The importance of IT can’t be understated. Your business can’t function without those investments. You can keep those costs down b outsourcing your IT needs. This can help your business stay on the cutting edge while balancing costs.
Keep reading to find out more about managed IT services and how much you can expect to pay for them.
What Is Managed IT?
Managed IT services are part of the IT industry where you outsource your IT needs to a managed service provider. You can outsource some IT services or hire a managed service provider to be your entire IT department.
There are countless reasons why a managed IT service provider is a smart investment for your business. The main reason why companies outsource their IT needs is the cost.
A basic IT support employee earns $55,000 a year on average. Add an attractive benefits package and training costs, and you have a huge investment for a support role.
By outsourcing IT to a managed service provider, you hire a team of experts for less money. In some cases, you don’t even need to invest in infrastructure because you have your data hosted with your service provider.
Another advantage of outsourcing your IT needs is that they’re scalable. You can add more services as your needs grow or cut back if you run a seasonal business.
Pricing Models for Managed IT Services
How much does it cost to hire IT managed services? It depends. There is a broad spectrum of possibilities when you hire an IT services company. What they’re hired to do, how many devices they need to manage, and how often they work all factor into the cost of IT services.
One of the first factors that you need to understand is the difference between fully managed IT services and IT services. This weighs heavily into the cost of IT.
In a fully managed arrangement, the IT company handles everything related to IT. They’ll set up servers, update software, and perform computer backups. Some managed service providers will provide technical support to your staff as well.
In a partially managed IT scenario, the service provider will handle a portion of your IT needs. They may handle security issues and server maintenance.
Some companies prefer this arrangement because it frees up their IT staff to work on mission-critical projects. Small businesses without an IT staff have the basics covered.
Alongside partially and managed IT services, these are the main pricing models you can expect to see when you hire a service provider.
There are occasions when you need managed IT services to handle a project like a migration to the cloud. Since you’re hiring an IT services firm for a one-time project, it will be billed at a fixed rate.
Some providers will provide fully or partially managed IT services for a fixed rate. If you do hire an IT services firm for a fixed rate, you need to be absolutely clear as to what is and isn’t included in your plan.
You could be left exposed if you have an IT emergency only to find out that it will cost you a lot of money because it’s not included in your monthly plan.
A retainer is a way to have an IT service provider on call for a set number of hours per month. Attorneys and ad agencies have used this pricing model with a lot of success over the years.
It’s a win-win situation for you and the service provider. The service provider gets a steady stream of income each month based on your contract.
You get to have managed IT services for just about any issue. You are buying a set number of hours each month, but that’s at a discount. When you pay for hours in advance, you can get a 10%-15% discount on the cost of those hours.
You have peace of mind because you can use those hours for anything from maintenance to a major outage.
Decision-makers often have a reluctance to put a firm on retainer. They fear that they don’t have the budget or that they just won’t use those hours. Check with the service provider, because there’s usually a way around that issue.
If you don’t use up your hours, most service providers will allow you to roll them over into the next month. If you go over, you’ll get billed at the regular hourly rate.
There’s one more model that IT service providers use. You’ll also see this type of model for cloud-based SaaS programs. It’s based on the number of users.
Managed IT service providers are shifting this pricing structure from the number of users to the number of devices. That’s due to the number of devices that each employee has. The average employee has 2.3 work-related devices.
Service providers that provide security and IT services priced by the number of users are essentially doing twice the work for the same price. This type of pricing model is much more sustainable for service providers over the long term.
Know What You’re Getting with Managed IT Services
When you need IT help and don’t want to hire an IT team, working with a managed IT service provider is the next best thing. You have your IT needs met, and the services can be customized to meet your IT needs.
How much do managed IT services cost? It depends on how much assistance the services provider gives and it depends on how they price their services. Some providers will use a fixed rate, while others will use a retainer or price according to the number of users or devices at your firm.
No matter what provider you use, you need to make sure that you understand what is included in your contract. For more financial tips, check out the Money section.