Lisa Jackson

By: Lisa Jackson on February 17th, 2020

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Comparing the Cost of Managed IT Services to Break/Fix Tech Support

Technology Strategy | Purchasing | Outsourced IT Support

“Why are you so expensive?” This is one of the most asked questions by our existing

and prospective clients. So, someone must answer it. Lucky me. We will discuss the difference between tech support and managed IT services and the cost associated with each of them.

Here at Innovative, we are a managed IT services provider, but understand that our services aren’t the best fit for every business. As such, we are going to provide you with an honest assessment of the cost of managed IT services and break/fix tech support.

The goal of this article is to provide you with the information necessary to understand the cost of managed IT services and break/fix tech support. With this knowledge, you can make the right choice for you and your business.

The Cost of Break/Fix Tech Support

Let’s begin by defining the difference between break/fix tech support and managed IT services.

With break/fix tech support, something isn’t working, and you need to get it fixed. You call someone; hopefully, the wait isn’t too long, and they will either remotely assist or perhaps come on-site to resolve the issue. You will pay the bill for their time and service, transaction over.

Most IT services companies that offer a break-fix model will run in the range of $125 and $225 per hour, often with a two-hour minimum service call.

These fees are even less (often well under $100 per hour) in the case of an individual contractor or one-person company.

Break-fix tech support can be an excellent solution for businesses that:

  • Are small and use simple cloud-based platforms.
  • Do not need a server.
  • Resist expanding their technology use in any way.
  • Have a backup solution in place and internal resources maintaining their network security.
  • Need only minor assistance with repairs and replacements.

If the above sounds like you, then perhaps break/fix tech support is the right path for you.

The Cost of Managed IT Services

On the other hand, there are also managed IT services. Managed IT services are typically more of a proactive approach.

How much do managed IT services cost? Well, I would love to throw out a flat rate number, but the reality is, it depends. Here is what I can tell you.

The cost of basic managed IT is a monthly fee based on:

  • The number of locations you have.
  • The number of devices (computers, servers, and other networked devices) you have.

The monthly fee could also include other managed services like:

  • A backup solution.
  • An antivirus solution and other cybersecurity services.
  • Support for other networked systems like phones, printers, and copiers.
  • Rented or leased equipment.

The average rate for managed IT services in this industry is in the range of $150 to $500 per server, $50 to $150 per desktop, and approximately $20 per smartphone or mobile device.

Managed IT services is undeniably more expensive than break/fix tech support, especially at first glance. But consider the amount of break/fix tech support you typically need, and where you are heading for the future.

Are you:

  • A business with an array of compliance stipulations, such as healthcare?
  • A rapidly growing business that’s having a hard time keeping up?
  • A business leader who values technology and its role in your day to day business?
  • A business with one or more internal techs, but they are struggling to keep up with the demands?
  • A business owner who wants to plan for necessary technology maintenance and future equipment more reliably.

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, managed IT services may be the right fit for you.

How Managed IT Works at Innovative

Here at Innovative, our managed IT fees are based on the number of workstations and servers on your network. Our minimum monthly contract fee at the time of this article is $500 per month, for up to 5 workstations and one server.

We have multiple strategies, procedures, and policies in place that aid in maintaining your productivity and potentially increasing it. How do we do this? Well, for starters, we have a fantastic tech team with varying expertise and experiences who will all know your network intimately.

We vet and sell what we believe is the industry’s best products to meet your needs. Lastly, we have a team dedicated to you and your vision for the future via Strategic Technology Plans. A Strategic Technology Plan (STP) consists of sitting down with you and listening to your goals and aspirations. Together, we design an STP to meet your short- and long-term goals in correlation with your industry standards as well as ours. But should something unforeseen occur, well we’re a phone call away.

Is Managed IT or Tech Support Right for Your Business?

The biggest question here is, what do you think you need?

Break/fix tech support will cost you around $125-$225 per hour. It might be a great option if you’re a small business with limited tech needs.

Managed IT services will cost more at $500+ per month. But it could be the better option if you face opportunity costs from things like non-compliance, IT downtime, and lost productivity.

The answer isn’t the same for every business, and it’s not uncommon for a business to utilize each approach at different phases of growth. 

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About Lisa Jackson

With a Master's Degree in Elementary Education and a combined four years' experience with Innovative, Lisa loves helping clients understand how technology can work better for them. As Sales Support Specialist, she handles technical quotes, and manages documentation of customer technology plans. She is the glue that holds the the technical sales processes together and makes sure our customers get the right technology at the right times.