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The term break/fix refers to the fee-for-service method of providing information technology (IT) services to businesses. Using this method an IT solution 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 alternative to break/fix is managed services, which is a service plan, where the customer pays a fixed amount for services covered in the plan and pays additional amounts for repairs or other work which is not covered in the plan.
The equivalent practice in the consumer market is that of out-of-warranty appliances, where the customer can pay for repairs as needed (break/fix) or they can buy an extended warranty (managed services).
An alleged[according to whom?] advantage is the initial lower cost of maintenance. However, since problems are only addressed when they arise, maintenance is reactive rather than proactive. Small problems left unaddressed due to shortsightedness because of cost can balloon to major failures. Unscrupulous providers are incentivized to use inefficient or malicious means to increase break/fix work and thus increase their revenue.
- Rouse, Margaret (November 2018). "What is break/fix?". TechTarget. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
- Thompson, Elaine (2014-01-03). "Managed IT Services vs. Break Fix: Which is Best for Your Small Business?". Retrieved 2019-03-05.
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