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Break/Fix Breaks Budgets

Break/Fix Breaks Budgets

Computer engineer working on broken console in his office

If you were asked to describe your average tech support experience, chances are that you remember a time when you had to either wait around for the technician to come around, dealing with downtime the entire time; or, worse yet, you had to unplug your technology and schlep it across town to the break/fix store, only to be told that it may be done in the next few days (code for over a week). Ashton Technology Solutions moved from the break/fix model to managed IT services in 2007, and began offering co-managed IT services in 2010. Today, even traditional ‘managed services’ really aren’t enough to secure your business and your data.

Break/Fix Services Were Valuable

50 years ago, when business computing began to take off, break/fix vendors were the only experts in town; and, their knowledge base was with basic hardware maintenance and software systems. As more businesses turned to computers–and, with the introduction of the personal computer–the field shifted somewhat. Now businesses started hiring their own IT technicians, but because of the cost, break/fix vendors were actually the most valuable technology repair service, not that this statement says very much. Break/fix was still problematic:

  • IT costs could quickly stack up because:
    • Recurring issues mean return visits, which mean additional costs.
    • Repeat business sometimes resulted in a lack of comprehensiveness.
    • As billable time increased, cost increased.
  • Final IT costs are only clear on the final invoice, preventing accurate IT budgeting.
  • It discourages continuous providers from upgrading technology or considering future needs.


A new option came about in the mid ‘90s when business’ technology infrastructures were getting more complex. In response, IT professionals were presented with a whole cache of new tools that were fueled by the development of the Internet; more specifically, broadband Internet.

A New Paradigm Emerges: Managed IT

Managed IT services were developed, giving technicians the ability to remotely manage infrastructure. This shift came along about the time when computers became essential tools for the burgeoning business. With IT’s role expanding, the amount of downtime that organizations were experiencing became prohibitive. Managed IT services offered comprehensive and proactive IT management at a price point that was substantially less than the break/fix method; and much more palatable than taking on the expense and added responsibility of hiring a dedicated team of technicians.

As technology improved, more managed service providers began to offer more and more, providing unparalleled value for small and large organizations, alike. The main draw, however, was that a managed IT agreement was billed as a service, providing some stability to IT support costs that under break/fix could see a lot of fluctuation.

Today’s Options

Today’s managed services are powerful, but still not enough to keep up with the amount of data floating around, the number of devices that any one person (or organization) has, and society’s dependence on both. With the constant innovation to remote monitoring and management platforms, along with dynamic automated tools, a managed IT services provider provides businesses with solid IT support. In our opinion, break/fix services are a thing of the past, and so are standard managed services. Today, your provider needs to be comfortable providing you not just the basic solutions, but premium solutions to protect your data, your business, and your investment.  They also need to provide you with more than just remote monitoring and help desk solutions. A true IT partner should be able to offer strategy and insight, while creating an IT roadmap to determine how IT will effect your business (and vice versa) over the next one to three years.

If you’ve moved beyond break/fix (we hope you have) and are ready to move beyond yesterday’s managed IT services, give Ashton Technology Solutions a call at 216 397-4080.


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