AD-HOC VS Managed IT Services: What should I do?


First, we need to understand the difference between the two, and why they are two different approaches. By the end of this you should have a clear understanding of which direction your business should go.

What is break fix / ad-hoc IT support?

Ad-hoc refers to a more reactive and unplanned approach to managing it services. It often involved addressing IT issues when they arise without a predefined plan or strategy

There are no formal plans or long-term strategies in place which makes the environment lack predictability and makes it a challenge when it comes to facing IT issues.

This also makes the cost unpredictable and can vary widely on the nature and frequency of the issues. Therefore, it’s difficult for a business to budget for these expenses.

What is managed IT services?

Managed IT is a proactive and structured approach to IT. Typical you will have a range of technicians who have the capabilities and knowledge to service your system as everything has been well documented and managed.

Unlike break fix, there are strategies in place, documentation, and on-going maintenance. This includes security patches, backup monitoring, security software and monitoring of your hardware.

In most cases, stability can lead to cost savings compared to ad-hoc approaches, as issues are addressed before they become a major problem. Managed IT services typically charge a fixed monthly fee and include 24/7 remote support.

Think of managed IT as having you own IT team without the costs of hiring a full-time employee at a fraction of the cost.

So what should I choose for my company?

There are 3 things you want to be looking at before deciding the correct approach for you. As good as managed IT services does sound, it’s not for everyone.

  1. Size and complexity: If you are a small business with less than 5 PC, don’t see yourself growing any time soon and have very simple IT needs, then you may find ad-hoc to be more cost efficient.  

  2. Budget considerations: Ad-hoc may seem to initially be more cost effective, but as you grow the unpredictability with fixing issues and staff support requests make managed IT more cost-efficient in the long run. Also you know what your fixed price is per month, you don’t get a bill shock every time someone comes out to fix your computers.

  3. Risk Tolerance: If your business has a low tolerance for downtime and data loss, then you are more likely to opt for managed IT due to its proactive nature and the focus on IT security. You want someone who has documented your systems and understand how to get them up and running asap.

It really boils down to your size, budget and risk tolerance. If you are a small retailer, tradesmen, café or restaurant then ad-hoc / break fix support would be more suitable for your needs. However, if you have multiple computer systems with multiple staff, and can’t afford to have down time. Then chances are you would fit into managed IT services.