What Are The Different Typers of IT Support Services? | Reach IT

What are the different types of IT Support Services

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When buying IT Support services, you will often see terms such as “break/Fix” or “managed service”. You may be wondering what the difference is and what is right for you. If you want to buy IT Support services you need to understand the differences so you can decide on the correct service and thus the correct supplier. In this article we aim to help you with this decision even if this means you decide we are not the correct partner for you.


This is the traditional model of IT support and exactly as the name suggests, the client reports a breakage and the IT provider fixes it.

Support will typically be charged for on a time and materials used basis.

IT providers will either charge on a Pay As You Go basis, or through charging for a block of hours in advance which will be eaten into with each fix that is carried out.

With this model the client takes on the risk of the costs of downtime and repairs.

Managed Services

The Managed Service model is where the client agrees to pay a monthly fee for multiple services. The managed services will include items like:-

  • IT Support Helpdesk
  • Monitoring of IT systems to get early signs of impending issues. The provider then intervenes and resolves the issue before it becomes a problem
  • Malware Protection (Antivirus software)
  • Software Update Patch Management
  • Backup provision and management
  • Mobile Device Management
  • Reporting on the health of your IT Systems
  • Strategic Advice

Many providers will have Service Level Agreements which set maximum response times for different severities of service requests.

Normally all support is included within the monthly fee although some providers will apply strict charges for anything that is not considered within the scope of Support. With these providers changes are sometimes referred to as “Change Requests” and are chargeable.

The monthly fee can be charged per user, per device or for very large contracts for a “full managed service”

With the Managed Service model, you need to carefully compare providers to ensure you are comparing apples with apples!

With this model the IT Service provider takes the risk of the cost of downtime and repairs. It is in the interest of the service provider to resolve issues quickly and before they present as problems.

Who should buy Break/Fix services

  • Businesses that don’t have a critical reliance upon IT equipment and systems
  • Very Small Businesses of less than 10 users that can “get by” with a staff member who, “knows a bit about IT”.
  • Business that are prepared to pay the costs of downtime and repairs
  • Businesses that can afford to wait for a technician to respond to their request

Who should buy Managed Services

  • Businesses that want a predictable monthly fee for everything they need to support their IT systems and infrastructure.
  • Businesses that want priority access to IT technicians in agreed hours
  • Businesses that can’t afford an in-house IT professional
  • Businesses that want access to a fully staffed IT department
  • Businesses that want guaranteed Service Level Agreements
  • Businesses that want their IT infrastructure monitored to reduce downtime.

Which is the right service for you?

Ultimately only you can decide what is right for your business. But we hope the explanations we have provided above will help you with your decision. If you still have some questions about what is right for you then please reach out to us and we will help you make the right decision for you.