In today’s digitally dependent business landscape, SMBs are constantly looking for ways to maximize their IT efficiency while also controlling costs. For some businesses, break/fix IT seems to be the answer. Their model of only coming to repair issues when they arise instead of offering round-the-clock management sounds like it could save you a lot of money.

But is this method for IT support really what’s best in the long run for your business strategy, scalability, and cybersecurity? The answer from tech experts is generally a resounding “no,” and many businesses are realizing break/fix IT companies are failing to apprise them of critical IT benefits that they are missing out on by not choosing managed IT services.

Below we’ve listed the top 5 things a break/fix IT provider will never tell you about your IT, including the needs they cannot fulfill and the vulnerabilities that might come with relying on them. By understanding what a break/fix provider can’t give your business, you can take steps to better fulfill your IT needs by seeking support from someone who can.

1. You should be getting 24/7 support and monitoring.

One of the perceived advantages of a break/fix IT professional is that you’re only paying for them when you need them. It assumes that unless something goes wrong, you don’t need their protection or attention. However, not continually monitoring your systems is exactly how their vulnerabilities become exploited.

Without 24/7 support and monitoring from a Managed Service Provider (MSP), your IT systems can experience backend inefficiencies, security holes, and zero-day vulnerabilities that go unpatched until a visible problem arises. This leaves plenty of time for hackers to take advantage of these weaknesses and capitalize on your data. Proactive monitoring of your systems, or 24/7/365 (round-the-clock) monitoring, is essential to protect your business from increasingly advanced cyber attacks.

2. You’re probably spending more money on IT than you should.

With break/fix services, you never really know what you’re going to end up paying until you have to pay for it. They will come and fix the issue when you need them, undoubtedly, but when they do, you’re left footing a bill no matter how expensive it might be. It’s very hard to budget around costs that are so hard to predict.

With Managed Service Providers, you retain their services at a fixed monthly cost, gaining the expertise and attention of a team at roughly the cost of a single salaried employee. As such, IT costs are much easier to budget around. Additionally, because they take a proactive approach to maintaining your infrastructure, you’ll see reduced downtime and associated costs when you outsource IT management to an MSP.

3. You likely pay for underused or unnecessary technology.

Because you want to get your money’s worth out of whatever devices you purchase for your business, you also want to make sure you’re not wasting money and time on devices you don’t need. Maintaining machines takes money and, without expert advice regarding essential upgrades or replacements, unused and unnecessary technology can get very expensive.

Break/fix IT teams rarely offer advice on how to optimize your infrastructure, meaning your IT costs are likely to end up steadily creeping up over time. Managed Service Providers, however, will help you pinpoint the inefficiencies in your system and, more importantly, make you aware of how older and unused technology can represent a serious vulnerability in your cybersecurity.

4. You should be getting more robust cybersecurity services.

In addition to the cybersecurity vulnerabilities that come with a lack of continual system monitoring, break/fix services also fall short when it comes to implementing other security defenses. Because they act as a fix-it team rather than consultants, their services rarely include consulting and strategizing for long-term cybersecurity plans or disaster recovery plans and simulations. As such, as your business scales, it can be difficult to keep up with critical security maintenance and preparation.

On the other hand, MSPs depend on your having effective cybersecurity since you’re a recurring client. If your systems aren’t kept secure, you’re not likely to keep working with them. For that reason, they offer a secure infrastructure on all sides, layered security architectures, password protections, security awareness training, disaster recovery planning and more.

5. You don’t have a long-term IT strategy, but you need one.

As mentioned, break/fix IT providers rarely offer any kind of consultation on long-term plans with hardware infrastructure or cybersecurity. They don’t have motivation to make your systems more efficient, because their business model depends on waiting until something goes wrong so you call them to fix it. They work on a project-by-project basis, so developing a long-term IT strategy to scale and adapt to current and future business needs is not a priority.

Managed Service Providers are working for you for as long as you’re paying their monthly retainer. As such, they’re motivated to help you improve your short-term and long-term IT strategy that will actually work. They want your IT to meet your current and future business needs and to make it as efficient and scalable as possible so that you will see measurable results from working with them as a provider.

Taking into account the shortfalls of break/fix IT support and what they don’t want you to know about your IT can help your business make wiser decisions when it comes to IT management. Maintaining a healthy infrastructure in today’s always-on world means getting proactive, round-the-clock services that meet the unique challenges of your business, and that’s what reliable Managed Service Providers are committed to offering.