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What are the risks with Break/Fix IT Support?

What are the risks with Break/Fix IT Support?

James Sutton James Sutton
Updated on March 15, 2024, Post a comment

Are IT-related problems constantly in your daily work schedule?

Why do you think that is?

Are your computers or servers outdated?

Or is your IT Support provider not filling up their end of the bargain?

We’ve seen too many businesses suffer these problems due to their choice of IT support. And sadly, it's because they lack the necessary insights and end up hiring the wrong support vendor. When that happens, you end up with subpar IT support. So, you’re left to fend off for yourself most of the time.

Yes, break/fix IT support gets things done when needed. But it can cause risks that could give you more problems in the future. And although they were handy to have in the past, they’re just not dependable now in 2022 and beyond, considering that businesses rely heavily on technology to operate and will need dedicated IT support around the clock rather than an on-call service.

For your business to succeed, you will need proactive IT management.


Commonly with break/fix support, the following are not regularly checked

Break/fix services only cover IT support work requested when someone notices something is not working and asks IT to fix it. Many times, the issue would go unnoticed until it was too late.


Since your provider only shows up when there’s something wrong with your IT, it’s less likely that you’re having sufficient backup and recovery systems that would save you from data loss (unless you’re on top of it yourself).

Managed IT Service Providers are typically the ones who handle this for businesses. They will implement and maintain your backup servers for you. They ensure that every backup is up-to-date with the latest changes and is secured to the latest patches and updates to secure your data. All in all, this will prevent your IT from going down and your businesses from losing profits.

The goal of backups is to prevent data-related disasters, and you won’t get that from break/fix IT support.

Server and infrastructure health

One of the benefits of break/fix IT support is you'll have control over your servers and infrastructure. And since cyber incidents are growing and getting more aggressive by the day, you will need to maintain your IT infrastructure’s integrity from software to hardware.

Did you know that most SMBs fall victim to cyber disasters? And this can range from phishing, ransomware, unplanned downtime, etc.

When your system is compromised, you not only halt operations and lose productivity and profits but also hard-earned customer trust.

There are ways that you can prevent these incidents. And break/fix IT support isn’t one of them since this is not a proactive solution but rather a reactive one.

You will most likely need a dedicated server and infrastructure maintenance solution provided by a reliable MSP that would protect you from cyber threats and all the consequences that comes with them.

But yet again, you have privacy concerns (which we respect) and are most reluctant to share your data with an external IT team. That’s why it’s essential to consider reputation and client success when searching for a reliable MSP.

Warranty renewals

Break/fix IT offers reactive services. It doesn’t offer any ongoing support, such as maintenance.

This set-up causes you to lack the necessary insights into the inner workings of your IT, specifically warranty renewals. And if that is not taken care of regularly, you’ll have problems when the time comes, which you won’t find out until it’s too late.

Since break/fix technicians lack familiarity with your IT system, they’re less likely to see any issues (that are currently or will be) affecting it since they’ll only fix what's needed. But if they do take the extra mile, it will take longer for them to diagnose problems and fix them. In this case, warranty renewals.

And since break/fix vendors get paid by the hour, this ends up with you getting sent a higher bill. Because the longer it takes for them to fix it, the higher the bill would be.

Disadvantages you get with break/fix support

Unpredictable IT Costs

Break/fix vendors charge by the hour, so companies contact them if and only when there’s something wrong. They will only resolve your IT-related issues and nothing more. Their minimum IT services typically don’t include proactive solutions like maintenance and monitoring.

So, you’ll ultimately face the same issue anytime soon with no long-term fix. And that leads to you having to keep paying for an ongoing IT problem (something that’s getting more expensive to maintain) that never seems to end and unpredictable IT costs.

Businesses, from SMEs to large corporations, may or may not have experienced this type of IT support service in the past. And one thing that’s for sure about it is you typically won’t see issues coming your way until it’s too late. This problem creates additional consequences like downtime and cyber security risks.

The major takeaway for this break/fix support risk is the longer your provider fixes an IT problem, the higher your bill will be. And although this is their primary revenue source, you’re losing profit on your end from unpredictable costs and unplanned downtime.

Fickle Cyber Security

Aside from IT costs, another thing also rising is cybercrimes. When your IT is insufficiently guarded, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to cyber disasters that can otherwise damage your company from profit to reputation.

Yes, break/fix IT support is an ideal solution for a one-off IT problem. Something that you’re sure won’t appear again in the future. But since their goal is to get you up and running again, many problems would get overlooked and crawl up undetected until it’s too late.

This is one of the risks with a break/fix IT support. Since there is no monitoring and management, you won’t notice the problem until all your systems are down.

Unexpected Downtime

It only takes one downtime to lose your customer’s trust and profit. And since cybercrimes like ransomware are getting more prevalent, you need to be prepared against them to protect your business.

Because once you click on the wrong link (even just once), your IT will come crashing down. And it’s mostly your employees and customers who get impacted when that happens.

So, every minute is crucial.

Sadly, this is one of the most damning risks with a break/fix IT support.

And to fight that, you need to have someone that’s not only familiar with your IT infrastructure but can implement proactive and long-term solutions to prevent any potential issues now and in the future.

Obstruct Productivity

If your IT is constantly breaking down, your business productivity goes with it. And relying solely on break/fix IT support isn’t going to cut it anymore. You will need to take a proactive approach to solve your IT issues once and for all. An MSP will be the ideal company to give this to you.

Proactive services like helpdesk support, cyber security, and maintenance can go a long way. Especially, if your business solely relies on technology to operate.

Having these under your belt means you and your staff can get more work done without the pesky downtimes.

The failure of any of these IT components can be very costly to your business, much more so than any savings achieved by the lower ongoing cost of using a Break and Fix IT support option. In many cases, businesses can fail if their information is unrecoverable.

Instead, think about IT Managed Services.


How IT Managed Services will help your business grow

This is a model where IT operates in partnership with the business to maximise your investment in IT while break/fix IT support fixes your systems when you encounter a problem.

What’s great about Managed IT Services is you get ongoing support instead of a one-off repair service. Package inclusions typically include 24/7 helpdesk support, maintenance & monitoring, cybersecurity, and consultation. And with that under your belt, you get these perks for your business:

  • Focus on your business rather than IT problems
  • Fixed-priced IT support for creating a predictable monthly plan
  • Create data-driven decisions and plan growth more easily
  • Reliable and proactive IT maintenance
  • On-call IT support whenever you need it

You can read more about that on our Approach to IT page.

It’s important to understand that your IT strategy should reflect your business.

Whether you’re an SMB who doesn’t have enough resources for a full-time IT team or a large corporation that requires additional support, hiring an MSP will get you to where you want to go. They will help you:

  • get access to IT experts
  • provide data-driven business decisions
  • create proactive solutions with long-term goals in mind

Simply being proactive with your IT will do wonders for your business. Not only will you save thousands of dollars on monthly IT bills, but operations will also be more seamless, which improves employee productivity. And this is just the beginning!

With the right MSP, you can scale your goals, turn your business into a digital fortress, and improve your overall IT environment.

The break/fix IT support model is no longer fit-for-purpose in 2022 and beyond. And although it worked out well in the past, it’s not enough to keep your IT afloat now. But you don’t have to go through deserts and oceans to get the IT you deserve.

Our friendly (and good-looking) IT team will help you get there.

We at Office Solutions IT provide business-class IT services to SMBs all over Australia. We are intelligent, innovative, and caring. Rest easy at night knowing that your IT is being taken care of and prepared against cyber disasters.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2015 and has been completely updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.


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