What Is Managed IT?
As technology continues to evolve, businesses of all sizes are relying more and more on IT systems to run their operations. It makes a ton of sense, doesn’t it? Almost everything we do now involves some sort of IT infrastructure, whether it’s the internet, smartphones, cloud computing, or remote employment. With how critical the digital space is for modern businesses, a robust, well-managed IT structure is absolutely crucial for any company that wants to stay afloat in 2023.
However, managing these systems can be challenging, time-consuming, and costly, and as your business grows, wrangling all of the disparate pieces of your IT puzzle together can become an impossible task. As your company scales, IT needs change and the amount of energy and resources needed to maintain your IT grows, too, to the point where it can seem unmanageable.
This is where managed IT services come in. Managed IT services are a popular choice for businesses that want to hire someone else to take care of and manage their IT systems. By enlisting the help of trusted experts who know how to make your IT systems work seamlessly, you can save time, money, and energy that can be better deployed on other elements of your business like marketing, production, or operations.
But how much do managed IT services cost? How much should you expect to pay for IT services for your business?
In this article, we’ll explore the factors that impact pricing and help you determine the right price for your business.
Factors That Impact Managed IT Services Cost
The type of service you require will have a significant impact on the cost of managed IT services. Here are some common types of managed IT services, what they entail, and their average costs:
- Network Monitoring: $50 to $150 per month per device
- Network monitoring is similar to what it sounds like. It involves a team of IT professionals monitoring your company’s local and remote networks, ensuring that everything is online and running smoothly at all times.
- Cloud Services: $200 to $1,000 per month
- Cloud computing has revolutionized how we work, allowing you to store all of your company’s resources remotely on a provider’s servers. This allows you to save a lot on data storage and remote work costs as your IT manager will bring all of your data and storage into one place. You can also share computers, applications, and projects across computers with cloud services. The applications of the cloud can be almost endless for your business.
- Help Desk Support: $50 to $150 per hour
- On the lower end of investment, when you pay for help desk support, you’re paying for an expert to troubleshoot something with you. You’re still in charge of all your systems and IT, but if there’s an issue, you have someone you can call to help you work through the problem.
- Cybersecurity: $1,000 to $5,000 per month
- The most expensive offering from managed IT providers, cybersecurity services means protecting your company from hacks, viruses, or any other sort of malicious hardware or software that is installed to cause damage to your company. Cybersecurity experts will work with you to maintain your site’s data and protect your company from any cyber-attacks.
- Data Backup and Recovery: $500 to $2,000 per month
- Similar to cloud services, data backup, and recovery is a remote service where your managed IT provider will create a backup of all of your company’s data and store it off-site to protect your data against any fire, water, theft, or just plain data corruption. Since they have a copy of your data, they can recover and restore lost information from their end, protecting you from losing anything important.
The size of your business is another significant factor in determining the cost of managed IT services. Generally, larger businesses require more IT services, which translates into higher costs. Smaller businesses are usually able to get by with fewer services – you probably have a cloud computing service like Google Drive, for example – which can keep costs down.
Many small businesses don’t have a need for managed IT yet, but it is often one of the first things that companies add to their organization once they begin scaling as it is so important to keeping your company online at all times.
Service Level Agreement (SLA)
The Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a contract between the managed IT service provider and the client that outlines the level of service that will be provided. The SLA will impact the cost of the managed IT services. The more comprehensive the SLA, the higher the cost.
SLA’s can take a while to sign and often require a little bit of back-and-forth between you and your service provider, so that you can make sure you’re being covered in the way you need to be covered. Every company’s IT is different, so make sure you’re getting what you need from your SLA, even if it costs a little extra.
Experience and Expertise
The experience and expertise of the managed IT service provider can also impact the cost. Like in any other industry, providers with more experience and expertise can charge more than those who are new to the industry.
This is really a value call on your end. It’s usually worth it to pay more for experts, especially in a field as confusing and complex as information technology. Depending on the size of your business, it’s almost always worth it to hire experienced professionals who you know you can trust with protecting your company’s digital presence.
Tips for Choosing the Right Managed IT Service Provider
Determine Your Business Needs
Before you start searching for a managed IT service provider, you need to determine your business needs. This will help you narrow down your search and find a provider that offers the services you require.
What is the size of your business? What needs do you have for IT? Why are you looking for a managed IT provider in the first place? Usually, these three questions will get you on the right track to understanding who you should hire and why. Make sure your provider is capable of providing the services you desperately need for your business.
Evaluate Their Experience and Expertise
As we mentioned earlier, the experience and expertise of the managed IT service provider can impact the cost. However, it’s also essential to evaluate their experience and expertise to ensure that they can provide the level of service that you require.
Looking at their track record of previous clients is a good way of vetting a provider. Testimonials and reviews from previous clients are a great way to tell if they did a good job. In addition, look at some of their current and former clients – if they’re similar to you in terms of size and industry, there’s a good chance that the provider can be a good fit for you.
Ask About Their Pricing Model
Different managed IT service providers have different pricing models. Some providers charge a flat rate, while others charge per device or per hour. Make sure to ask about their pricing model and ensure that it aligns with your budget and needs.
In addition, it’s important to ensure there are no hidden fees associated with your account. Usually, you’ll be able to verify this in the SLA you have with your managed IT service provider, but it’s important to make sure that you won’t be charged additional fees without you knowing. Some services add on fees like rush fees or after-hours support – it’s your job to make sure you’re totally aware of how much you might spend on your provider, so you can budget accordingly.
You don’t want to saddle yourself with costs you can’t afford, nor do you want someone who has such low prices that it makes you suspicious that they’re inexperienced or hiding fees. See our general pricing guides above to see what you can expect to pay for certain services.
Look For Certifications And Partnerships
Managed IT service providers with certifications and partnerships demonstrate their commitment to providing quality services. Look for providers with certifications such as CompTIA, Cisco, and Microsoft. These partnerships and certifications signal that the providers you’ve selected are comfortable and capable with the tools needed to get the job done.
How Can I Save Money On Managed IT Services?
There are several ways to save money on managed IT services. One way is to bundle services together, such as network monitoring, help desk support, and data backup and recovery. This can often result in a lower overall cost than purchasing the services separately. Additionally, you can consider outsourcing non-critical IT services to a third-party provider or opting for a less comprehensive SLA.
With all that said, it’s important to note that managed IT is an investment and it comes with a financial cost to you that is usually worthwhile, even if it seems nominally expensive.
It costs time, energy, and money to run an IT system successfully. The whole concept of managed IT is it saves you these three crucial resources and generally will cost you less in the long run, even though there may be initial pain when signing that SLA and starting your service. There are a lot of places you should aim to penny-pinch in any business, managed IT is not one of them.
Are There Hidden Costs With IT Services?
While most reputable managed IT service providers will be upfront about their pricing, it’s important to review the contract carefully to ensure that there are no hidden costs. Some providers may charge additional fees for services such as on-site support or after-hours support. Make sure to ask about any potential hidden costs upfront.
How Do I Know If I’m Getting A Fair Price For Managed IT Services?
To determine if you’re getting a fair price for managed IT services, it’s important to compare pricing from multiple providers. Additionally, make sure to review the SLA carefully to ensure that it meets your business needs and expectations. If you’re unsure if you’re getting a fair price, consider consulting with a trusted IT expert or consultant who can help dispel or verify your suspicions.
Managed IT services can provide businesses with a cost-effective and efficient solution for managing their IT systems – and in 2023, a successful IT strategy is absolutely essential to surviving the difficult business environment currently ensnaring the globe. In short: you need to have a solid, robust IT department to succeed in business.
However, the cost of managed IT services can vary significantly depending on several factors. By understanding the factors that impact pricing and following our tips for choosing the right managed IT service provider, you can ensure that you’re getting the services you need at a fair price.
Remember to review the SLA carefully and ask about any potential hidden costs upfront to avoid surprises down the road. Ultimately, investing in managed IT services can help your business save time, money, and resources in the long run.