Break/Fix vs Managed IT Services for Your Chicago Business

managed IT services provider working with business man

If you run a business in the Chicago area, maintaining a secure IT environment is likely a top priority. But while some businesses think they are saving money by using a break/fix method—or hiring IT support to solve problems only as they arise—they are almost certainly losing money in the long run by taking this approach.

Instead, it’s wise to hire a Managed IT Services Provider (MSP) to provide ongoing maintenance for your IT infrastructure. Using managed IT services can help you save money and ensure your systems are protected from advanced cyber threats.

managed IT services provider working with business man

Here are some of the main differences between a break/fix approach and managed IT services and why hiring an MSP is beneficial for your business:

The Break/Fix Approach

The break/fix approach is, by definition, a reactive rather than a proactive strategy. Rather than paying for 24/7 system monitoring or regular maintenance, companies wait for an apparent problem to arise before hiring support to repair it.

While this strategy may have sufficed in the past, in today’s business environment, it is no longer safe or cost-effective. Today’s sophisticated cyber attacks take advantage of even the most hard-to-detect vulnerabilities in your systems, so without regular monitoring and maintenance, you’re much more likely to fall victim to a data breach.

What’s more, data breaches are extremely costly—in fact, in 2019, the cost of a data breach was anywhere between $1.25 and $8.19 million, a hefty sum that most businesses simply can’t afford. By taking a break/fix approach, you put your business at risk of a data breach that would cost much more (and lose many more customers) than if you had just invested in continual system monitoring.

Take the example of medical products company Quest Diagnostics, for instance. In 2018, the firm was the victim of a cyberattack that exposed more than 11.9 million patient records with confidential credit card and social security information. The damage to the company’s reputation was so considerable that following the breach, it had to file for Chapter 11 and liquidate its assets.

The break/fix approach can also harm your company in another way, too, by increasing downtime. When you wait for your network to fail before arranging repairs, you’re allowing downtime to occur rather than finding its root causes and eliminating them to prevent future downtime.

Overall, while it might seem like the break/fix approach is cheaper, it usually winds up costing Chicago businesses more in the long run than using a managed service provider. While you avoid the regular monthly costs of an MSP, you wind up paying in the form of higher emergency repair costs and lost business while your systems are offline.

Hiring a Managed Service Provider

MSPs adopt a fundamentally different strategy. Their priority (and what you’re paying a set monthly fee for) is to identify issues before they lead to security vulnerabilities or downtime. It is a proactive rather than reactive approach to your IT.

MSPs use 24/7 monitoring of your systems to detect new cyber threats before they can cause a data breach. Both software and professionals who work at the agency keep a close eye on all traffic on your network, keeping their eyes peeled for anything that looks remotely suspicious. If there’s a weak link in the chain, they’ll find it and patch it.

Even though there is a regular fee for managed IT services, most companies in Chicago find that they ultimately pay less than they would for the break/fix IT approach. This is primarily because the cost of an MSP is usually less than that of a single salaried IT employee. Because MSPs have multiple clients, they can afford to charge businesses much less for managed services, even though your business gets access to a full-stack team of IT specialists. It’s a win-win.

Second, MSPs dramatically reduce the chance of data breaches and downtime. Not only do they provide state-of-the-art security services, but they also monitor your hardware 24-hours a day. If there’s a server or hard drive issue, their diagnostic tools can identify it ahead of time, replacing components before they cause a network outage. This reduces the costs associated with downtime and potential data breaches.

Third, MSPs help to boost the overall profitability and productivity of firms operating in Chicago. By strategizing your IT according to your business goals, MSPs make overall operations more efficient and scalable for future growth. This saves you in the future from having to fork out large sums of money to revamp your infrastructure to keep up with business growth.

Overall, outsourcing your IT to a Managed IT Services Provider is an investment, not just a monthly cost. Once you begin using the managed service approach, you’ll soon see the effect trickling down to your bottom line.

What To Do Next

If you want to avoid the perils of the break/fix and work with a Managed Service Provider instead, adNET Technology Management can help. At adNET, we handle all of your IT needs and ensure your systems are being monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We dedicate ourselves to getting to know you and your business needs so we can provide unique solutions that align with your strategy. Then we make a series of recommendations designed to ensure that you get the right technical solutions for your organization. Our team is there to handle your IT so you can focus on what’s most important—managing your business.