With all of the technology out there IT services both remotely and on-site have become more and more inexpensive. This allows a medical practice to save money while getting top notch IT support. Because of the remote tools out there, we can service your network from anywhere in the world as well as monitoring and patch management.
How Much for IT Services?
One of the most commons questions we get from new, prospective clients calling our office is “What do you guys charge for your services?” They’re trying to determine how our fees stack up against those of other IT firms.
Problem is, there are different approaches to charging for IT support, and looking at someone’s hourly rate can’t give you a true comparison of the end price or the true cost. If a company charges $70 per hour but puts a junior tech on the job, the tech might take three hours to do something that another company would charge $100 per hour for but complete in 30 minutes. Then, of course, there’s the question of whether or not it’s done right.
So, to better understand what you should be paying for IT support, I want to start by mapping out three predominant pricing models you’ll encounter. They are as follows:
Time And Materials. In the industry, we call this “break-fix” services. Essentially, you pay an agreed-upon hourly rate for a technician to “fix” your problem when something “breaks.” This is the most simple and straightforward way to charge for IT services, and most people like it for that reason. However, this doesn’t work in your favor and can lead you to overpaying for services (more on this in a minute).
Managed IT Services. This is a model where the IT services company takes the role of your “IT department” for a fixed, agreed -upon monthly fee. For that fee, they install, support and maintain all the users, devices and PCs connected to your network on a routine basis. Hardware and software are all extra.
Many people like this arrangement because it allows them to budget for IT services and get the routine maintenance and IT support they need without having to hire a full IT department. This is a very common model, and the companies offering this are called MSPs, short for managed services providers. Often, these plans won’t cover everything IT-related, so you have to be very careful about understanding what is and isn’t included in that monthly fee. It’s not uncommon for projects, adds and changes to your network to be billed as a project on top of the monthly fee for IT support.
TaaS. Some IT firms sell their services using a “technology as a service” model, which is very similar to the above managed services model but includes new hardware, software and support. This ensures you always have the most up-to-date hardware and software available without having one big out-of-pocket cost for a hardware refresh or software upgrade. This may not cover third-party software, so just like the above managed services model, you need to clarify what is and isn’t included.
The upside of this is that you avoid the heavy cash outlay for hardware and software if you need it. The downside is that, over time, you’ll pay FAR MORE for the same hardware and software, similar to leasing a car.