In this article we will discuss:
- The costs of Managed IT Support
- What may be the inclusions in your monthly contract?
- The benefits of having Managed IT Support
- The few shortcomings of a Managed IT Support
- Other things to consider when getting Managed IT Support
If you’re considering engaging a Managed Service Provider (MSP) it's important that you understand what factors can influence Managed IT Support pricing. You may be looking to change from an existing MSP, upgrade from adhoc support, or perhaps complement an existing in-house resource; either way it’s important that you understand the factors that can influence how much Managed IT Support might cost, and what that price is likely to look like.
So how much does Managed IT Support cost?
As a rule of thumb, Managed IT Support in Australia will cost between $90-150 per computer or user per month.
Of course, every business has its own unique requirements which can impact the final cost, however there are common elements influencing most Managed IT Support engagements.
To begin with, let’s clarify what we mean by Managed IT Support. Managed IT Support means outsourcing your IT support to a Managed Service Provider (MSP). Unlike adhoc or break-fix IT support, which is commonly billed by the hour, Managed IT Support is usually offered at a fixed monthly price for an agreed scope of service.
Benefits of Managed IT Support
There are many advantages to outsourcing your IT managed support to an MSP, such as:
- The MSP’s interests are aligned with yours; that is, towards optimizing your systems, and minimizing how much you need to actively call on helpdesk support.
- Establishing a deeper relationship with your IT provider, allowing them to better understand your business, and ultimately provide better service and advice.
- Proactive monitoring of systems and resolution of emerging issues, rather than waiting for un-seen issues to become problems that disrupt your business.
- Improved cost control with fixed monthly pricing and approval processes for out of scope expenses.
- Access to a full team of IT experts with a range of skills, knowledge and experience.
- Removing the risk of a single point of failure, such as a single in-house IT resource or a small adhoc IT provider.
Disadvantages of Managed IT Support
Fully managed it support may not be the right solution for everyone. Here are some reasons why you may actually be better off with either adhoc IT support, or an in-house IT team.
- Monthly costs for Managed IT Support may be more expensive than break-fix IT services, particularly for smaller businesses of less than about 10 staff, or with simpler systems.
- An MSP may not have the same depth of knowledge about your unique business, or relationships with your staff when compared to in-house resources.
- The MSP helpdesk may not always be instantly available for every issue the way in-house IT resources might be.
- An MSP is likely to enforce the scope of their engagement more actively than an in-house IT resource is. That is to say, an in-house resource may be more flexible about how and what they contribute to your organization.
What's included in the monthly fee?
Each MSP will include (and exclude) different managed IT support services in their agreements. Some MSP’s will have tightly defined plans with different inclusions that you can choose from, often following the classic Good – Better – Best model, with names like Bronze, Silver and Gold. Other MSP’s may offer a more bespoke pricing model, with inclusions and pricing specific to each client’s needs.
Whatever the pricing model, most Managed IT Support agreements have common inclusions such as:
- Helpdesk / Service Desk
- Network / Platform Management
- Security Software and management
There will also usually be items specifically excluded from the agreement, but available at extra cost, such as:
- Projects & major changes
- Products such as computers and software licensing
- Onsite support
- Remediation of malicious action
Although less common, some MSP’s may choose to bundle in some of those excluded items into their main list of inclusions. For example, we have seen some MSP’s bundling Office 365 licenses, and even new laptops into their core Managed IT Support agreement, rather than leaving them as optional extras.
When assessing the price of a Managed IT Support agreement it's important to be clear on what is included within the monthly fixed fee, and what is not. For those items not included, it's also important to be clear on what rates would apply.
Other factors that can influence the cost of Managed IT Support
The final cost of Managed IT support for your business will vary depending on the needs of your business and the Managed Service Provider that you choose to engage. Here are several of the most common factors that can influence the overall cost of a Managed IT Support agreement:
- Number of users in your organisation
- Number of computers in your organisation
- Number of separate office locations
- Complexity of your IT environment
- Age and health of your IT environment
- Existing in-house IT resources
- Inclusions such as onsite support and after-hours support
Other things to consider
Price is a key factor when considering Managed IT Support, however there are a number of other crucial factors to understand when deciding whether Managed IT Support is right for you, and if so which MSP you will partner with.
- Is IT a core strategic capability for your business, or a vital enabling service?
- Do the MSP’s values align with your own?
- How many staff does the MSP have? Too many and you risk becoming just a number to them. Too few and you may not receive the service you expect.