So – You are looking for an IT company to help manage your business IT systems and maybe even provide help desk support but there’s one question you haven’t been able to find the answer to anywhere.
How much is all of this going to cost me?
It is a legitimate question and one that you are perfectly reasonable for asking and wondering.
The reason it is so difficult to find an answer to this is because there is no “one-size-fits-all” IT, and many different factors go into the costs for your IT systems, equipment, server maintenance, and desktop maintenance and support. Let us first discuss the different types of IT support packages that you can receive from an outsourced IT provider and the associated pricing for them.
Managed IT Services
Managed IT services is a term I am sure you have come up with while researching IT companies. It is a term that makes absolutely no sense if you are not in the industry with a clear understanding of our terms.
All Managed Services means is that a company (Cloud Chariot for example) will take on the hard work of monitoring your workstations, servers, and network for outages and failing hardware. Essentially what happens is this: if something in your computer is starting to fail it will send out little notifications to our ticketing software with the error for us to investigate. we investigate the error that your workstation or server is giving and we determine that a part needs to be replaced or further troubleshooting needs to occur we will reach out to you at that point to discuss your options. The reason this is so beneficial for your company is because we can often get a part replaced in a server or workstation before the computer ever fails and before your employees ever experience downtime.
But that’s not all that’s included with a managed services plan. In addition, you also get a dedicated IT Business Partner. The role of an IT Business Partner is complex but it can be simplified to the following roles (we will do an entire blog post on the role of an IT Business Partner in the future.): They are someone who is responsible for bringing business and IT together. They take the time to understand, research, and come up with roadmaps for your business IT and how to better integrate these systems with your organizations mission statement and core values.
In addition to monitoring your workstations and servers, providing an IT Business Partner we also perform routine maintenance and patching for your IT systems environment. This is critical that it is performed at scheduled and routine timeframes because your cybersecurity strategy depends on it. You can see our blog post Build Your Cyber-Security Plan – (cloudchariot.tech) here for more information on cybersecurity strategy.
Most managed IT service packages you will see offered by IT service companies will include Anti-Virus as well which is just another layer in your IT strategy that is extremely important for your workstations and servers. This will continuously monitor your IT systems to ensure that any known threats are not running in the background. They can also use a type of “heuristics” analysis that will look at suspicious behavior to stop that in its tracks. In addition, if anything is caught by the anti-virus software we will receive a notification and can proceed to contact the end user to remediate the threats.
Managed IT services are typically charged on a per user or workstation basis with another fee for the number of locations you have. The reason for this is because if you have multiple locations the IT company will need to monitor the connectivity between the locations, travel to and from the locations for calls, and maintain the interconnectivity of systems between the locations.
It is an extremely beneficial service to include in your IT strategy. If you’d like to book your 15 minute call with Angela to discuss your options you can do so here: cloudchariot.tech/bookings
Cloud Productivity and Collaboration Software
This is an important one to note. If you are looking to improve the productivity and collaboration of your employees, you have options. Cloud Chariot personally sets up Microsoft 365 for our stack however, we do support other cloud productivity and collaboration providers such as Google Workspaces.
Typically with these solutions you will have one monthly fee on a per user/device basis that will include all of the productivity and collaboration software you require such as e-mail (exchange), cloud storage solutions (OneDrive), document management website (SharePoint), collaboration and communication software (Teams), and a whole suite of other products are included. One of which we actually use on our website here for booking appointments – Microsoft Bookings. You can also see a video where we discuss Planner here: Reach For Big Goals with the Help of Microsoft Planner – (cloudchariot.tech) and Microsoft Teams here: Microsoft Teams is Perfect for Video Calls – (cloudchariot.tech)
These will typically have a low monthly cost per user/license in the environment as well as a one-time setup fee for designing, implementing, and supporting the cloud solution.
If you would like to book a 15 minute call with Angela to discuss your cloud options you can do so here: cloudchariot.tech/bookings
Cloud Computing Services
These are typically used for more complex IT and network environments and have an entire suite of products that can help your business maintain its security integrity, monitor, and manage devices and users, Windows Virtual Desktop which can provide a secure and easy way to quickly provision reliable desktops for your users that are easily scalable and offer you more control over the security and template that they are bound to. This is especially helpful during these remote working times.
The pricing for these services varies greatly as there are many solutions that we can provide on this platform for example Mobile Device Management, Azure Active Directory, and others. But I will not bore you with all these confusing IT terms. Typically, they are billed on a per user basis and some of the services are included with your Microsoft 365 licensing. It’s a little more complex on how it is billed but we will make it easy to understand when quoting it out.
So, what is the cost? The following are some questions that are important to keep in mind before your first phone call with one of our representatives.
How many users and workstations do I have in my environment?
This is an important one. Many IT support companies have a per user or per device pricing plan. The more users and workstations you have in your business, the higher your monthly cost will be.
How many locations do you have?
In additional to the user fees there will also be a fee per location in some instances.
How many servers do you have?
Servers take more time and testing to patch, so they are typically an additional fee.
It’s difficult to give you a blanket number and say this is how much your IT is going to run you monthly because there are a lot of factors that go into the pricing (as you can see above). We offer free consultations though, so if you are interested in exploring your options with outsourcing your IT book your free call with us here: cloudchariot.tech/bookings.