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What are the differences between Break/Fix and MSP

Break/Fix vs MSP

Break/Fix vs MSP

The differences between “Break/Fix” and “MSP” (Managed Service Provider) models in the context of IT support and services are significant and revolve around their approach to managing and supporting IT infrastructure. Here’s a concise comparison:


  1. Reactive Approach: Break/Fix is a reactive model where IT support is provided on an as-needed basis. Organizations only seek assistance when issues arise.
  2. Hourly Billing: Services are typically billed on an hourly basis, and costs can be unpredictable and vary depending on the complexity of the problem.
  3. No Ongoing Maintenance: There’s generally no proactive monitoring or ongoing maintenance of IT systems. The provider’s involvement is limited to addressing specific problems when they occur.
  4. Limited Relationship: The relationship between the client and the Break/Fix provider is transactional. Engagement ends once the issue is resolved.
  5. Scalability Challenges: Scaling IT support can be challenging, and negotiations and contracts are often needed for each new issue or project.

MSP (Managed Service Provider):

  1. Proactive Approach: MSPs take a proactive approach to IT management. They actively monitor IT systems, identify and address issues before they disrupt operations.
  2. Subscription-Based Billing: MSPs typically employ a subscription or fixed-fee billing model, providing cost predictability and simplified budgeting.
  3. Ongoing Maintenance: MSPs offer continuous maintenance, security updates, and regular system checks to ensure system stability and security.
  4. Long-Term Relationship: MSPs aim to establish long-term relationships, offering strategic IT planning, technology recommendations, and partnership beyond issue resolution.
  5. Scalability: MSPs can scale their services to meet an organization’s evolving needs, adapting to growth or changing requirements more smoothly.

In essence, Break/Fix is a pay-as-you-go, reactive model with limited ongoing support, while MSPs provide proactive, subscription-based, and comprehensive IT management and support. The choice between the two depends on an organization’s specific needs, budget, and desire for proactive IT management. Many businesses opt for MSPs to ensure reliability, security, and scalability while also benefiting from cost predictability and strategic IT partnership.