man and woman from a managed service provider look at computer systems

Technology is rapidly advancing. Today, nearly all businesses in the US are dependent on their tech for daily operations—a huge difference from the business landscape even just a couple decades ago. As the way we use our technology in business changes, our IT plans and solutions should be changing too.

That’s why your business needs to work with an IT company that uses modern solutions. An IT provider that uses a break/fix approach simply won’t be able to keep up with your company’s needs. But by working with a Managed Service Provider, you’ll be able to create a plan for your company’s tech and make it an important asset.

Read on below to learn the difference between a break/fix provider and a Managed Service Provider, and why the difference matters to your company.

What Is a Break/Fix Approach to IT?

A break/fix approach to IT is when a tech company steps in to make a repair only after something’s been damaged or caused problems. There is minimal interaction between the client and the IT technician, as the IT company only plays the role of repairman instead of being a part of a more comprehensive IT plan.

What Does a Managed Service Provider Do?

A Managed Service Provider (MSP) provides a proactive, comprehensive approach to IT. An MSP works with you personally to create a specific IT plan for your company, taking your needs and goals into account instead of merely applying a generic solution. Managed IT Services include a range, including data backup and recovery, risk assessments, 24/7 systems monitoring, security against data breaches and cyber threats, IT consulting, and more.

When you work with an MSP, you pay a monthly fee instead of a specific repair cost. In return, you receive access to an entire team of experienced technicians and constant, attentive care for your IT systems.

Risks of Using a Break/Fix Approach

The biggest risk that comes with using a break/fix approach is that you’re taking a reactive stance instead of a proactive one. Break/fix companies won’t monitor your systems, so they won’t be able to fix weak areas and prevent threats ahead of time. Apart from offering you some general advice, there isn’t much a break/fix repairman can do for your systems and security plan as a whole.

If your systems are open to attack, it’s essential to upgrade your security. Last year, 76% of small to medium businesses (SMBs) in the US reported a cyberattack. Moreover, nearly half of 2,000 global respondents in Ponemon’s study said their organization’s IT care was ineffective. Another 39% said they have no incident response plan in place for data breaches or IT emergencies.

That’s another risk of using a break/fix approach: on top of being more likely to suffer from data breaches or successful cyber attacks, you’ll be left on your own to clean up the mess after a disaster and get back to normal operations. Or, if you call in a repairman to fix your problem, you could be charged an exorbitant fee in order to clean up a data breach or similar issue.

In short, a break/fix approach may seem cost-effective initially, but it’s not in the long run. Its reactive approach will cost you peace of mind and money as it leaves you susceptible to threats and weaknesses, resulting in downtime for your business and lost money.

Benefits of Working With a Managed Service Provider

When you hire a Managed Service Provider, on the other hand, they use a proactive approach to prevent threats and issues before they become problematic. MSPs monitor your systems 24/7 so that they will be able to detect anything out of the ordinary, from cyber threats to lagging servers to other issues that could potentially cause your company downtime.

MSPs stay on the cutting edge of cybersecurity, watching out for evolving threats and weaknesses that could be exploited. One example of how an MSP can help prevent disastrous data breaches might be found in the WannaCry ransomware attack. In May 2017, this attack hacked over 200,000 computers globally, including hundreds of hospitals in the United Kingdom.

What some people don’t know is that this attack was easily preventable. Microsoft released a security patch two months before the attack that would have protected systems from this strand of ransomware, but there were obviously many who had still not installed the patch by the time of the attack.

An MSP can alert you to such situations to make sure you’ve installed all the latest security updates and done everything you need to protect yourself. They can also help you back up your data, help with data recovery, and do much more.

Some people may still balk at the idea of paying a monthly fee for an MSP instead of only paying when emergency repairs are necessary. However, MSPs are becoming increasingly popular as the security and financial benefits become more apparent to businesses.

When you work with an MSP, you recruit the experience of a whole team for only the average cost of one in-house IT employee. Plus, the financial benefits of preventing costly data breaches by constant monitoring are undeniable.

Of course, there are many benefits to hiring a Managed Service Provider, and the benefits listed above are just a few of them. For modern businesses, the need for this comprehensive approach to IT instead of the break/fix companies of the past is now apparent.