If you’re a business owner or planning to open a new business, chances are you have looked into IT support options.
For those unfamiliar with the world of IT support, it can be confusing trying to figure out which option is best for your business.
You might be interested in the most cost-efficient option but worry that it won’t offer enough support.
Maybe you have looked at more extensive options and wondered what is truly necessary for your company’s needs.
It can be problematic to look at cost alone to decide which option is best for you.
When determining IT needs, there are three predominant options – that all come with different benefits and drawbacks – to consider before factoring in the cost of the company.
Those in the industry who use the time-and-materials option are often referred to as “break-fix services.”
This essentially means that you pay an agreed-upon hourly rate for a technician to “fix” a problem when something “breaks.”
Many people like this option because it is the most straightforward and simple way to pay for IT assistance, but it often doesn’t work in your favor and can even lead you to pay more for basic services.
The only time the time-and-materials approach is recommended is if you already have a competent IT person or team proactively managing your IT and you need additional support for a problem that your current IT team doesn’t have the expertise to handle.
Under the break-fix model, you’ll find a fundamental conflict of interest between you and your IT firm.
The IT company has no immediate need to stabilize your network because they are getting paid hourly.
Computer networks and IT infrastructure absolutely need ongoing maintenance and monitoring to stay secure and healthy – something the break-fix model cannot supply.
Conclusion: The Time and Materials model works better for a business that already has an IT person or team and needs specific tasks to be done that the current IT department can’t handle.
In this option, the IT services company takes over the role of your in-house IT department for a fixed and agreed-upon monthly rate.
They’ll install, support, and maintain all of the users, devices, and PCs connected to your network on a routine basis.
They will even take care of your hardware and software needs for an extra cost.
This model works for many businesses because it allows them to plan for IT services in their monthly budget and provides the business with routine maintenance and IT support that they will need.
Pay special attention to the managed IT services monthly fees that managed services providers offer.
Usually, managed IT services are offered in plans, and each plan is built to meet the IT and financial needs of different businesses. For instance, we at QWERTY concepts offer 4 different managed IT services plans.
Managed IT services are all about protecting your business from IT-related problems while keeping your systems up and running.
In our current age, cybercriminals are working around the clock, trying to gather valuable data.
Hiring a managed IT services provider will help protect your business and prevent common “disasters” such as rogue employees, lost devices, hardware failures, fires, natural disasters, and a host of other issues that can interrupt or outright destroy your IT infrastructure the data it holds.
There is also a hybrid system based on the managed IT services called Co-Managed IT.
The main objective of this approach is not for a provider to completely take over your business IT but instead work as an extension of your existing IT team.
Taking into consideration all the benefits previously mentioned, managed IT approach is undoubtedly the most cost-effective and intelligent option for small businesses and medium-sized businesses.
Conclusion: The Managed IT model is recommended for companies that can’t afford an IT team that can handle all their IT needs since the managed IT provider would work as their IT team with a great gap in costs.
The Co-Managed IT model is recommended for companies that already have an IT team or IT person but still need some manpower to take care of all the IT needs, since the managed IT provider would work as an extension of their IT department.
Computer networks and IT infrastructure absolutely need ongoing maintenance and monitoring to stay secure and healthy
The final option that you will run into on your hunt for IT support is companies offering technology as a service.
These companies offer everything that managed IT services offer but with the addition of new hardware, software, and support.
This service ensures that your business is always up-to-date with the newest technologies.
You’ll need to read the fine print, though since many of these companies do not cover third-party software.
The greatest benefit of technology as a service is that you’ll avoid the heavy cost of new hardware and software when you need it, but you will be paying far more for the same hardware and software over time.
Conclusion: The Technology as a Service model it’s the most comprehensive of all since it offers the benefits of the Managed IT services plus the purchasing, replacement, and managing of hardware and software.
This model is a good fit for a company that wants complete peace of mind about their business’ technology and can afford high monthly fees (higher than the managed IT services).
Choosing the correct form of IT support for your company is incredibly important and something you want to attend to.
Mistakes could have disastrous effects on your business.
If you are not sure of which model will work best for you, take a look at this e-book or book yourself here for a call with one of our IT experts. We’d be glad to help you find the perfect IT support for your business.