The cost of Managed IT Services can range from $10 to $250 per user/device per month. This covers a range of different support levels and included services, from basic monitoring to a full suite of management and consulting services.
When researching a potential service, there’s a lot that you need to know about it. What it includes, how effective other customers have found it to be, how it stacks up against the competition, etc.
But there’s one bit of information that’s often as important, if not more, than the rest.
The vast majority of IT support companies operate on a “per user” or “per device” basis. Therefore, charges are based on the number of users or devices on the network.
The IT support company incurs the cost for the agent (a management device that is installed on all devices), anti-virus, any extras, and of course the support for each endpoint. Therefore, this flat number should cover their expenses and provide a level of profit that allows the business to grow.
This is compared to, for example, hourly IT support.
Hourly IT support (known as “Break/Fix” in the industry) is the traditional style of outsourced IT services, which works by fixing your computers once they’re broken. In a nutshell, when something goes wrong — data loss, hardware failure, virus, etc. — you then get in touch with your IT support provider and have them fix it.
If you’re currently using hourly IT support, or perhaps relying on a tech-savvy employee at your business to fix problems when they happen, then yes, Managed IT Services will definitely be more expensive. That’s just the cost of doing business – if you want to overcome issues that you’re currently experiencing with a more limited form of IT support, then you’re going to have to invest more, simple as that.
How Much Do Managed IT Services Cost?
The cost of Managed IT Services can range from $10 to $250 per user/device per month. That’s a wide range, due to the fact that the level of support included from one end of that range to the other, and therefore, the type of business that those levels of support are designed for, vary greatly.
Does $10/month sound like a good rate? Of course, it does.
Is it the same quality and level of services as those that charge $250/month?
There are some business owners that happily pay $250 per user a month to eliminate the worry of hardware cost, additional bills, and a long response time, guaranteeing effective service for what could be a multi-location business or an even larger enterprise.
Generally, though, most business owners prefer the $10-$100 per user range. They are okay working with a smaller IT business, additional bills for projects, onsite work, and sometimes even remote support.
Before you make your decision on what you are willing to pay for support, review the types of agreements below. This will help guide your expectations going into a new agreement or help to evaluate the comprehensiveness of your current agreement.
What Are The Most Popular Managed IT Services Plans?
T&M – Time and Material – $75-200 an hour
The first plan is the old-fashioned time and material. Some IT support companies stay away from this plan entirely. One-off projects and ongoing hourly support typically fall under this domain.
In this plan, the IT business gets paid when things break – not unlike Break/Fix. Generally, this isn’t necessarily considered “managed” services.
Monitoring – $10-$30 per user/device per month
A remote monitoring and management tool is the foundation of what is generally considered Managed IT Services. This allows IT support providers to manage computer/server patching, provide alerts for any troublesome areas on the network, and ongoing network optimization.
This typically runs between $10-$30 per user/device per month. Any remote support, onsite support, projects, consulting, hardware, or applications will incur an additional expense. This allows a low barrier to entry, but makes budgeting for ongoing IT expenses much harder for business with over 5 users.
Remote Support – $30-$100 per user/device per month
This type of agreement is one of the most common in the IT support community, including everything in the remote support plan, typically a certain level of consulting, and unlimited remote support. Most IT businesses don’t want you to know this, but 90-95% of tickets are completed remotely, so this is a practical option for the price-conscious business owner.
The best way to describe this plan is “a la carte.” Most things are included, but you are left with additional bills for firewalls, backup, Microsoft Office 365/G Suite, projects, and onsite support.
This is a budget-friendly option, but be prepared for some variations in your monthly IT expenses.
The “All-in” Model – $100-$300 per user/device per month
Most IT support companies offer some variation of this model, which is perfect for the thriving business that likes to have a defined budget for their IT expenses and high expectations of their outsourced team.
This model can contain everything including:
- Hardware upgrades every 3-4 years
- Project Work
- Remote and Onsite Support
- Dedicated Technology Consultant
- Staff Augmentation in some cases
- Business Continuity
- Applications (Office 365, G Suite, etc.)
Some IT support companies will still tack on additional charges for hardware, projects, or applications, but, for the most part, this is a completely comprehensive IT plan.
Budgeting is easy, response is quick, and downtime is very low. That makes this plan very advantageous, despite the hefty invoice each month.
What Managed IT Services Plan Should I Choose?
The model that is right for your business is up to you to decide, and it depends heavily on 3 key factors:
- Location Typically big cities house IT support companies that charge on the higher end of the spectrum detailed above.If you are in Tampa, Miami, New York City, or most other major cities, prepare to receive slightly higher quotes for the cost of service. Because after all, you must have your outsourced IT team right next door, right? Not exactly.Given that 90-95% of tickets are completed remotely, IT support companies have been able to expand their geographic range significantly. Therefore, it may behoove you to consider a well-established IT support company in a smaller market. Their support and response time will be comparable to a big city but at a better rate.
- Business Size For example, let’s say you are a 50-user business. Anything over 25 users is a sweet spot for most IT support companies. Yes, that IT support company has a set price per user per month cost, and they will likely refuse to budge or offer a discount.However, if it’s clear it could cost them your business, you could provide a reasonable adjustment and they will almost certainly relent.It may only be $5 per user per month, but that will quickly add up over time.
- Type of Agreement As explored above, the agreements and costs vary greatly, but each IT support company will have set services in each of their agreements.For argument’s sake, let’s hold the monthly cost and location static in this example and only focus on the agreement. Let’s say they are pitching you the Remote support plan. It includes everything except onsite support and the extras.You could, in theory, ask them to include some onsite work for the first month or start with room to negotiate and ask to include 2 hours of support each month in the agreement.While they may not agree to that specifically, it’s likely that they’ll budge on the agreement to get you onboard. Most IT support companies have a yearly client retention of around 95%. When a client comes on board, they are typically there to stay. Use that to your advantage.
As mentioned several times, it’s important to keep in mind how greatly all this can vary. That’s why it’s necessary to examine what you’re currently paying for IT services in Polk or Hillsborough county, and how satisfied you are with them.
Look at your own IT support company agreement and review the factors that are leading your bill to be higher/lower than expected. If it is too low, it’s likely that you are not happy with the support on the front end and things are being left undone on the back end. If it is too high, review the factors and advice we’ve explored above.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Would working with an IT support company in a smaller market save you money while providing the same level of support?
- Could you negotiate the per-user cost down because you are in the IT support company sweet spot?
- What about add-ons to the agreement?
In the end, it’s all about finding the lowest rate you can pay to have all your IT problems solved. Depending on your business and your location, the cost can vary greatly – but more often than not, there’s going to be a way for you to either save a bit of money and get the same level of support, or invest slightly more and get those pesky IT problems squared away once and for all.