In the 21st century, a smooth running IT system is a must. Downtime is not only frustrating, but it can also cost money, reputations and jobs. But for small businesses, staying on top of IT issues can be a challenge. When you should be spending your time and energy on running your business, it can be difficult to switch focus to technical issues. For this reason, many small businesses have to decide whether to hire a full time IT person or pay for outside IT services. Very often it comes down to the question of cost. How much do businesses pay for IT services a year and is it worth it? In this article we’ll do some comparing and contrasting to try and figure out the best way to keep your IT services up and running.
Hiring a full time employee to take care of IT services makes sense for many reasons. Downtime is such an anathema to a small business that it could even cause a business to fail altogether. For this reason, it’s very reassuring to have someone in the office who can take care of any problems as they occur.
If there’s a downside to having full time IT technicians on staff it’s the cost. The salary of even a junior IT service person will likely run in the high five figures – and that’s before things like insurance, benefits and holiday pay come into play. Experienced IT service workers will very often run into six figure salaries.
One problem with having your own dedicated IT team is that if everything is running smoothly, their productivity may be questioned. However, they still need to be paid their full salary. It can be more affordable at times for business to just pay when services are required and for routine maintenance versus keeping a team on staff full-time.
Outsourcing the IT support can initially seem a lot risker and more expensive for a small business. Not having someone immediately on hand in times of trouble can cause serious problems in a business that cannot risk untimely delays. On top of that, the hourly rates of outsourced IT services can appear overly extravagant at first sight.
That said, there are benefits to outsourcing IT support and the reduction in payroll expenses is only one of them. Outsourcing IT support can often provide access to a much wider range of expertise and experience as these services are typically provided by companies with several layers of knowledge. Quite often they will appoint a dedicated service worker to take care of your account which can lead to familiarity and awareness of your situation.
The price paid for this type of support can be quite variable, but generally depends on the size of your network. The number of servers and desktops that are involved will determine the final cost. Many times, it’s possible to pay upfront for packages of time that can be redeemed when necessary. Many small businesses budget a couple of thousand dollars a month for this type of service.
Managed IT support is more comprehensive than outsourced support with the system being remotely monitored 24/7. Technicians can be summoned on site when necessary, but much of the work can be taken care of from afar.
Managed IT support generally offers several different layers of service each with their own subscription rate. This allows a business owner to choose services from an a la carte menu depending on their needs.
The main benefit of managed IT support is the around the clock monitoring that occurs. Much of this is completely automated which can greatly reduce costs. Small businesses often start off by paying several hundred dollars a month and add services as necessary or when revenues allow.
To learn more about how MBC can support your business with customized solutions to fit your unique IT needs and keep your business secure, get a free assessment today.
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