IT Support & Managed Services
We often receive telephone calls asking for an IT Support price. Our reaction is always the same, it depends.
We provide bespoke solutions based on your needs, infrastructure and the level and type of support that you need.
However, we thought it might be interesting to explain what effects the IT Support price and give you an idea of what we charge. We’ll also try and explain why you’ll get different quotes from different providers – and why those differences might be quite large.
Firstly, there are different types of IT Support, the two main ones being………….
The first type of IT Support works on the traditional break/fix model. Here something goes wrong with the customers IT system so the customer calls the support company. They fix the problem and the customer carries on working. There is very little further interaction between the two businesses until the next issue arises.
This type of service is usually provided on a Pay-As-You-Go basis at a pre-arranged hourly rate, often with a number of hours pre-paid. This kind of support is suitable for small businesses with simple IT infrastructure.
Fully Managed IT Support
Then there is Fully Managed IT Support. This is the type of service that we primarily offer to our customers. It may be suitable for a smaller business with a complex IT infrastructure or a high reliance on IT to carry out business. But it is mainly suitable for businesses with, as a minimum, 15+ computer users.
The suitability of Managed IT Support is also reliant on the attitude towards IT within a business. This type of support is an investment. It is for businesses that understand how vital their IT systems and infrastructure are to the business, wish to have those systems working at optimal levels and understand the need to consistently reinvest in those systems.
If we use a car analogy then break/fix is a bit like waiting for your car to break down then getting it fixed by the cheapest mechanic available with the cheapest parts. Managed support is more like checking the oil, water, and tyre pressures every week, having a main dealer service when recommended and having repairs carried out by the dealer using only the manufacturers’ parts.
There is nothing wrong with break/fix (it’s how I run my car!). However the fully managed version is going to run better, last longer and present you with far fewer problems!
What You’re Paying For
In a nutshell when you purchase IT support services you are paying for the time of the people who have the right level of expertise to manage your IT systems. You’ll also be contributing toward the cost of the tools they use to do the job effectively.
IT Support Companies Costs
As with most service businesses IT Support companies have two main costs; direct costs and overheads. Direct costs are the price of delivering the service, so these would be labour and tools. Overheads are all the other costs like rent/mortgage, management, administration, training etc.
The cost of managed support is generally calculated on a per user or per machine basis and we’ll show an example of how this is worked out.
An IT company employing 10 staff at an average annual salary of £22,000 has a wage bill of £220,000 per year or £18,333 per month. The cost of tools would be around £1,200 per month, putting direct costs at around £20,000 per month.
The company has 100 customers and looks after 2000 users, averaging at 10 customers per engineer. The total monthly costs divided by the number of users gives us the direct costs of supporting each user. In this case £10.
The IT company must then cover its overheads and try and make a bit of profit. This typically means that the direct costs need multiplying by 2.5 – in the example we’ve given this makes the price per user £25.
Reducing the cost
There are of course some simple ways that an IT company can reduce the cost per user to the customer and therefore provide low cost IT Support.
Hire less qualified, less experienced members of staff and pay them less
Increase the number of computers supported by each member of staff
Use cheap and inferior monitoring tools
Limit what is covered within the contract and charge for ‘out of scope’ work
Reduce overheads such as training of IT Support Staff, management or admin staff
Taking any of the above steps will reduce the IT support price. However it will also clearly have a negative effect on the quality of service that the IT company can provide to its customer.
What Kind of Support Do You Need?
Not every business is going to need fully managed support. If your business is not heavily reliant on your IT then a low-cost option might work for you. However, you’d probably be better off with a PAYG service from a reputable provider with a larger complement of staff, than taking on a poorly executed ‘Managed’ service.
Badly implemented a Managed Service can do more harm than good! This is especially true when it comes to the implementation of a proper cyber security solution. Inferior IT Support (or no support at all) can be a major contributing factor towards poor cyber security. And the cost of a cyber attack or loss of data will far outweigh the cost of quality IT Support.
How Much Should You Be Paying?
We’ve seen examples of companies offering fully managed support from as little as £8 per user. We are not interested in a ‘race to the bottom’ when it comes to an IT support price and we’d encourage you to think very carefully about the service levels you’re going to get at that price point.
At the other end of the scale, we’ve also seen costs going to £60-75 per user and beyond. We think that’s too much and is out of reach of the average business.
We are not the cheapest solution and we doubt we ever will be. Our aim has always been to provide a fully outsourced IT department to our customers, working in partnership with our clients as an extension of their businesses. We work with businesses with 15 – 200 users who are heavily reliant on their IT. And we believe we provide genuine value for money.
Any quote we provide will be completely bespoke and based on your specific needs but as a ballpark figure expect to pay somewhere between £15-£25 per month, per user on average.
For this, you’ll get high-quality Management of your IT solutions, not just IT Support. You’ll also get service delivered by a knowledgeable, friendly team of technicians utilising the very best technology.
One of the headaches associated with switching IT Support provider is the change over period.
We’ve developed a slick, minimum fuss onboarding process which takes away as much of the pain as we possibly can, and we’ll liaise directly with your existing provider to transfer services
And to ease the headache even more, for a limited time, we will give you your first months IT Support completely FREE OF CHARGE.
Call us on 0800 0306520 or fill out our Contact Form for a call back.