signed a contract that demands their services.
  • Break-fix IT support is a paid service in most cases and you will be required to pay the full amount before they will undertake any work for you, whereas managed services providers offer packages with different features at varying prices meaning that you have a lot more choice from the offset.

In addition to this, with break-fix support, it is likely that they will need access to your network which means that you are going to have some level of responsibility when it comes to ensuring that their security levels are up to scratch – something which could put your entire business at risk if security is compromised. With managed services, however, there is no need for these worries as all of these matters are left up to the provider meaning that customers aren’t liable for these potential issues.

What’s more, is that you will save money when using a break-fix IT services provider. This is because they don’t have to offer additional support once they have sold you the service meaning that if something breaks, it could be two or three days before the issue is resolved – which in turn means that your business will suffer from downtime and even lost revenue. With managed services, however, any problems are fixed within 30 minutes meaning that loss of revenue wouldn’t occur and your employees can get on with their jobs without any interruptions whatsoever.

Tips to all business owners

No matter which way you choose there are certain things that both options require you to do as a business owner:

Make sure everyone in your office has their own login details for every piece of hardware they use or access on a regular basis – this will make it easier for them to track issues and fix them quickly, without someone having to run around finding passwords, etc. Make sure every person knows how to use the internet – show people where your internet connection is and how to type into Google ‘how do I..’ questions. Fix any issues immediately. A good IT company will have a phone service that you can contact someone on at whatever time is most convenient for your office, even if it’s outside of normal working hours. This means that no matter what time the internet goes down or the printer runs out of ink, someone should be available to sort things out right away.

Install anti-virus software and keep it up to date – an IT company should be able to do this for you but make sure they are doing so regularly, every day would be preferable! It’s also essential that everyone knows how to use anti virus software too – once again, Google ‘how do I..’ questions!

If you are based in Melbourne and looking for a reliable small business solution provider, look no further!

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...