Outsourcing your IT: managed IT vs. break/fix services

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As your small business grows, ensuring that all employees have uninterrupted access to the programs they need to remain productive is vital. Amongst searching for an IT solution, you may be debating the difference between IT outsourcing versus hiring an IT manager.

The price of a full-time IT manager might make you question whether or not you should keep IT in-house. Often, it’s not cost-effective for companies with less than 250 employees to hire a full-time IT manager because outsourcing IT is far cheaper and requires much less work. Small businesses may also not need the resources of a full-time manager all day every day, meaning you could be wasting money on a salary you don’t even need.

Just as you would hire an accountant to prepare your taxes or an attorney to handle your legal matters, you also need a professional who can perform essential network maintenance. Outsourcing IT gives you access to that professional help – but on your terms.

Outsourced IT teams typically hire experts you otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford on a salary. In this scenario, you gain IT experts’ resources and knowledge only when needed. However, you must establish a cooperative agreement to succeed with outsourced IT teams. A fundamental understanding of the break/fix model versus managed IT services is crucial.

The Difference Between Managed IT and Break/Fix Services

As the name implies, break/fix IT services only interact with your business when IT problems strike. Break/fix vendors send a professional IT technician to your location to analyze and determine system issues, then provide on-premise remedies.

Managed IT services are outsourced third-party service providers that assume shared responsibility for a company’s entire IT ecosystem. Rather than opt for situational assistance, managed IT creates a holistic, ongoing relationship between a company and the IT servicer. MSPs predominantly work off-premise, using their own network of systems and trained IT experts to monitor and address IT problems as they’re identified – which is often well before they become system failures. If you’re wondering whether or not you should outsource your IT security to a professional, here are five signs it’s time to outsource your IT.

At their core, managed IT services and break/fix services compare and contrast along with the following principles:

  • Cost: Managed services offer steady, stable subscription fees, whereas break/fix are variable
  • Payment Structure: Break/fix technicians charge by the hour in fee-for-service transactions. Managed IT services charge flat monthly rates, giving businesses predictive billings
  • Agency: Both managed IT and break/fix services provide companies a form of agency
  • Stability: Managed IT services offer more overall system visibility and stability. Break/fix models only provide reactive patching or product-specific services.
  • Risk: Businesses that opt for break/fix models trade long-term security and stability for short-term monetary savings. Managed IT contracts don’t take that gamble, preferring a risk-mitigation strategy before problems arise.
  • Help Desk Functions: Managed IT providers have 24/7 monitorization and communication portals. Break/fix services have no such help desk.

The Benefits of Managed IT Services

Keeping your business running at peak performance isn’t an easy task. Slow, unreliable technology can hinder a business’s growth, and deciding which technology needs you should prioritize is much easier said than done. An experienced MSP knows the landscape and can adequately approach your business’s needs with a long-term perspective. They provide a strategic approach that streamlines systems and costs while keeping regulatory and compliance needs at the forefront of their mind. Here are some key benefits of utilizing managed IT services:

  • Controlled costs
  • Greater security measures
  • Compliance enforcement
  • Reduced risk
  • Decreased downtime
  • Competitive advantages
  • Peace of mind


You have a massive pool of IT professionals out there to choose from. But, finding people with the perfect blend of certifications, skills, integrity, and availability is far from easy. You may spend endless hours trying to weed through candidates, and trial-and-error can become quite an expensive hiring strategy.

At Parried, we understand that while IT is undoubtedly an integral part of your business, maintaining its integrity should be in the background while you tend to your company’s primary needs. We are a trusted technology growth partner that seeks win-win relationships with our clients. If you still have lingering questions or concerns about outsourcing your IT, learn more about our managed IT services and how we can help grow your business.