Good IT support is critical to helping your business to operate efficiently and securely. However, for businesses that are new to IT services partnership, it can be hard to understand the pricing structures and long-term costs in each of the popular IT services models: managed IT services, break-fix, and internal IT hiring.
This article should teach you everything you need to know to pick the right type of provider and budget for IT support.
Most business owners understand the importance of having a reliable IT support team. When your business technology isn’t functioning well or crashes, your customers get unhappy and productivity grinds to a halt.
Let’s start by looking at the pros and cons of each of the above-mentioned models to help you make the best decision for your business.
With in-house support, there’s always an experienced team of professionals on hand. This means your team can rest assured, knowing that their technology demands are being taken care of quickly and efficiently.
However, in-house tech support is by far the most expensive strategy.
According to Indeed, IT managers, system analysts, network administrators, and information security experts rank among the most in-demand non-programming jobs in the IT sector. Their primary task is to keep your business infrastructure up and running so that other departments remain productive, and customers can utilize your technology without issue.
The average cost to fill these in-house positions is astronomical by small and midsize business standards. Network administrators today have an average salary of $71,000. The average system analyst makes about $79,000 annually. An IT manager commands about $86,000, while information security personnel average about $93,000.
To staff these four positions alone will cost your business nearly $330,000 per year. But high salaries are just the start; you’ll also need to budget for the hidden costs of recruiting, hiring, training, healthcare, and other perks. All things considered, just staffing four IT support positions—a realistic requirement for a growing small business—could cost over $500,000 annually.
Did you know that the average employer spends $4,000 and 24 days to hire a new employee?
But what happens if your business needs advanced tech support skills in mobile management, cloud computing, or cybersecurity that your internal team lacks? Even after that significant investment in your IT team, you may still need to hire an hourly consultant to augment your team.
The problem is that hiring all the IT skills needed to serve modern businesses takes a lot of work to achieve and is impractical. Beyond just skillsets, frequent turnover and the need to constantly upskill your team make running IT internally a major challenge for all but the largest tech-specific enterprises.
A so-called “freak-fix” IT services provider is a model of support where you hire staff on an as-needed basis. When something breaks, you contact the provider who sends over an IT consultant or technician to troubleshoot and fix the issue.
The break-fix service model is often considered a convenient and inexpensive option. If your network continues to run reasonably well, you could have no IT support bill whatsoever!
However, this is rarely the case. In reality, break-fix support is typically much more expensive in the long run than a monthly service package from a reputable MSP.
One reason why hourly IT consultants end up being more expensive is that their revenue is tied closely to how often their clients need help getting out of trouble. Naturally, they want to spend more time working on your problems so they can earn more money. It’s easy to see how this could motivate unethical behavior.
The other reason that IT consultants end up costing more is that their support is reactive, not proactive.
The managed IT services model, which we’ll examine below, is built to maintain the health and stability of your network and not respond to problems as they arise. That means less time waiting for your IT guy to call back to you, less time waiting for your computers to work, and all that means saved money.
A managed IT service provider (MSP) delivers IT services to businesses on a proactive, flat, monthly cost basis. Unlike hourly IT consultants, the goal is to prevent IT issues from arising in the first place.
MSPs keep their clients’ systems up and running by working proactively to prevent problems before something goes wrong. Businesses receive regular maintenance and support via remote monitoring and management (RMM). These tools allow MSPs to keep an eye on their clients’ IT infrastructure around the clock, ensuring that issues are detected and resolved quickly.
Such a proactive approach can save businesses a lot of money as it prevents minor problems from escalating into more significant, more costly matters.
MSPs commonly charge clients for monthly support based on a per-device, per-user basis. The flat-rate pricing model is perplexing to some businesses. Why should they pay for a month-to-month service package when nothing is going wrong?
The primary reason is that it helps maintain the health of your network infrastructure. But there’s another important reason, too, which is that it helps facilitate a feeling of win-win partnership between you and your MSP.
A fixed service fee—with no hidden charges or fees—means the MSP is making the same amount of money, no matter how much work they’re doing. Businesses partnered with an MSP can rest assured that their provider is always working with maximum efficiency to keep their technology running in optimal condition.
The cliché “you get what you pay for” applies to tech support services as well. No matter which model you choose, poor IT support equates to menial service that impacts your security posture, decreases productivity, and discredits your reputation.
If poor IT service results in regular downtime, IT inefficiencies, and consistently slow operations, workforce productivity and customer satisfaction will be absent.
If you try to save money by hiring a cut-rate break-fix provider or unskilled, overworked in-house IT employees, your business will likely pay a higher price in the long run.
Ineffective cybersecurity posture
Putting low costs first will invariably degrade your overall security posture leading to unpatched software, outdated hardware, and overwhelmed staff, all vulnerabilities that hackers look to exploit.
Low morale and reputation
If staff and clients cannot access your systems when needed most, that could raise doubts about your organization’s credibility. Over time, this can have serious consequences, such as employee turnover or even lost business.
Is your business struggling to keep pace with your network management tasks? Have you worked with partners in the past who let you down?
The Complete Network team has been helping businesses of all sizes take confident control over their technology.
Want to work with a provider who has a long track record of helping businesses discover IT confidence? Ask our friendly team a question at any time at [email protected] or 844 426 7844. We look forward to speaking with you!
In an ideal world, technology would be a consistent source of competitive advantage and benefit for small and midsized businesses. The reality is that many fail to realize that confidence.
Without the right resources and support, even a highly skilled technology team can become overwhelmed by the growing list of technology management duties. When important tasks get neglected, it creates ripple effects throughout an organization that damage productivity and efficiency.
The co-managed IT services model solves these problems by providing your existing IT team with all the support and resources they need to successfully plan, manage, and defend your network technology.
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