Unless you have a staff base that can set up, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair your computers, networks, and software systems, you are going to want to consider outsourcing your IT to a tech support company. The first few times you have an IT problem in the office, and you fix it yourself using Google and your problem-solving skills, it may feel rewarding and tempting to keep it in-house. But, if you set things up incorrectly or if you ‘fixed’ it the wrong way you’re going to be in a deeper hole than you would have been if you had just paid the price and found a valuable external company to manage your systems.
Should you choose to hire IT support based on your needs and preferences the cost will be structured a few different ways which will affect the price.
- In-house IT support: Hiring a single person to work full-time in the office tending to your company’s IT issues and concerns makes sense if your company has enough work for a full time IT employee. For an in-house IT tech, an annual salary is about $40,000, while a more experienced tech that deals with complex issues would be about $60,000. The obvious benefit is that you will have immediate and constant access to your support.
- Ad hoc IT services: Although some companies choose to have a trusted IT tech on hand that they can call when they need, this does not necessarily save money, and it surely does not save any hassle – as these companies never prepare for when things go wrong. In general, hourly rates for ad-hoc IT services can be between $75 and $250, which we will see below are like monthly per-user rates of the most basic managed IT plans.
- Service plans: Many IT support companies offer service plans. The service plan is where you can choose from a package of what you need and can budget that into your monthly financial plan. If you have a reliable tech (or tech support company), you can be assured that your IT needs are being taken care of at the most basic level, and you will at least have a warning if an issue were to arise.
- Managed IT services save your business money because they maintain the IT processes of your office. By alleviating you from micromanaging both systems and employees, you can collaborate with your company’s management to define the best IT practices. Overall, you can expect a managed IT service package to cost between $99 and $250 per month, per user (in this case you would need to manage the user, who is an employee, that is using the tech service). Managed IT service packages vary widely depending on how much time the tech needs to allow for you, as well as the level of experience required. Managed IT Service plans can be fully or partially managed in which you and the IT company should agree to terms of contract deciding what you need and what you can do in-house.
- Partly managed IT: If you choose the partly managed IT service, then the company will pay for the minimal IT support and can cost as little as $75 per month. However, while their job is to make sure nothing goes wrong, it isn’t necessary to fix all the problems that arise. For this reason, if you were to get a partly managed IT service you need to be prepared to pay someone else and to increase your budget and workflow.
- Fully managed IT: A Fully managed IT service may be the cheapest and best plan for your company. The IT company is there from start to finish and is responsible for all IT issues in your office. They perform daily security tests to keep your network safe from hacks, and they know everything about your software, hardware, and servers. They can be there for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that you never have to deal with an IT problem. Fully managed packages can be priced based on per user or device, but you can expect around $75 to $175 per user, with per device prices varying from $50 per workstation to $400 per server.
The complexity when choosing how to handle your IT service budget is so high that prices and packages can vary down to the individual company level. But some things to consider when trying to choose is; how much in-house IT support you have, and how much of that price break between packages will you see when something goes wrong.