In the broad sphere of IT business support, both managed IT services and break-fix support play a crucial role. As both options resolve issues quickly and compliantly, SMBs and enterprises usually struggle to choose one. There are several fundamental differences in the way managed IT services and break-fix support work.

To make the right choice for your organization, you must have a deep understanding of both options. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of managed IT services and break-fix support to help you make the right decision.

Break-Fix Support

The break-fix model pertains to the practice of getting in touch with professional IT service providers only when you face a problem or need an upgrade.


  • It is a fee-for-service model. You only pay for the services you actually render, without signing any monthly contracts or paying for subscriptions. In addition, the costs of drawing up paperwork are saved.
  • You have autonomy. Organizations that leverage break/fix IT services often let their own IT staff resolve the majority of the system glitches before contacting the external expert. By going for break-fix support, you have the autonomy to choose when you need external help and when you can resolve issues yourself if you have the required time and expertise.  
  • You can ensure data privacy. Network security and data privacy are two aspects that every organization is concerned with, irrespective of its size. Suppose security as a factor to choose an IT support model outweighs all other factors for you. In that case, going for break-fix support can be beneficial as you can get problems fixed without giving the support team access to your internal data. 
  • You have IT control. With direct autonomy offered by break-fix support, you can have complete IT control in the sense that you get to decide the depth of access that the external team will have to your systems.


  • There is budget uncertainty. As you rely on case-by-case transactions, there is no way you can predict the expenditures and you may end up footing higher bills than you anticipated.
  • It does not have a proactive approach. Focused on short-term convenience, the break-fix support model doesn’t have a proactive approach to issues. It is meant to resolve bugs after they surface, thus making it reactive by nature.
  • You may face repeated billings. If your organization meets the same software or hardware issues repeatedly, you will end up getting billed for them every time you get them fixed. As a result, it may cost you a lot more than required.
  • It inhibits productivity. When you leverage break-fix support, you defer your everyday IT activities to allow the external team to fix your system’s issues. If the bugs keep surfacing frequently, this approach can plummet productivity in the long term. 

Managed IT Services

Managed IT Services model pertains to the practice of partnering with a third-party IT provider for managing your organization’s IT needs.


  • The payments are predictable. It functions on a subscription-based model that provides budget certainty. You can pay set monthly fees in increments or at one go.
  • It facilitates stability. A managed services provider’s profitability and productivity depend on keeping their clients’ IT environment secure and stable. Hence, leveraging managed IT services leads to streamlined internal operations, cost-efficient solutions, and stable IT activities.
  • You receive around-the-clock servicesMost managed IT service providers also provide around-the-clock and off-premise services, implying that you can receive 24/7 assistance for all your hardware and software needs.
  • You take a proactive approach to enterprise IT management. Managed IT services work towards making your systems stable and providing guaranteed 360-degree support. Hence, your IT investments are always taken care of, as the approach towards errors is proactive instead of reactive.


  • You don’t have complete control over your IT infrastructure. As the external team is completely managing your systems, the sense of autonomy and control is lost.
  • The initial set-up costs may be high. Managed IT service providers may carry higher up-front expenses (mostly related to the integration of systems) in comparison to the break-fix support model.
  • You have to pay irrespective of usage. This model works on a subscription. Hence, you have to pay the set fees irrespective of the services you leverage.  


In the end, it is about your organization’s needs and which option fits your use case the best. By understanding the pros and cons of both break-fix support and managed IT services and evaluating them against your requirements, you can determine which option is the best for your organization.