Break-Fix Vs. Managed Services: Understanding the Key Differences


When it comes to IT support, there are two primary models businesses tend to consider: the traditional break-fix model and the modern managed services model. Both have their strengths, but they also cater to different needs and business scenarios. Understanding these key differences is crucial when deciding which model is the best fit for your business.

Understanding Break-Fix Services

The break-fix model is an IT service model where IT support is essentially on-demand. When something breaks (hence the name), you call up an IT technician or a support company, and they come to fix the problem. The service is typically charged on an hourly basis or per service incident.

Pros and Cons of Break-Fix Services


  • No Monthly Fees: Pay only for the services you use when you need them.
  • No Commitments: There are typically no contracts or commitments, offering flexibility.


  • Unpredictable Costs: IT issues can arise unexpectedly, leading to unanticipated expenses.
  • Reactive Support: Support is provided only when something goes wrong, which could lead to longer downtimes.

Understanding Managed IT Services

Unlike the break-fix model, managed IT services offer a proactive approach to IT support. In this model, a managed services provider (MSP) like Seventh Wall takes responsibility for your IT infrastructure on an ongoing basis for a fixed monthly fee.

Pros and Cons of Managed IT Services


  • Predictable Costs: Monthly fees are fixed, making budgeting easier.
  • Proactive Support: MSPs monitor your systems 24/7, often identifying and fixing issues before they can impact your business.
  • Comprehensive IT Solution: Managed services often include a wide range of services, from cybersecurity to server management and more.


  • Monthly Fees: Unlike the break-fix model, you pay a monthly fee regardless of whether you’ve had any IT issues.
  • Contracts: Managed services usually come with a contract, which might not suit all businesses

Key Differences Between Break-Fix and Managed Services

Now that we have a basic understanding of what each model entails, let’s highlight some key differences:

  • Payment Structure: With break-fix, you pay for each issue or service individually, whereas managed services typically charge a flat monthly fee.
  • Support Approach: Break-fix services are reactive, addressing issues as they arise. Managed services, on the other hand, are proactive, monitoring your systems continuously to prevent issues before they occur.
  • Scope of Services: Break-fix typically addresses specific issues or tasks, while managed services offer comprehensive IT support, including but not limited to, cybersecurity, server management, and network solutions.
  • Relationship: A break-fix arrangement is typically transactional, dealing with issues as they come. In contrast, a managed service provider is more of a partner, working closely with your business to align IT strategy with business goals.

Choosing Between Break-Fix and Managed Services

Choosing the right model depends on your specific needs and circumstances. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Business Size and Complexity: Larger businesses or those with complex IT needs may benefit more from the comprehensive, proactive approach of managed services.
  • Budget Constraints: If your budget is very tight and IT issues are infrequent, the pay-as-you-go nature of break-fix might be appealing.
  • In-House IT Expertise: If you lack in-house IT expertise, the comprehensive support offered by a managed service provider might be invaluable.
  • Risk Tolerance: With break-fix, there’s always a risk that a major issue could lead to significant downtime. Managed services mitigate this risk with proactive monitoring and prevention.

Why Seventh Wall Advocates for Managed IT Services

At Seventh Wall, we believe in the power and value of managed IT services. We’ve seen firsthand how proactive IT support can not only solve problems but prevent them, offering businesses greater peace of mind and allowing them to focus on what they do best.

Our managed services model provides a holistic approach to IT, encompassing everything from cybersecurity to server management, network solutions, and more. We work in close partnership with our clients, aligning our IT strategy with their business goals to drive success and efficiency.

Choosing managed services isn’t just about fixing problems; it’s about enabling possibilities. It’s about leveraging technology to its fullest potential, so your business can reach its fullest potential too.

The Seventh Wall Difference

When you choose Seventh Wall as your managed service provider, you’re not just choosing IT support; you’re choosing a partner committed to your success. Here’s what sets us apart:

  • Personalized Attention: We pride ourselves on providing personalized attention to ensure your satisfaction. Our dedicated, caring team becomes an extension of your business, always ready to assist you.
  • Proactive Cybersecurity: We don’t wait for threats to hit; we actively work to prevent them. This includes deploying cutting-edge tools and systems to monitor and protect your workstations, servers, networks, and more.
  • Comprehensive Infrastructure Management: We ensure the smooth operation of your entire IT infrastructure, monitoring security issues, patches, and hardware failures to keep your systems running at peak performance.
  • Empowerment Through Education: We believe in empowering your team with the knowledge to minimize risks. This includes ongoing training and resources designed to enhance your understanding of IT and cybersecurity.
  • Million-Dollar Warranty: We’re so confident in our services that we offer a $1 or $2 million Ransomware Resilience Warranty for peace of mind.

Conclusion: Making the Right Choice for Your Business

Break-fix and managed IT services each have their merits, and the right choice depends on your specific business needs. However, the proactive, comprehensive, and personalized approach of managed IT services offers significant advantages that can help your business flourish in today’s digital landscape.

At Seventh Wall, we’re ready to become your trusted IT partner, offering the tools, expertise, and dedication to help your business thrive. If you’re ready to experience the benefits of managed IT services, we’d love to hear from you. Reach out to us to start a conversation about how we can serve your business.