Cost of IT support for small businesses

Cost of IT support for small businesses

Technology gives companies an edge over the competition, which is why many small businesses in Florida rely on IT to keep their operations running smoothly. Tech issues, however — whether they are as simple as a jammed printer or as horrific as a ransomware attack — are inevitable. Whenever your technology breaks, every hour of resulting downtime translates to thousands of dollars in lost productivity and potential sales.

You can avoid all of that headache with reliable IT support. In this blog, we’ll discuss the cost of various IT support options for small businesses.

Cost of DIY IT support

Due to budget constraints, some small companies don’t have an in-house IT staff. Instead, they turn to their most tech-savvy employee to resolve tech issues. This option is free, but if people without necessary IT expertise are fixing technical problems, you may end up incurring more costs in the long run. Not only that, but this option prevents your employees from doing what you really hired them to do.

Cost of an in-house IT support specialist

When you opt for in-house IT, you may have difficulty finding someone who can adequately support all of your company’s technology. IT professionals are usually skilled in some areas and weak in some, so you will likely end up hiring more than one to cover your bases.

This can prove costly as the salary of an IT support specialist in Orlando ranges from $35,000 to $71,000. This does not yet include benefits and the cost of recruitment, training, and provisioning office equipment and other tools. As a result, many small businesses can’t afford to hire a full-time IT employee, let alone a team.

Cost of outsourced IT support from a break/fix technician

If IT support cannot be handled internally, some small business owners outsource it to a break/fix technician — a technology professional you hire whenever something in your IT infrastructure breaks. Once they’re done fixing the problem, the technician sends you a bill.

The amount you pay for repair services can vary wildly, depending on the technician’s expertise, familiarity with your IT systems, and the number of hours they spend fixing the problem. Typically, the hourly rate is $80–100. But since there’s no certainty in how much time repairs will take, you can easily wind up with a huge bill — an unexpected expense that can mess up your business’s cash flow.

The problem with the break/fix model is that technicians earn whenever there’s an issue. This may then incentivize them to:

  • Provide only quick fixes rather than address the root problem in order to create a recurring issue that requires constant fixing
  • Purposely take a long time fixing the problem so they can charge higher fees

Of course, there are plenty of well-meaning break/fix technicians out there. But even they can find it difficult to guarantee response and repair times given the uncertain nature of their services. If they’re already busy with another client, they won’t be able to help you right away or at all. This means longer IT downtime for your company, which, in serious cases, may put your reputation and revenue in jeopardy.

In fact, the Veeam 2020 Data Protection Trends report shows that the average cost of downtime for high-priority applications is $67,651 per hour. What’s more, 95% of the organizations surveyed reported unexpected outages in the past year, each lasting 117 minutes on average.

Cost of outsourced IT support from a managed IT services provider (MSP)

If you want to take a more proactive approach to IT support, then you should partner with an MSP. In contrast to break/fix services, managed IT services provide you with the following:

  • Fixed pricing plan
    MSPs charge a flat monthly fee — typically $100–150 per user per month — for unlimited, round-the-clock IT support. Regardless of the problem a user encounters, you only pay a fixed amount for that user. Because it’s a predictable cost, you can budget for it every month, thus enabling proper cash flow management.
  • Guaranteed service times
    When you partner with a reliable MSP, you sign a service level agreement (SLA) with them. An SLA is a contract that details the following:
      1. Availability: 24/7 or within office hours
      2. Type of IT support: remote support, on-site assistance, or both
      3. Guaranteed response and resolution times
      4. Corresponding rebates or penalties if they fail to meet their committed service levels
      5. Contingency plans
  • Proactive network maintenance
    The provider doesn’t just respond to IT emergencies, but they also try to prevent these from happening in the first place. They have a dedicated team of IT professionals that monitors your technology for potential issues before these result in downtime.

When you work with an MSP, you can also avail of a slew of other IT services such as consulting, cybersecurity, cloud computing, business phone systems, server hosting, and Microsoft Office support.

However, if you want only IT support, an MSP can also provide just that. On average, the price of technical support is $75–95 per hour, depending on job complexity.

When you partner with Data Cube Systems for this standalone service, you will still be assigned a dedicated team of tech specialists. Having a dedicated team means we'll become familiar with your IT environment over time, which means we'll be able to hit the ground running when new issues arise. We’ll also be able to make the right diagnosis and address issues for the long term.

We also provide prompt IT support — both remote and on-site — so you can rest easy knowing that even if your infrastructure breaks, we can get it back up and running in no time. What’s more, whenever you call us, your first point of contact is an engineer. This reduces the chance of miscommunication and bottlenecks.

If you’re interested in our IT support or complete, managed IT services, get in touch with us today. We’ve been helping small businesses in the greater Orlando area grow since 2004.