How much does Managed IT Services cost? The question has widely different answers.
Providers set managed IT services pricing at their own discretion. However, they tend to base their decisions on a set of objective factors. A major one comes in the form of features.
Naturally, as a business owner, you want to get exactly what you need and avoid overpaying. However, attaining these objectives in practice can be a real challenge.
There is a wide spectrum of options when it comes to price ranges and features. Some providers are one-person basement operations while others are huge corporations. They possess varying levels of expertise and diverse technologies.
These are some of the reasons why we compiled this guide, which is designed to inform your search for Managed IT Services. We’ll cover features that should be on your radar as well as pricing mechanisms and other details.
So, let’s get down to business.
The Art of Budgeting
The first order of business is setting a budget.
You can’t know the exact numbers right away and that’s fine. Focus on assessing your needs, not just for today but in the future as well. Account for growth and expansions you expect to see in months and years to come.
The price range varies depending on whether you want entry-level services, high-end services, or something in between.
We’re aware that everyone wants to save money in the current economic climate, but you want to be sure you don’t get too short-sighted because this can do more harm than good.
It could jeopardize your cybersecurity and expose your valuable business assets to dire risks.
If you can afford it, it’s preferable to opt for a full-service package instead of a partial stack. The reason is simple: you can safeguard all components of your infrastructure.
Another approach is to take on some IT tasks internally and outsource others. You fill in the gaps you’re missing and it makes your outgoing expense more affordable. Just remember there is always an opportunity cost for the person or persons you have working on IT tasks. They could be doing other revenue-generating activities.
The bottom line is this: make a plan that works for you. If you need help with this we offer free assessments.
Managed IT Services Pricing Models
There are a few common price schemes to note:
- Break/fix: hourly rates or single price
- Per-device: paying per device, per month
- Managed services: paying per user per month
There are some pros and cons associated with each option.
A break/fix mechanism is essentially a pay-as-you-go model that offers a high level of flexibility. However, you use these services only when things go south and can’t rely on a full-service offering. Additional services, if available, are charged at a premium.
The per-device mechanism gives you 24/7 coverage and is a more predictable expense. You can think of it as a “pick and choose” model that can lead to budget savings. The drawback is you have to cherry-pick devices and networks you want to be covered very carefully.
Here, the prices range from $5 to $100 per month.
Lastly, managed services (per user) structure provides the utmost network and hardware protection. This is usually a full-stack, a comprehensive plan. The list of managed services encompasses everything from hardware procurement to systems management.
You can expect to pay between $100 and $150 per user for this kind of service.
Having explained pricing options, we ought to talk about features.
IT support is the first feature we want to bring up.
This is something most MSPs provide. Still, there isn’t a uniform pattern for designing support services.
Some companies run call centers you can typically contact at any time. The support staff is there for technical assistance and remote support.
These centers can be of various tiers that determine how complex the problems their staff can solve. Notice as well that many providers outsource their virtual help desks. This is a way for them to cut costs, which usually brings the price of the service down. At Herrod Tech we do not outsource our help desk.
The flipside may not be able to resolve issues right away. Moreover, your precious data might be examined by an unknown company/freelancer. So, you want to at least know who will be on the other side of the line.
The alternative is to pay a bit more and secure a network operation center. It represents a centralized location for monitoring and managing the entire IT infrastructure. In this case, experts work on detecting issues and eliminating them before they spiral out of control.
This kind of support, generally speaking, is much better than call centers any day of the week.
Next off, you want to check uptime guarantees.
The fact of the matter is that most businesses experience some downtime. This disruptive event prevents them from accessing crucial systems and resources, which can be lethal to operations.
The good news is there is a way around this problem and it’s called server virtualization. Namely, a virtual server is a hosted solution that serves as a backup. It comes into play whenever there is a network loss or in-house server crash.
The transition is quick and you don’t even notice it. Essentially the backup server works seamlessly and it’s very likely you won’t see any productivity loss at all.
We would recommend making room in the budget for an uptime guarantee of 99.9%. Sure, it costs more, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the costs of downtime. This is especially true for e-commerce businesses that risk losing a ton of sales revenue.
So, pay a bit more to make sure your networks are up and running at all times.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
Apart from downtime, you have to worry about even bigger risks.
We’re talking about forces beyond your control, forces that can decimate your infrastructure. Think in terms of natural disasters that threaten to corrupt or destroy your data.
Business continuity and your bottom line are at stake.
Thus, it would be wise to prioritize data backup and disaster recovery. These services are leagues ahead of lackluster measures such as external hard drives. Fully manages services involve not only backups but ongoing administration and reporting as well.
Most managed service providers employ cloud platforms to carry out regular, automated data backup. You can even determine optimal cadence according to your preferences and recovery timelines.
In any event, your important files will stay out of harm’s way yet always at your fingertips. The additional benefit is you can make your data practices compliant.
Sometimes, IT issues simply can’t be addressed remotely.
That is precisely when on-site support comes in handy. The only problem is that this service can mean a lot of different things to different providers. It can also cost up to $200 per hour and higher.
To avoid needless expenditures, do your homework. Check if support is all-inclusive and what exactly that phrase entails.
See whether there is an unlimited or limited number of help desk hours every month. The latter option is cheaper, but it may force you to pay extra fees. Some providers could also collect on-site fees for engineer visits.
It goes without saying the provider should have a local presence and hire highly skilled personnel. You shouldn’t just take their word for it… inspect available references and testimonials before taking the plunge.
Finally, bear in mind some providers are harder to reach fast than the others. A local provider isn’t worth much if it can’t offer fast response times and around-the-clock availability.
At Herrod Tech, we offer an emergency telephone line as well as remote support.
Security Testing and Monitoring
Cybersecurity is a burning issue plaguing the business world.
Systems security testing and monitoring are features you can’t afford to miss out on. These processes enable early detection and come with alerting capabilities. They hold the key to keeping internal fiascos as well as hacking and ransomware attempts at bay.
In particular, look for vulnerability scanning and behavioral monitoring to boost network and endpoint visibility. It’s even better if a provider has orchestration and automation (SOAR) capabilities. They integrate security technologies into a single platform, eliminating unnecessary pivots.
Beyond that, measures like firewall protection are a must. They act as a shield staving off external threats, with the special focus being on protecting sensitive data.
We would highly recommend having multiple security layers wrapped around your systems and resources. Yes, they all inflate the cost of managed services, but should be considered as in investment to protect your business.
It’s imperative to minimize the risk of damage and disruption and gain peace of mind. May your hunt for a provider bring rich spoils!
Get the Most Bang for Your Buck
Managed service providers are everything but created equal.
Managed IT services pricing depends on a host of moving parts. The smart thing to do is take a deep breath and get your priorities straight. Then, you can put together a budget, evaluating the varying pricing mechanisms through the lens of features.
At the same time, take into account your current IT environment and staff. Try not to skim too much and plan for the long-term. Make certain the provider understands your specific needs and is capable of meeting them.
Accept nothing less than a trusted and seasoned team of experts who will obsess over your success, come hell or high water. With this goal accomplished, you can focus on what you know best—core business tasks and processes.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you want to secure our managed services. We can help you supercharge your IT environment.