When looking for the best IT service provider, weigh up your requirements and remember, you get what you pay for, says Tim Downs, Director of Bitwise-IT
A question I get asked a lot is, how much does a managed IT service cost? The answer is of course, it depends. Service follows the age-old saying: you get what you pay for. If you go for the cheapest, then expect a very light touch with your IT using the cheapest possible licensing for your business. On the other hand, the most expensive, most comprehensive service may not be for you either. Most of us don’t need bank-level security, however to stay protected in today’s world of high cybercrime, we need something in the middle.
Although it’s hard to exactly quantify with a single variable, one thing we can look at is monthly seat price. This is the price per month you would pay per staff member looked after, licensed and protected by your IT provider. For arguments sake we will say the IT provider covers all licensing costs including your Microsoft Office 365 costs, and we’ll take any servers out of the equation.
Here’s what I would expect to see for seat prices:
- Under £50 – Your IT provider probably does IT for a hobby/side job. You likely have cheap products and a very light touch service.
- £50 – £100 – Your IT provider probably has a support team and gives you stronger security products.
- £101 – £200 – Your IT provider probably has a support team and gives you 24/7 security coverage. You likely get some monthly on-site technician time included.
- Over £200 – Your IT provider probably has a support team, gives 24/7 security, and can help you meet compliance requirements and law.
The above are of course generalisations and there are exceptions to each – every IT provider works slightly differently. Server costs vary greatly and adding in backups and disaster recovery services mean a service has to be carefully sized to ensure the correct coverage.
Be more secure
With cybercrime so prevalent it is imperative to ensure your IT systems are properly protected. Use an IT provider who can reduce your cyber risk and respond quickly to any threat. Importantly, pick a provider who understands your business and who explains things to you in simple, clear terms, but can give that geeky detailed explanation if you really want it.