It can be difficult to make an informed decision about which managed IT service provider (MSP) to hire, especially because MSPs don’t tend to openly publish their pricing.
Luckily, there is plenty of information online about the different types of MSPs and their average costs. Here are some of the main things to consider when investing in the right IT company.
What are the types of MSPs?
In general, there are four different types of MSPs. The price they charge depends on the size of the company and the specific requirements of your business. A smaller MSP might offer cheaper services, but that must be weighted against their experience and quality of work.
- Trunk Slammers
These are typically tiny companies of 2-4 people. They may lack experience and have only a small number of clients. However, they are technically adequate and use the same tools as larger organizations. Due to cloud-based tools and marketing, they often appear like a more mature MSP, but might not have enough business scope or direction.
- Value MSPs
These are slightly larger, typically 8-15 people. They provide an affordable service with hourly and “break-fix” work options. They might be slightly limited in their toolset and not be as experienced in business consulting. They might lack advanced security processes.
- Bolt-on MSPs
These are usually bigger organizations, and often their main focus isn’t IT services. Instead, they provide phone systems, printer rental and service, insurance sales, accounting services, or audio/visual solutions. These types of companies are looking to boost their income by providing managed IT, so they might not be as well-equipped as mature MSPs.
- Mature MSPs
Mature MSPs normally have over 25 staff members and at least 10 years of experience. They have clearly documented and refined processes for onboarding, consulting, service, security, and project management. They have separate departments for support, projects, purchasing, sales, and account management. Their focus is on quality consulting for business technology.
Mature MSPs, being established in the industry and aware of their competitors, often all charge similar amounts. Having more experience, they are more expensive than the other types of MSP. Mature MSPs also spend more time committing to a client’s specific needs and situation. They often ask to review a client’s technology before pricing. They take the time to understand the individual business needs of each company.
What’s the average cost of IT services?
The average cost for an IT company in the US is between $100-150 per person per month. If you want to add advanced security solutions as well as consulting, this could increase to about $200-250 per month.
A mid-size company with 35 employees and 1-2 servers, for example, can expect to pay $3,500-$5,500 for IT services, if they do not require additional security, such as for PCI or HIPAA requirements. This estimate is for a mature MSP and doesn’t include licensing for programs such as Microsoft Office or VoIP.
MSPs often provide different billing options, usually charging either per person or per computer/server. Or sometimes there is a flat fee per month. If you find an anomaly that seems too good to be true, be cautious.
What questions should I ask?
There are several things to consider when choosing a reliable managed IT company. It’s a good idea to prepare some questions to ask any company you are considering working with.
For example, you’ll want to know exactly what you are getting with their service:
- Can all members of staff call the helpdesk directly?
- Is the helpdesk available 24/7?
- Which security applications are available?
- Will there be security training for all users?
- Is it possible to get a breakdown of all the included applications and services?
It’s also a good idea to inquire about their business maturity:
- Do they use multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all tools?
- Do they have a change management process for all their clients and systems?
- Do their technicians have relevant certifications in the technology you use in your business?
- How experienced are the account managers in technology?
- How long have they been in business?
- What’s their company history?
- Do they outsource any core services?
Ensure you are fully informed about any IT company you consider hiring. They will provide an important service that will go a long way to ensuring that your business is secure and thriving.