Small Business IT Support Pricing in Kent: The Predominant IT Service Models Explained
Before you can accurately compare the fees, services, and deliverables of one IT services company to another, you need to understand the 3 predominant service models most of these companies fit within. Some companies offer a blend of all 3, while others are strict about offering only one service plan. The 3 predominant service models are:
- Time and Materials. In the industry, we call this “break-fix” services or Pay as You Go. Essentially you pay an agreed-upon hourly rate for a technician to “fix” your problem when something “breaks.” Under this model, you might be able to negotiate a discount based on buying a block of hours. The scope of work may be simply to resolve a specific problem (like removing a virus), or it may encompass a large project like a computer network upgrade or move that has a specific result and end date clarified. Some companies will offer staff augmentation and placement under this model as well.
- Managed IT Services. This is a model where the IT services company takes the role of your “IT department” and not only installs and supports all the devices and PCs that connect to your server(s), but also offers phone and on-site support, antivirus, security, backup and a host of other services to monitor and maintain the health, speed, performance, and security of your computer network.
- Software Vendor-Supplied IT Services. Many software companies will offer IT support for their customers in the form of a help desk or remote support for an additional fee. However, these are typically scaled-back services, limited to troubleshooting their specific application and NOT your entire computer network and all the applications and devices connected to it. If your problem resides outside of their specific software or the server it’s hosted on, they can’t help you and will often refer you to “your IT department.” While it’s often a good idea to buy some basic-level support package with a critical software application you use to run your business, this is not enough to provide the full IT services and support most businesses need to stay up and running.
When looking to outsource your IT support, the two service models you are most likely to end up having to choose between are the “managed IT services” and “break-fix” models. Therefore, let’s dive into the pros and cons of these two options, and then the typical fee structure for both.
Managed IT Services Vs. Pay as you go:
Why Regular Monitoring And Maintenance Is Critical For Today’s Computer Networks
The fact of the matter is computer networks absolutely, positively need ongoing maintenance and monitoring to stay secure. The ever-increasing dependency we have on IT systems and the data they hold — not to mention the type of data we’re now saving digitally — has given rise to very smart and sophisticated cybercrime organisations and who work around the clock to do one thing: compromise your networks for illegal activities.
In most cases, their intent is to access financial information and passwords to rob you (or your clients), create fake identities for credit card fraud, etc. In other cases, they may want to use your computer network to send illegal spam, host pirated software, spread viruses, etc. And some do it just for the “fun” of being able to make computer systems inoperable. These criminals work around the clock in teams, constantly finding and inventing new ways to get around your antivirus software and firewalls; that’s why you have to remain ever vigilant against their attacks.
Of course, this doesn’t even take into consideration other common “disasters” such as rogue employees, lost devices, hardware failures (which are the #1 reason for data loss), fire and natural disasters, and a host of other issues that can interrupt or outright destroy your IT infrastructure and the data it holds. Then there’s regulatory compliance for any business hosting or touching credit card or financial information, medical records, and even client contact information such as e-mail addresses.
Preventing these problems and keeping your systems up and running (which is what managed IT services is all about) is a LOT less expensive and damaging to your organisation than waiting until one of these things happens and then paying for emergency IT services to restore your systems to working order (break-fix).
Should You Just Hire A Full-Time IT Manager?
In most cases, it is not cost-effective for companies with under 50 employees to hire a full-time IT person, because you can outsource this function of your business far cheaper and with a lot less work; but you DO want to hire a professional to perform basic maintenance just as you would hire a solicitor to handle your legal matters or an accountant to prepare your taxes. And if you truly understand the cost of your TIME and factor in employee productivity, the managed IT services model is considerably less expensive over time than the “break-fix” model
So, what should you expect to pay for Managed IT Services in Kent?
Important! Please note that the following price quotes are industry averages based on a recent IT industry survey conducted of over 750 different IT services firms.
We are providing this information to give you a general idea of what most IT services firms charge and to help you understand the VAST DIFFERENCES in service contracts that you must be aware of before signing on the dotted line. Please understand that this does NOT reflect our pricing model or approach, which is simply to understand exactly what you want to accomplish FIRST and then customise a solution based on your specific needs, budget and situation. Some examples of small business it support pricing:
Hourly Pay-As-You-Go Fees
Most IT services companies selling Pay-as-you-go services charge between £50 and £80 per hour with a one-hour minimum. In most cases, they will give you a discount of 5% to as much as 20% on their hourly rates if you purchase and pay for a block of hours in advance. They may also charge you call out and travel fees.
If they are quoting a project, the fees range widely based on the scope of work. Pay-as-you-go IT support is completely reactive and does not include monitoring or updates.
Managed IT Services
Most managed IT services firms will quote you a MONTHLY fee based on the number of devices they need to maintain, back up, and support. For IT Support in Kent, that fee is somewhere in the range of £100 to £350 per server, £10 to £50 per desktop, and approximately £10 per smartphone or mobile device. (Although most IT firms include these free of charge).
What to look for
If you hire an IT support firm and sign up for a managed IT services contract, here are some things that SHOULD be included (make sure you read your contract to validate this):
- Security patches applied weekly/monthly, if not daily, for urgent and emerging threats
- Antivirus updates and monitoring
- Firewall updates and monitoring
- Backup monitoring and test restores
- Spam-filter installation and updates
- Spyware detection and removal
- Monitoring disk space on workstations and servers
- Monitoring hardware for signs of failure
- Optimising systems for maximum speed
- 3rd Party Software Liaison / Support
Computer Rescue offers a complete range of IT Support and Cyber Security Services, all priced according to your requirements and needs of the business. All of our IT Support and Cyber Security Services are tailored and bespoke to your individual company and as a result, the pricing will vary depending upon need.
Computer Rescue was set up to prevent Small – Medium business being ripped off with unnecessary IT Support costs and as a company its important that we gain and cultivate our business relationships with our customers and not just their wallet.
Get in touch with us today to find out more about the IT Support and Cyber Security services that we offer and how we may best be of assistance to you. We can get you started with a FREE IT Network and Cyber Security Assessment to make sure that all of your systems are working as they should be.
Here’s a link to our article: What to expect to pay for IT support and cybersecurity services.
Alternatively, download our FREE E-Book: Switching Your I.T. – 21 Questions to Ask any IT Support Company and find out the answers to the questions that you should be asking before working with any IT Support company.
Call Us: 01795 430 030