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Tyler Thepsiri

By: Tyler Thepsiri on November 18, 2022

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What Does Managed IT Cost? (10 Things That Affect Price)

Managed Services | IT Support

Most business leaders are constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency and reduce costs. From manufacturing to business process improvements, productivity, and cost are always top of mind. 

For some organizations, that may mean exploring the possibility of working with an external IT provider to supplement limited (or non-existent) in-house resources. 

As a managed IT support provider, Kelser hears the cost question from customers frequently as we work with customers to ensure that their technology is safe, available, and efficient. But, don’t worry, we aren’t here to sell you our services

Instead, Kelser is committed to providing the information business leaders like you need to make the technology decisions that are right for your organization. 

That’s why this article will honestly provide pricing information for managed IT support services and explain 10 things that affect the price

After reading this article, you’ll be more informed about managed IT and better able to confidently decide if managed IT support is the right choice for you

What Is Managed IT Support?

Managed IT support is a comprehensive, proactive approach to IT. Customers pay a set fee each month. In return, the provider manages some or all of the elements of the customer’s network.

Related Article: The Pros & Cons Of Managed IT Support 

How Much Does Managed IT Support Cost? 

While the costs can vary from one provider to another, the typical cost of managed IT support ranges between $100 and $200 per user per month. Kelser charges $120 to $140 per user per month. Find out what’s included in Kelser’s managed IT

What Factors Affect The Price Of Managed IT Support? 10 To Know 

Managed IT support provides several advantages including consistent monthly costs. No more surprise IT invoices! 

Here are some of the factors that can affect the monthly cost of managed IT support:

1. Support Model

Some companies (typically those without any on-site IT staff) opt for fully managed IT support, while others may prefer a co-managed arrangement, in which the provider works alongside the organization's on-site IT staff.

As you might expect, this distinction has significant cost implications. 

2. Organization Size

The size of the organization affects IT support costs cost in multiple ways. 

      • Number of Devices and/or Users

A big factor that affects costs is the number of users (or devices) being supported. 

      • Number/Location of Sites

Supporting one physical location is much simpler than supporting multiple locations. If all users are physically located at one site, the cost will likely be less than several sites or a largely remote workforce.

In the same way, if an organization’s physical location is near the IT provider, the customer may have cost (and other) advantages due to proximity. 

3. Licensing Fees (Software)

Licensing fees are directly proportional to the number of users in an organization. Every organization’s licensing fees will be different because there are always some applications that every user doesn’t need.

And, in some cases, large organizations will receive a volume discount which will drive down the per-user cost.

4. Service  

Here are two examples of service support that can affect managed IT support costs: 

      • Help Desk

Some IT support contracts provide for unlimited calls to the service (or help) desk.

Others charge separately for service calls depending on the number of calls per period, while others cover a certain number of calls within the contract and then charge separately for each call beyond that.

This is an important distinction and is something that should be considered when evaluating options.

      • On-site vs. Remote

Providers can often remote into a user's device to troubleshoot and resolve issues. This ability can affect the cost of your service.

Make sure you and your users understand the kinds of issues that will be handled remotely and those that will require on-site service

5. Team Experience/Expertise

The level of experience and expertise of the provider’s staff will play a role in pricing

If one price is significantly less than another, make sure you ask about the experience level of the staff. (Keep in mind that one solid senior-level engineer with current certifications and relevant experience can earn a six-figure salary.)

Consider asking about the frequency of staff turnover at the provider as well as how it is handled.

While you may save money using a less experienced provider, you want the people caring for your IT to have up-to-date skills and certifications as well as the experience to be able to troubleshoot your issues and provide seamless service. 

6. Infrastructure (Servers, Switches & More)

The nature of your infrastructure also can affect cost. 

      • Services 

The particular services the provider will need to deliver to keep your IT infrastructure available, secure and efficient also contribute to the cost of external IT support.

Be sure you are comparing apples to apples when evaluating different providers and their offerings. 

      • Age

Just as the owner of a vintage car will need to factor repair costs into their budget, infrastructure age will affect the cost of IT support. The provider also may recommend upgrades that can typically be included in long-term budgetary planning. 

      • Complexity

To continue the car analogy, certain cars are more expensive to maintain because of the complexity of their engine. The same is true for IT infrastructures.

      • On-premise vs. Cloud

On-premise servers require different kinds of maintenance than cloud-based servers. With on-premise servers there will likely be a need for more site visits, increasing IT service costs.

7. Response Time (Service Licensing Agreement)

Turnaround time for help and service is another factor. A provider whose reputation is built on faster service commitments may charge a little bit more than one that doesn’t have the same reputation. 

8. Liaison With Equipment Manufacturers

Some providers have ongoing relationships with equipment suppliers and will run interference for you. If something breaks, the IT provider will serve as your liaison and contact the OEM on your behalf. 

9. Proactive, Strategic Support

You also want to know that the people who work at your IT service provider have the experience to provide the strategic advice that will position your IT infrastructure to support your short- and long-term goals

Some providers offer the services of a virtual Chief Information Officer, Technical Alignment Manager, and Service Delivery Manager. These experts come with more cost, but also offer significant benefits. 

If your provider says they offer these services make sure you understand how much strategic advice you can expect

Related Article: What To Expect From A vCIO

10. Industry & Contract Requirements 

Some industries have more regulatory and compliance requirements. These, too, figure into the cost of external IT support. 

Regulatory and compliance requirements can make IT support a little more complicated, so there may be additional costs if your requirements are complex. 

Customer data (health information, private identification data, or credit card numbers for example) or contract requirements (for government agencies like the Department of Defense), as well as regulatory or compliance needs all factor into the equation.

What To Expect When It Comes To IT Support Costs 

Now you know 10 important factors that will influence your IT support costs: 

  • Support Model
  • Organization Size 
  • Licensing Fees
  • Service Support
  • Team Experience/Expertise
  • Infrastructure
  • Turnaround Time
  • Intermediary Support With OEMs
  • Proactive, Strategic Support
  • Your Industry Requirements

This information will help you compare IT support proposals and will make you a more informed consumer.

Nobody likes to enter a negotiation feeling like the other side has the upper hand. By reading this article, you have leveled the playing field.

So, what’s the next step? 

When evaluating managed IT support providers, we always encourage people to check out multiple options. In fact, we take this advice so seriously that we’ve done some of the legwork for you.

This article offers an honest comparison of our services with one of our competitors. Visit our learning center for more comparison articles. 

Why do we publish articles like this? Well, as consumers ourselves, we know that one of the first things we do when making an important purchase is to check out our options via the Internet.

We assume that you do the same thing. The information is all available on company websites, so why not save you the trouble and give you what you need?

The truth is, we are more concerned that you get the best fit for your organization. Every IT provider has something to offer and there is plenty of business for all of us. 

If you have already decided on the providers you want to evaluate, here are the top questions you need to ask.

Whether we end up working together or not, Kelser believes in providing the information you need to make this important decision. We know managed IT isn't right for everyone, but if you are wondering if it makes sense for you, take the quiz below.

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About Tyler Thepsiri

With more than 10 years in the IT industry, Tyler is able to adapt quickly to almost any technological issue. He understands how systems should work, and specializes in security and compliance.

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