A break/fix service provider is an external company specialized in offering IT support to other businesses. A single outsourced consultant is a single individual that specializes in offering IT support to businesses. These two types of IT support providers are grouped together because they generally present the same benefits and challenges.
Break/fix service providers and single outsourced consultants deliver a reactive, on-demand support once a computer problem has already occurred. Users must call to notify those break/fix providers for help and pay a fee for each specific service call.
Break/fix providers are only working (and paid) when there is an issue. In contrast, your business keeps employees working and productive when issues are prevented from happening in the first place. These two perspectives are conflicting. If break/fix support providers act in an advisory capacity to prevent a problem, they are taking future business away from themselves. It’s not a question about the integrity of the provider, it is just that the break/fix model puts the respective interests of the support provider and the business at odds.
Many break/fix providers are also single person shops and face the limitations of bing a single person. One person can only work on one IT issue at a time. If two people are having a problem at the same time, someone will be waiting for access to IT support.
In order to make sure they have consistent business, a break/fix provider or single outsourced consultant must keep on their roster a lot of clients who always have problems. These providers struggle to provide a responsive service to all their clients because they are constantly booked.