What Should IT Support Cost for a Small Business
Outsourcing your IT support to an MSP like us is a cost effective way to get enterprise level IT support and enhanced ...
Outsourcing your IT support to an MSP like us is a cost effective way to get enterprise level IT support and enhanced cybersecurity services for a fraction of hiring even one full time IT staffer. But how much should you expect to pay? Well, that depends of course, on some varying factors. But I can give you an idea on what you should expect to pay and what the average cost of IT support for small businesses should be.
Factors that can affect costs of IT support:
1. Company size: The number of employees and devices that need monitored and supported within a business impact the level of support required to support your company. Along with support, tools that MSPs use to monitor, protect and support are usually based on licensing fees paid by the MSP and are monthly fees that your company will pay for on top of the support costs.
2. Urgency of support expected: Immediate response and 24 x 7 support availability has a higher cost than standard business hour support. If we pay our engineers to work after hours, we bear those costs so we have to pass those along to our customers, just like any other business does.
3. Scope of service: The range of services and support needed affect costs. Standard support such as end user support, hardware and software support, cost one level and enhanced licensing, VCIO consulting, projects and compliance could cost more. We have some clients that pay for basic levels of service and hourly rates to fix issues when they arise. We have other clients that pay us to never even know they have an IT issue. We manage everything on the back end, their vendors, cybersecurity, audits, budgeting, planning, you name it, if it has anything to do with IT, we take care of it for them. We have one such company who's owner likes to joke that he pays us so that he can run his business and sleep well at night.
4. Company's industry: Different industries require different levels of IT standards and compliance. Compliance and security standards make IT requirements more complex and therefor more expensive. Even if your industry doesn't require compliance, some industries are more complex due to industry specific knowledge needed which requires experts in different knowledge bases which can also raise pricing.
5. SLAs or Service Level Agreements: SLAs define the level of services and response time expected from the MSP. These times are agreed upon when signing a contract with an MSP. Faster response and resolution times may come with a higher price depending on if the client expects higher than the standard SLAs provided.
The average cost of IT support: For managed services can range anywhere from $90- $250 per user per month. The lower you go on that pricing, the less happy you will be with your IT support. So your expectations should be in line with your budget. When talking to an MSP make sure you understand what you are getting for the price you are paying. Make sure you are up front and honest about your expectations, needs and willingness to spend money on IT. Remember, as hardware ages, it becomes harder to support and takes longer to troubleshoot. Enterprise level hardware and networking are easier to support in the long run so are cheaper to maintain but have higher up front costs. Your MSP should understand if you are more willing to spend your IT budget up front or spread out over time.
How much is a typical IT budget? The 4-6% average is a general guideline, but the final number will depend on your company's individual needs and goals. Small businesses less than $5m in revenue tend to spend around 6% of their revenue on IT. Midsize companies between $5m-$20m in revenue spend around 5% of their revenue on IT. Large companies over $20m in revenue spend around 4% of their revenue on IT.
Most of our clients are on a managed service plan which includes all of the standard services and support you would expect. They pay a fixed monthly fee based on the number of employees and devices and pricing depends on the variables discussed above. Projects are usually out of scope and are priced out and discussed and quoted before hand so clients know what to expect. Licensing for email, Microsoft, anti-virus, backups and additional protections are priced out ahead and built in to the contracts so you know what you are paying for above and beyond support. It is important to discuss your needs, expectations and understand what services you are paying for and what you are not. MSPs are a great way for small and medium sized businesses to get best in class IT support and cybersecurity services without having the resources that a large enterprise does.
If you want to know more about what you should be spending or how much IT support would cost your company, we would be happy to discuss your options. Set up a call to talk to us.