What makes Managed Services different from “traditional tech support”?

To make a comparison analogy, imagine a bank building a great structure, installing bulletproof safes, watching the assets 24-7, employing security specialists and security guards, and protecting bank customers and their valuables… rather than just calling the police after they get robbed! In a nutshell, Managed Services is a planned, proactive model of support, and not a chaotic, reactive break-fix approach.

Small to Medium size businesses do not always have the luxury of having a full-time IT department that would take care of everything, from soup to nuts. SMBs traditionally get tech support when something breaks and needs fixing, a “break-fix model” (like calling the cops after being robbed). However, in recent years, this approach gave way to a more proactive approach (keeping security up at all times to keep your business running).

Let’s review 3 major differences between traditional break-fix and managed services:


1. Range of Services:

In a traditional reactive approach to IT services most often than not SMBs services rely on a “computer guy”. Sometimes because companies think they can better afford one person who only comes when they need them. This approach comes with limitations: depth of knowledge, experience levels. diversity of options and availability of tech support depends on just one or a couple of people.

A proactive Managed Services model gives businesses and organizations access to a team of consultants, computer engineers, and technicians. It is almost like having a fully staffed IT department that has professional IT personnel with various lines of expertise and meaningful experience to handle any tech support challenge, from setting up and monitoring the network, to planned maintenance and vendor management. MSPs are also partnering and working closely with multiple IT vendors, staying up-to-date on all things IT.

2. Service Model:

The Managed Service support approach is proactive rather than reactive.

In a traditional reactive approach many businesses setup their network, bring it to a functional (sometimes “good enough”) condition and then leave it be… until a crisis occurs. Companies that choose this path typically disregard their IT technology until  a major issue impacts their  mission-critical business operations. So, when something breaks, they call someone to fix it.

A proactive Managed Services model is about continuously and consistently performing the services to keep computer network systems operations at their best performance. Schedule, routine maintenance, timely patches, regular updates and system work are performed to keep the network – and business operations – running smoothly. Systems are monitored and issues are indicated, reported, and addressed most of the time prior to a major critical event.  Some services may be performed remotely, and when needed, techs are dispatched to resolve the issues  before the business operations are affected.

3. Cost-Effectiveness:

In the traditional reactive approach, the IT vendor makes their money when you are in trouble, charging an hourly, sometimes emergency rate to work on the problem.

Traditional IT vendors lose money when your computer network works, and make money when something breaks and needs fixing.

A proactive Managed Service model is 180° opposite. It is different because it is based on a performance guarantee, and Managed Services Provider charges you a flat fee for their continuous service.

MSPs actually lose money when something in your network need to be fixed. Managed Services companies make their money when everything works as it should. 


Managed Services are about preventing the problems and ensuring business continuity, rather than reacting to crisis in a break/fix mode that is often ineffective.


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