Much like fingerprints, no two businesses are the same. The same is true for managed service providers (MSPs).
You have many MSPs to choose from (hundreds in South Florida alone), but not all of them are the best fit for your business – or budget. Managed IT services pricing depends on several factors, including:
Number of Users
Some MSPs count up all the machines, but in reality, it’s the users that require support. A firm that’s charging based on machines is likely shortening their focus to supporting machines and not people, so they aren’t as robust as they should be.
Number of Sites
Each physical office location housing multiple people carries a cost. A simple example is that each site needs a firewall.
Complexity of Your Environment
Complexity goes beyond the number of computers and servers. To stay competitive, companies must provide complex solutions for customers, maintain a high degree of infrastructure availability, and streamline the user experience.
Types of Payment Structures
Make sure that you’re comfortable with the payment structure the MSP uses. These three structures are most common:
- Alerting and monitoring only: This is the least expensive option. The MSP will update the software but won’t resolve any problems that arise. Any additional time will incur a fee.
- Partial support: For a set monthly charge, the MSP manages some of the essential tasks, such as backup and server maintenance. Everything else is extra.
- All-inclusive support: Everything pertaining to the upkeep and support of the current environment is included in one monthly price.
Even though the all-inclusive plan may appear to be the most expensive, it typically results in lower overall IT costs. As a rule of thumb, every 50 users require an IT professional.
So, take the average cost of an IT professional ($90,000) and divide it by 12 (months) and again by 50 (users). That equates to $150 per user. Keep in mind that you have to add the tools the professional needs to do their job (approximately $25 per user). Now you’re at $175 per user, or $8,750 per month for a 50-user firm.
How to Keep Your IT Costs Predictable
The right MSP helps you plan for IT as your company expands and changes by providing transparent, predictable pricing. Your MSP should discuss:
- A personalized IT cost prediction: This should be based on the condition and efficiency of your equipment, business objectives, and anticipated IT requirements.
- A fixed monthly rate: Pay-by-the-hour or project-based IT support not only fosters unreliable IT but also results in erratic monthly expenditures. Your MSP is paid more each time your IT malfunctions.
- What you get for your money: The four interrelated IT categories that MSPs manage are security, support, strategy, and maintenance. If your MSP doesn’t manage all those areas, they’ll be less effective at handling the others.
The Bottom Line on IT Costs
The cost of having an outside vendor handle your IT requirements varies. Most seasoned MSPs won’t provide a final quote without gathering specific information about your IT infrastructure or your company’s IT objectives.
While everyone usually seeks the lowest cost, cheaper isn’t always the best – or safest – choice. Our experts are happy to get you a clear estimate of how much you can expect to spend.