The Real Cost of Managed IT Services
Nowadays, most businesses prefer the “managed IT services” approach rather than the traditional, outdated “break/fix” approach. Why? Because paying for support when something breaks is a reactive, expensive way to run a business. You simply rely on technology far too much to wait for something to go wrong and interrupt your entire team’s workday. In the first scenario, a third-party, known as an MSP, takes responsibility for the ongoing monitoring, management, and maintenance of your systems – all for a flat-rate monthly fee. Sounds like a great deal, right?
It certainly can be a great deal. In fact, it can be an incredibly cost-efficient way to leverage information technology in a strategic manner, especially if you have a good partner who is able to alleviate business challenges, minimize risks, and overall, help you achieve organizational objectives. But how much is TOO MUCH to pay for this? Businesses around the world are spending more than ever before on technology, which is great, but what’s the limit to get the most value without going overboard?
You get what you pay for – meaning the cheapest route is usually not the best… But how much is too much to spend on managing your infrastructure?
You’ve likely heard the term “you get what you pay for” before, and naturally, it’s a pretty safe rule in all purchases, especially the management of your infrastructure. But how much is too much to spend? The cost varies widely from provider to provider, but always be careful of quotes that seem too good to be true. If this is the case, look for hidden costs in the contract. Do they charge for support on top of the flat-rate fee? Or do they charge for devices like printers, scanners, etc. on top of the flat-rate fee? Read carefully to make sure.
Now assuming you’re not paying the lowest cost you were able to find because you’re aware that you get what you pay for, let’s look at what’s appropriate in terms of pricing. First, we’ll review the pricing models and what should be included.
What are the pricing models behind managed IT services in Baltimore?
There are typically two choices when it comes to pricing models behind managed IT services. This includes:
- Per-user wherein the cost is based on the number of users within the company.
- Per-device wherein the cost is based on the number of devices within the company.
Per-user tends to be perfect for companies with most or all employees using technology. However, if you’re a rare company with only a few employees using devices, such as laptops, desktops or mobile devices, per-device might be better suited for you.
What should be included in the cost of managed IT services in Baltimore?
Keep in mind, if you’re in a specialized industry with various compliance needs, you may be paying a bit more. That is to be expected. Here is what you should expect to be included within various tiers of plans:
- The entry-level plan: This should include monitoring, maintenance, and security for all devices with a set amount of remote or onsite support hours.
- The mid-level plan: This should include everything above plus strategic consulting, data backup, and business continuity planning with projects at an additional rate.
- The high-end plan: This should include everything above plus hosted and/or cloud systems managed in addition to your on-premises technology.
Naturally, the higher you go on the spectrum of plans, the more you should expect to pay. This means the entry-level plan should be a lower per-user, per-month fee while the high-end plan should be a higher per-user, per-month fee.