When we talk about “value for money,” the belief is “we get what we pay for.” To some extent, this is true as often the quality of the product or service you receive depends upon the price you pay for it.
But is it the same for IT support? The short answer is, “it depends.”
When you consider the skills and equipment needed to provide robust and reliable tech support, you can say that it is. But this isn’t always true.
Some managed IT services providers offer Helpdesk services, network support, systems administration, and more cost-effectively. But this doesn’t mean that you should outsource your tech support to the lowest bidder.
In this scenario, a cheap quote doesn’t guarantee affordable service in the long-term, and the size of the managed services provider doesn’t assure better service.
So how do you know if you’re getting real value for money? It all comes down to doing your homework before committing.
Business IT support services providers are fiercely competitive, and the price of their offerings vary greatly. However, for the most part, IT support takes one of two forms; pay-as-you-go (or ad-hoc) or fully managed services for a fixed monthly fee.
Pay-As-You-Go IT Support Services
As the name suggests, you pay for what you use. This approach is typically suited for startups and small businesses. When you have to contend with budgetary constraints and simple enterprise infrastructure, it doesn’t make sense to pay for more.
This IT support model is essentially set at an hourly cost for reactive support. Some Helpdesk services providers also offer this pricing model by selling blocks of hours known as Time Banking. The final price is determined by the number of hours purchased by your organisation.
If you decide to go with the latter, to get the most bang for your buck, make sure that the Time Bank doesn’t come with an expiration date. Furthermore, suppose your ad-hoc tech support requires a small monthly retainer, it’s crucial to clarify what you get for it (whether it’s maintenance, network monitoring, or any other related service).
If your startup or small business is hoping to scale rapidly, it’s best to avoid the ad-hoc support model. This is because it won’t be cost-effective—when your business grows, you’ll need a significant number of support hours to accommodate it.
Managed IT Support Services
Fully managed Business IT support often comes with a number of other services like computer and device maintenance. But it all depends on the service provider’s pricing model. For example, some companies charge by the number of end-users while others charge by the number of support calls made, and so on.
Whether via chat, email, telephone, or on-premise support, an established managed services provider won’t limit your support. More often than not, tech support services take a tiered pricing approach where the support provided depends on the tier you chose.
This makes it vital to know precisely what you’re getting before committing. If your company uses bespoke software, make sure to make allocations to ensure that the developer provides adequate guidance to the support services provider.
Finally, your Service Level Agreements (SLA) are crucial to ensure quality and cost-effective support. It has a direct impact on support and response times that affect your bottom line. So sign up with a HelpDesk services provider who is completely transparent in SLAs about how they prioritise issues and response times in each tier.
If you engage in thorough research during the planning phase, you can tell if you’re going to get value for money with your IT support. By paying attention to what’s offered in each support and pricing model, you’ll be better placed to make an educated guess before committing.
To learn more about business IT support, schedule a commitment-free consultation.