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Managed IT Or Hourly Support – Which Is More Effective?

When any business owner or decision maker calls around trying to find out what IT services are available, they quickly discover that there are a number of options to choose from. The answers they receive vary. This can be confusing for some.

Unfortunately, there’s no online catalog to pick and choose from. However, there are six popular IT Managed Services models that you can review as your starting point.

The 6 Models of IT Services

As is the case in any service industry, IT companies offer a wide variety of services. IT services differ in terms of what they provide and the value they bring to their clientele.

Keep in mind that these service models don’t include all the specifics, pricing and customizations you can access. Instead, each model represents a set of services to give you a general idea of what’s available.

The six IT services pricing models are…

1. The “Monitoring-Only” Model

The monitoring-only model provides network monitoring and alerting services. The Managed Service Provider (MSP) offers this model to companies of all sizes.

For midsize or enterprise companies that don’t use an IT company and instead have in-house IT technicians, they too can be alerted. With this model, there are several service levels.

2. The “Per-Device” Model

The per-device model charges a flat fee for each type of device that gets supported in your company’s IT environment. For instance, a basic per-device pricing model might designate a flat price:

  • per desktop
  • per server
  • per network printer
  • per managed network

The pricing is straightforward to quote, and the monthly service fee gets adjusted when you add more devices into this model.

3. The “Per-User” Model

The per-user model closely resembles the per-device model. Instead of being billed per device, you’re invoiced per user, per month; which covers support for all methods used by each user.

The support typically covers commonly used equipment:

  • Office equipment: PC, laptop, tablet, and connectivity
  • Home equipment: home PC, laptop, tablet, and smartphone
  • Communication equipment: hotels and kiosks when traveling

4. The “Tiered” Model

The tiered model is designed to provide bundled packages.

With each package, “X” amount of services are included. And because this is a tiered model, it also means there are three or more bundled package levels, with three or more pricing levels.

They usually get labeled as “Gold, Silver, and Bronze” or “Basic, Standard, and Premium.” The premise with this model is simple: When you pay more, additional services are available that aren’t offered with a lower-level bundled package.

5. The “All-You-Can-Eat” Model

The All-You-Can-Eat model gives you flexibility.

With this model, it’s easier to budget your IT support expenses. You can gauge what’s taken place over the past year, and then make calculated IT cost forecasts for the coming year.

Typically you’ll have access to:

  • Remote support / on-site support
  • Lab or bench time / 24/7 year-round support
  • Services available during specific hours of the day / particular days of the month

The All-You-Can-Eat model gives the client the ability to genuinely budget their IT support costs over a year’s time and experience no hidden or surprise fees.

6. The “A-La-Carte” Model

The A-La-Carte model is unique.

With this model, you get individual services. Maybe there’s a specific problem that needs addressing. This is when you pay for only the services you need.

You can also create a customized services bundled package tailored to your company’s specific needs and requirements.

But What About Hourly IT Support?

Maybe you think that you don’t need any of IT service models listed above. Perhaps you only have an occasional or even just a rare IT problem, and you’d prefer to fix it on an as-needed basis.

You can think of this as “hourly” IT support; it may only cost you for the time needed to fix your problems, but is it worth it? Not really…

There are a number of downsides to this kind of IT support:

  • It puts you at a disadvantage.
    Given that a technician charges by the hour for this work, they are encouraged to focus on billable hours. It doesn’t benefit him if your IT is working the way it should. You could find yourself repeatedly calling him to help with a problem that never quite gets resolved.
  • You’re not being monitored.
    Without anyone keeping an eye on your systems around the clock, a minor computer problem can quickly turn into a disaster. This is especially true today with the increase in cybercrime like ransomware.What starts out with just one malicious email can spread throughout your entire network, locking down your data, and your operations.
  • You have to deal with delays.
    It could take days to fix your problem; in the meantime, your employees won’t have access to the data they need to continue working. You’re simply “bleeding money” by the minute.
  • You can’t budget accurately.
    It’s impossible to predict how much to budget for IT services. You won’t know what will happen or how expensive it might be to fix.

Which IT Service Model Is Right For You?

Unfortunately, we can’t answer this question for you. Only you can know for sure.

Under the most ideal, predictable and consistent of circumstances, is hourly support worth the money? The fact is that, with IT, nothing remains predictable and consistent for very long.

That’s why working with an IT service company is so much smarter; it takes risk off the table.

Like this article? Read the following blogs to learn more about IT services:

How Much Should A Small Business Spend On Information Technology?

Should Your Business Outsource IT Operations?

What Is Managed IT Services & Who Provides Services