We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again… IT is expensive.
Managed Services is a great solution to reduce IT costs and boost your business’s IT support system, but it is important to understand the price tag. While the human cost savings are evident, you must also look at how your business structure impacts cost.
When it comes to Managed Services, what you pay is what you get. Depending on your business, you may be paying more to ensure your Managed Services Provider meets your needs. Let’s walk through a few of the factors that can cause a jump in your provider’s price tag together.
First and foremost, the type(s) of support your business needs from your provider will impact cost. If you are looking to fully outsource your IT department it will cost more than a company with a full internal IT team that only needs the advanced skills MSP engineers offer. If you find that you need a service that is not part of your plan, you may be paying additional costs.
When choosing a Managed Services Plan, carefully analyze your business needs to select an MSP and plan that best aligns with your needs and budget. If you don’t know where to start, contact us at PEI!
Number of People and Devices
Managed Services are a great resource for many small to mid-size businesses, but it is important to know that many providers charge per user or per computer. The more workspaces you need to cover, the higher the cost.
With that in mind, the cost of hiring an MSP for many SMBs is lower than the cost of a System Administrator. Don’t believe us? Compare the cost of hiring an Internal IT Team as opposed to a Managed Services Provider.
This is a two-part factor. Firstly, how quickly do you need your provider to respond when problems arise? The answer depends on how long your business can wait for a response before it affects your bottom line. Your wait time is determined by your MSP’s Service Level Agreement (SLA). So, once you’ve established how long you can wait for a response, ensure your provider’s SLA is in line with your time frame. Keep in mind, a shorter SLA tends to come at a higher cost.
Specialized Applications and Programs
Does your business rely on a specialty application? For instance, many healthcare offices run Compulink. When searching for an MSP you will need to find a provider capable of servicing and managing the specialty applications within your business structure, which can cost more. But remember, you are paying for your engineers’ expertise.
Another option if you have specialty applications and programs is to work with more than one MSP. While the general rule of thumb is to work with as few MSPs as possible, this is not uncommon. Some businesses work with one MSP to take care of their general IT needs and use another—more specialized—MSP to manage any special programs their business needs to function. As you can probably guess, two MSPs means two bills.
If your business needs to abide by policies such as HIPAA or FERPA, the security services associated with achieving and monitoring compliance can be more expensive.
For example, if your business is subject to HIPAA regulations, so is your Managed Services Provider because they are considered a Business Associate. Now, instead of just ensuring your business’s IT is in compliance with HIPAA, your provider must also ensure they meet all HIPAA requirements. These requirements include but are not limited to security assessments, risk mitigation plans, and adherence to the Security Rule.
If you’re not a company subject to any compliance regulations, then this doesn’t affect your provider. But, if you’re subject to policies such as HIPAA, you need to understand how the additional steps necessary to ensure you are both compliant will impact the cost of Managed Services.
Business Structure and Price
So, by now you probably get the point. The structure and specialized needs of your business impact the price you pay for Managed Services. If after reading this you are worried about the cost of an MSP for your business, take a step back to compare the cost of your internal IT team as opposed to working with an MSP. You might just be surprised. PEI offers an IT Department Costs Calculator to help you with this step.
You should know what services you are and are not paying for when it comes to Managed Services. If you are interested in working with an MSP but still have questions about price and benefits, contact us today. PEI is happy to answer any of your questions, so you understand the cost of Managed Services.
Anna Ross, PEI