Competitive Pricing

A Guide for Budgeting for Your Business IT Support

It’s no secret that almost all businesses today use technology to help keep their businesses running. This can be as simple as the use of laptop or desktop computers, VoIP phone systems, and a router, or as complex as large-scale infrastructure systems with multiple servers, firewalls, and offices that all must be connected and online. Regardless of the size and complexity of your network, one thing rings true for all computer systems; they must be maintained, and someone must have the knowledge to keep those systems running.

Enter the Information Technology pros of the world! These are the folks that keep the printers printing, the servers serving, and the network secure. IT Support has become a central role in businesses across the globe and has taken many shapes over the years. Along with the evolution of IT Support models comes different pricing structures, as well. In this blog, we’ll explore the different IT Support models, as well as different pricing structures you can expect to find in the marketplace.

Break/Fix IT Support

The most basic method of IT Support is what is referred to as the Break/Fix Model (think “Geek Squad”). As the name suggests, this model delivers reactive support for hardware and software issues. Clients are typically charged on a time and material basis. A quick web search for break/fix support in Florida reveals that clients can expect to pay hourly rates ranging from $125-$225 per hour, with a 2-hour minimum on average. Hardware is charged separately. The benefit of this model is that you only pay when you need services. The downside is that it’s reactive in nature, so preventing future problems is not always a priority, and you’re typically at the mercy of the break/fix company’s schedule. This model is best for smaller companies that don’t rely on technology as much for their business needs and can occasionally afford to have system downtime.

In-House Support

When the technology needs increase at an organization, an option is recruiting skilled IT professionals, creating an in-house, full-time support team. This model is great for companies that want direct access to their support staff, which typically means getting help immediately for any IT-related issues. This model also lends itself to having greater control over the work performed by the IT staff, as the company gets to decide what the responsibilities are for the IT department, and change as necessary, with little resistance. However, an in-house model can be cost-prohibitive. For example, a computer support specialist has a median price tag of $57,890 per year, with regional variations moving this up or down. For complex organizations, hiring a full-time Network Administrator will come with an average annual cost of $113,150 ($90,520 salary plus benefits, payroll costs, taxes, etc.), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In-house support is typically appropriate for larger organizations with numerous IT-related needs. Be aware that hiring and dealing with churn within your IT department can be time consuming, costly, and potentially delay IT initiatives and projects.

Co-Managed IT Support

An increasingly common IT Support model is a hybrid of in-house personnel working with an outsourced provider, what’s known as Co-Managed IT Support, or CoMITS. The in-house IT staff act as the “boots on the ground”, taking care of day-to-day tasks, assisting employees who need immediate help, while an outsourced Managed Services Provider handles broader scope tasks such as implementing and maintaining cyber security initiatives, infrastructure management, and consulting for future IT initiatives. This model is best suited to organizations with multiple offices, complex IT needs, and those who can afford in-house computer support specialists but not high salary network administrators.

Fully Managed IT Services

Finally, some organizations outsource to a company that specializes in providing an array of services that meet most or all their IT needs. This is considered a Managed IT Services Provider model, or MSP for short. Services range from cybersecurity implementation and firewall maintenance, data backup and disaster recovery services, infrastructure management, and even helpdesk services. MSPs typically work on a contractual basis to provide a set of services specified in an agreed upon contract, for a specific length of time, and for a fixed monthly fee. Although pricing can vary, clients can expect to see a pricing model that is based per user, per device, or some combination of both. For example, an MSP may charge one fee for management of the firewall, plus a per user fee for email filtering. Other factors that affect pricing include the size and complexity of your network, the scope of the services provided, regional cost of hiring talent for the MSP, and any specialized needs such as compliance or regulatory standards that your organization fall under. Based on our experience, MSP monthly charges range from $175-$250 per user, with some variance situationally. This model is best suited for those organizations that don’t want to hire an in-house team yet need reliable IT Support for a predictable monthly cost. The downside to using an MSP is any work not specified in the services contract may involve separate charges, and there might be a learning curve for the MSP if you have specialized needs, such as compliance or regulatory needs.


How do you decide which model best aligns with your needs? Start by taking stock of your IT budget, the complexity of your network, future goals, and satisfaction with your IT support. Organizations frequently outgrow their current support model over time and when discussing options with various providers, remember that new technologies may ultimately result in cost savings coupled with better services! Regardless of your situation, understanding different support options available will help you make an informed decision for your organization’s current and future information technology needs.