Custom Vs Managed IT

Are you frustrated with repeated IT problems only professionals can solve? If you are, you are probably ready to transition from a Custom IT model of IT maintenance to a Managed IT Service Provider (MSP) model. But before transitioning to an MSP, you need to know what you’re in for.

Here at CSG Technologies, we have had many conversations with fast-growing businesses transitioning from to managed IT services. However, we’ve also had conversations with companies that have thrived under the break-fix since the beginning and do not need to change the status quo. Because we’ve seen both sides of the coin, we’ve compiled a key list of information you need to know about Custom IT companies versus Managed IT Service Providers. We’ve also included the qualities of companies that benefit the most from a break-fix an MSP model.

By the end of this article, you’ll be able to distinguish the differences between the two, and most importantly, will be able to determine what’s best for your business.

The Custom IT Model: Important Facts

As the name suggests: no break, no fix. The Custom IT model is project-based. Only when something is broken, then it’s attended to or repaired. Break Fix IT is all about solving problems as they appear and allowing company operations to continue afterward.

For example, your company just bought business-grade network equipment for the first time. However, you failed to realize the differences between business-grade and consumer-grade network equipment and need help setting everything up. This is the time the Custom IT technicians are called: to solve an issue you can’t manage yourself.

Essentially, the term “Custom IT” refers to the fee-for-service method of providing information technology (IT) services to businesses. Using this method, an IT solutions provider performs services as needed and bills the customer only for the work done. The service may include repairs, upgrades, or installation of systems, components, peripheral equipment, networking, or software.

The Managed IT Service Provider Model: Important Facts

If the Custom IT model focuses on fixing problems, the managed IT service model does its best to ensure that there isn’t a problem to fix. This business model focuses on preventive, proactive, and real-time maintenance; it doesn’t look at a single issue in the IT infrastructure but rather the IT infrastructure as a whole.

Another way of looking at these models is viewing your IT problem like a broken bone. When a bone is accidentally broken, the ER doctor fixes it and provides a cast for protection and healing. This ER doctor is an example of a break-fix company. But after the cast has been removed, therapy and rehabilitation begin with the supervision of the PCP doctor. They focus on making sure you recover properly and are armed with the correct tools and knowledge to prevent another broken bone. The role of a PCP doctor is equivalent to the role of a Managed IT Service Provider (MSP).

This is why MSPs take a hard stance on free projects and don’t do one-off projects with no contracts: it doesn’t fit with their goal of preventative maintenance.

H It’s a recurring expense discussed during onboarding, as an MSP’s goal is to prevent regular issues and company downtime.

Each business model is apt for specific business scenarios. If you’re wondering which model is best for your business, take a look at the characteristics of businesses that get the use out of each model.

Qualities of Businesses that Use Break Fix Companies

  • Not overly reliant on technology
  • IT issues are not recurring.
  • Simple IT necessities in the company (i.e., tech is only used for emails or printing).
  • Limited budget for technology.
  • Minimal technology users.

Here’s an example scenario where it would be beneficial for you to continue working with Custom IT companies.

Let’s say your company only requires employees to go online to check emails and browse competitor websites. Or maybe your company has a minimal number of users who need to meet online and barely has any workstations to maintain.

These are good situations for your business to stick with the Custom IT model. After all, emails and basic browsing don’t require much preventative maintenance. Plus, only paying out when you need service will save you money.

Qualities of Businesses that Use Managed IT Service Providers (MSPs)

  • Aiming to minimize manual tasks & the mental burden of managing IT
  • Prioritizes investment in holistic, 24/7 IT management
  • Heavy database users
  • Information-dependent and technology-driven
  • Multiple users of technology in their company

Maybe your business checks all of these boxes. Most businesses that see growth start to fall into the trap of being overwhelmed with their technology or have experienced technology fail on them enough times to want other people to manage their IT infrastructure for them.

When the stress of managing your IT starts getting in the way of running your business, that’s a good sign for you to start considering an MSP. Partnering with an MSP is a simple way to increase your team’s security, networking, and communication capabilities but requires investment in both time and money.

The best of both worlds with CSG Technologies

At CSG Technologies we take a customised approach. Our fees are customised to your needs and not packaged in standardised bundles like most MSPs. With standardised bundles, which are designed to include services which may not be needed by your company you pay for products you may not need. Prior to every contract, our team understands and analyses your need and develops a custom package which is suitable for your company, so you pay only for what you need. Get in touch with us here to learn more.

Matt Parks

Matt Parks

About the Author: President & CEO, Matt has over 20 years building and leading high functioning teams
delivering exceptional results