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Published 3 April 2019

Alex Innard

Alex Innard
Head of IT

Deciding on a suitable IT support company may just be about cost but this is often confused with hidden extras and poor quality of service, which results in even greater costs in the short term.

In this article, I try to explain what these hidden extras are and how they can ultimately cost your business more than it would if you had set the right budget from the beginning.
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IT Support Costs for Business

As a buyer, we all like to know the cost of something before we buy it. For most things we chose to buy, information on pricing is usually readily available. This means we can make informed decisions before making that next big purchase. Over the last ten years, there has been a shift for businesses to fix their IT cost so that they can OPEX budget more accurately.

IT Support Costs

Cheap IT support – a tempting offer

The problem with IT support is that information on reasonable costs is not readily available. This means that buyers are unable to make informed decisions and are easily enticed by what may seem like not-to-be-missed pricing.

Many IT Services Providers do not mention their pricing strategy on their website or within marketing material. After initial contact has been made, these same providers will often send a quote offering a very low price which may seem like an amazing deal. There is, however, one big flaw in this: Cheap IT support is expensive!

Take, for instance, a claim of “IT support for £20 per user per month.” On the face of it, this seems like a fantastic price. As a consumer, you should be wary. Imagine your company has 25 staff all using IT. The support cost each month will be 25  x  £20  =  £500. For that cost, what level of service do you receive? The truth is likely to be worrying.

Value-driven IT support

Well trained and experienced IT staff are often difficult to find. The “right” candidate comes at a salary premium over a “bad” candidate. Added to this is the cost of ensuring that training and certifications are always up to date, to be ahead of the ever-evolving changes in IT and offer the best advice to clients. There is also the requirement to invest in the right technology and systems to properly support your business.

Any provider that charges less than £75 per hour for their time is quite frankly going to be making a loss. So, setting £75 as a minimum, how much service would your business get each month? The answer is just over 6 and a half hours (£500 monthly cost / £75 value of hourly rate = 6.6666 hours.)

What is the best IT support for my business?

As the business decision-maker, you rightly expect your IT provider to perform many activities such as; proactive monitoring, readily available helpdesk support, safeguarding your data, consultancy and advice amongst many other things. This takes more than 6 and a half hours a month. A lot more. Therefore, of two things will happen if you appoint the cheapest IT provider; you either won’t get the level of service your business needs or there will be hidden costs.

This is how cheap IT turns out to be expensive. You’ll get poor service and when something goes wrong there will be extra costs to put it right, or you’ll have a low price but in the likely event you need extra work, it will cost extra. This leads to the one thing you were originally trying to break free from; fluctuating unpredictable pricing.

How much does IT support cost?

So, you may be asking how much should IT support cost? It’s difficult to give a definitive answer, since “one size does not fit all.” Your businesses will likely have key systems and services that are more important than similar systems in another business. You may not prioritise a certain IT function that is prioritised in another business, or you may require extra support for certain aspects of your IT that others do not.

Here at Apograph we accept that each business is unique and has a unique set of requirements and tailor our pricing around our clients’ needs. We present you with a monthly fixed fee that is arrived at from extensive research and analysis into your business and its needs.

That cost may seem expensive compared to cheap quotes, but there are no hidden costs. It also means we can offer your business the level of service it needs. We have invested heavily in the technology and staff that we use to support our clients. We can spend more than 6 and a half hours supporting your business each month – much more!

This article isn’t meant to justify our costs. It has been written to help you make an informed decision on how much you SHOULD be paying for IT services. If you have read this article and still think the £20 per user per month quote is the best for you, that’s okay. However, if this article has made you want to know more about what makes great IT support then give us a call on 0800 310 0056 or email info@apograph.com and we can discuss your needs further.

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