Break-Fix vs. Managed Services: A Closer Look


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IT support is the need of the hour for businesses aiming to stay competitive, efficient, and agile in today's market. With worldwide IT spending projected to grow by 6.8% in 2024, according to Gartner, the emphasis on strategic IT investment is increasing, highlighting the pivotal role of technology in business success.

The decision between opting for break-fix services or managed services represents a strategic crossroads that can significantly influence a company's operational resilience, cost management, and growth trajectory. 

As  Kent Morris, President of Gravity Systems, says, “The decision between opting for break-fix services or managed services is more than a mere operational choice; it's a strategic decision that significantly impacts a company's bottom line, operational efficiency, and its ability to innovate and grow. We support companies on both ends of the spectrum.”

This blog aims to dissect the key differences between break-fix services and managed services, shedding light on how each model aligns with different business needs and long-term goals.

What are Break-Fix Services?

Break-fix services represent the traditional approach to IT support, where assistance is sought and provided on an as-needed basis. Essentially, when a piece of equipment fails, or a system crashes, a technician is called in to diagnose and fix the issue. 

This model is transactional, with businesses incurring costs for each service call, including labor and parts, without any commitment to ongoing maintenance or proactive system monitoring. 

It's akin to calling a plumber to fix a leak; the problem is addressed, but there's no ongoing relationship or maintenance plan to prevent future issues.

What’s Included in Break-Fix Services?

The scope of break-fix services can be quite broad, covering everything from hardware repair and software troubleshooting to solving network issues. 

Services are typically rendered on a case-by-case basis, with fees applied for diagnostics, labor, parts, and any other resources required to resolve the issue. While this model can offer flexibility and may seem cost-effective in the short term, it lacks the predictability and security that comes with regular, proactive IT management.



Break-Fix Services and the Decline in Popularity

The break-fix model has experienced a decline in popularity, evidenced by the shift in market dynamics towards managed services. As businesses increasingly recognize the limitations and inefficiencies of reactive IT support, the demand for more comprehensive and proactive IT solutions has grown. 

This report by MarketsandMarkets highlights this trend, indicating a significant market shift from the traditional break-fix approach to a more managed, service-oriented model. 

This decline reflects the evolving needs of businesses for IT support that not only addresses immediate issues but also anticipates and mitigates future challenges.


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What are Managed Services?

Managed services offer a stark contrast to the break-fix model, providing businesses with comprehensive IT support under a contract. This model is proactive, with Managed service providers - MSPs offering continuous monitoring, management, and maintenance of a company's IT infrastructure.

Managed services are designed to identify and address potential issues before they become problems, ensuring that businesses experience minimal downtime and their technology aligns with their strategic goals.

This approach offers a partnership rather than a transactional relationship, with service providers acting as an extension of the client's business.

What’s Included in the Managed Services Model?

Managed services encompass a wide range of IT support functions, including but not limited to, IT support, IT consulting, proactive monitoring and maintenance, helpdesk support, cybersecurity services, data backup and recovery, and cloud services.

The aim is to provide businesses with a comprehensive IT solution that covers all aspects of technology management, offering peace of mind and freeing up internal resources to focus on core business activities.

 This model is characterized by fixed monthly fees, offering predictability in IT spending and shifting the focus from fixing problems to preventing them.

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Managed Service and the Rise in Popularity

The rising popularity of managed services is a testament to the growing recognition of its benefits among businesses. A significant shift toward managed IT services is evident, with managed service spending having risen from 15% in 2020 to 18% in 2023.

This shift is indicative of a broader trend towards outsourcing IT management to specialists who can provide comprehensive, proactive support, allowing businesses to leverage technology more effectively to achieve their strategic objectives.


Break-Fix vs Managed Services: Feature Differences


Break-Fix Services

Managed Services

Billing Model


Fixed monthly fees or hybrid approach

Service Approach




Not included

24/7 monitoring included


Reactive measures

Proactive cybersecurity measures


As-needed basis

Continuous support

Predictability of Costs




Short-term fixes

Long-term solutions & strategy







Strategic IT Planning

Not included



Make the Right Choice With Gravity Systems By Your Side 

Break-Fix Services vs Managed Services

Selecting the right IT support model is crucial for any business aiming to thrive in today's ever-evolving technological landscape. 

The choice between break-fix services and managed services is not just about immediate IT needs; it's about setting the stage for future growth, operational stability, and technological innovation. 

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At Gravity Systems, we bring over 26 years of expertise to the table, offering customized IT solutions that cater specifically to your business requirements.

Let us help you navigate the complexities of IT management. Reach out today for a free consultation, and embark on a journey to transform your IT operations into a robust, scalable foundation for your business's success.

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