What are the different types of IT Support?

There are many different kinds of IT Support Services on the market, and you have to make sure that the one that you choose will adequately support the specific needs of your business. You might have come across a range of terms, such as “break/fix” or “managed service”, each offering a range of support. When purchasing IT Services, you need to understand what the differences are so that you can make an informed decision and choose the correct supplier and service. We’ve put together this handy guide to assist you in weighing up the options so that you can rest easy knowing that your business is completely supported in the case of an IT emergency.

Traditional Break/Fix It Method

The traditional model of IT support is a Break/Fix model, meaning if you (the client) reports a breakage, the IT provider fixes it. This is usually charged on a time and materials used basis, meaning you may get charged more if an issue is more difficult to fix. Depending on the provider, they will either charge on a Pay As You Go basis, or will charge you a block of hours in advance which will be eaten into with each fix that’s carried out on your behalf. Choosing this option means taking on the risk of the costs of downtime and repairs, which could end up being more costly than a Managed Services model depending on the scale of your operation.

Managed IT Support and IT Services

A Managed Service model of IT Support is where the client agrees to pay a monthly premium which includes multiple different services. Some of these will be:

  • A Helpdesk for IT Assistance
  • Thorough monitoring of your IT systems in order to get early signs of impending issues, meaning the provider can intervene and resolve the issue where necessary
  • Strategic Advice
  • Antivirus Software & Malware Protection
  • Patch Management & Software Update
  • Management of backups and provisions
  • Management of Mobile Devices
  • IT System Health reports

Depending on the provider, you may also have a Service Level Agreement, which will set a maximum response time depending on the severity of service requests. A Managed Services IT Support Plan will usually include all support within the monthly fee. Be sure to communicate with your provider in order to thoroughly understand what is and is not included, as it could be possible that you will be charged a strict fee for anything not considered within the range of support. Look through the policy documents for anything referred to as a “Change Request”, as this could be a separate charge. Depending on the needs of your company and the scope of the support, fees may be charged per user, per device, or for larger operations, a “fully managed service” will be provided. As always when choosing a service model, it’s important to carefully compare providers to ensure you are comparing the offerings accurately. This model means that the IT Service Provider fronts any risk associated with the cost of downtime and repairs. This could lead to a more timely resolution of issues, as it is within the service providers best interest to resolve issues quickly and as thoroughly as possible.

Break/Fix Services would be best suited to Businesses who:

  • Don’t have a critical reliance upon IT equipment and systems (your operations won’t cease to function without them)
  • Have 10 or fewer users who can “get by” with a staff member who knows is possibly slightly sufficient with IT
  • Are willing to pay extra costs associated with downtime and repairs
  • Can afford to wait for a technician to respond to their request

Managed Services would be best suited to Businesses who:

  • Want a predictable and fixed monthly fee that covers everything they need to support their IT systems and devices
  • Want fast, priority access to IT technicians in agreed hours
  • Can’t afford an in-house IT professional
  • Want access to an IT department that is fully staffed and highly capable
  • Want a guaranteed Service Level Agreement
  • Want their IT infrastructure monitored to reduce any possible mishaps in order to reduce downtime

Still weighing up the options?

If you are still unsure which option is correct for your business, simply reach out to us at Synergy UK today on 0114 221 6569, and we can walk you through which would be best-suited package for you and your company’s specific needs. We hope the explanations we have provided will allow you to make an informed decision with confidence, but if you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I have 20 years of experience in the IT industry. I have worked as a security analyst, trainer, and writer at Synergy-UK for over ten years.

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