Complete Guide to MSP Pricing and Services.
Not sure your company can afford professional IT support? This guide will help you find the best and most affordable IT solutions for your business.
How important is information technology (IT) to your business?
Even companies that function with the most basic technology require a certain level of security, maintenance, and support to ensure their devices are running efficiently and that data is protected. Regardless of size or industry, IT services help form the foundation of every modern company.
Choosing the right IT setup for your industry, company size, and budget is a significant task. The 2020 Complete MSP Pricing Guide helps executives, owners, and IT professionals from every industry find the ultimate solution for IT support and services.
Compare prices of traditional in-house IT teams alongside the range of services and support offered by Managed Service Providers. Not sure how to leverage your budget to gain the quality IT services your company needs? Learn which IT elements should form the foundation of every business, the range of cost-saving services provided by MSPs, and how to choose the best IT solution for your company.
Essential IT Services for Every Business
From email support and data backups to network security, there is a wide range of technology-based elements that support the day-to-day functioning of your company. Without them, sales would slow, employees would lose productivity, and business could come to a complete halt.
What are the essential IT services that every company should consider?
Desktop and Network Support
Desktop and network support cover a wide range of services from maintaining and repairing office equipment to ensuring the software is running properly on employee devices and that network connectivity is viable. In-house desktop support employees can also provide break-fix solutions and basic help desk services.
Network engineers create network systems for your employees, including intranet, as well as local area networks (LANs) and wide-area networks (WANs) among many other network types. They also ensure that firewalls are functioning properly and that the network is maintained and accessible to everyone in the company.
The average salary of desktop support is around $55,000 per year, while network engineers earn closer to $90,000 and up, a significant line item in any company budget.
Every company’s database solutions look a little different: on-campus servers, cloud-based storage, or a combination of the two. Regardless of how your company’s information is stored, it is important to manage and maintain the integrity of customer information with proper backups and server management.
Compliance and Risk Support
While many companies try to keep this element of IT in-house, this requires a high level of security knowledge to ensure your company is following all data compliance requirements. Especially key for finance and healthcare companies, compliance even goes beyond how data is stored and impacts which employees can access company information and from where.
Staying compliant with HIPAA, GLBA, and GDPR—or other data protection laws related to your industry—is not only essential but required. Data compliance consists of establishing and monitoring network structure as well as training employees on regulations for offsite network access.
Most companies are aware of the cyber risks in today’s world, but is your company prepared to deal with those risks should you be faced with cybercrime?
Protecting your company against the latest schemes requires a combination of security software, employee education, and continual monitoring to guard against constantly changing cybercrime tactics. Experts in cybersecurity can ensure your company is not only prepared to recover from a data breach but using preventative technology and information to keep it from happening in the first place.
Evaluating your IT Needs
For small to medium businesses, covering all the above IT services with in-house staff is often unrealistic. Even combining in-house services and employees with al a carte services from a managed service provider can increase your IT budget significantly.
Small to medium businesses can expect to pay anywhere from $130,000 per year (for companies of around 20 employees) to over $400,000 per year (for companies of around 100 employees).
Combing in-house staff with a managed service provider certainly reduces costs, but is the reduction significant enough to help you stay on budget? Even with the joint effort of your own IT employee and a few outsourced services, your company could still expect to spend from $96,000 to $400,000 a year on average.
In order to cover the above IT services, keep your company data and technology secure, and stay on top of budgetary goals, there is one solution that far outweighs any other. Working with a full-service MSP gives you the opportunity to save time and money while ensuring every aspect of your company is secure, efficient, and up to date.
What Services are Provided by an MSP?
Managed Service Providers run the gamut from small, one- and two-person companies to large enterprise businesses that in turn service other enterprise companies.
For small to medium businesses, a quality MSP will provide everything from basic tech support and license purchasing to high-tech cybersecurity and database management. For a fraction of the cost of hiring an in-house IT team, MSPs offer the full array of tech support needed to keep your company running efficiently. Finding the right MSP should start with these essential IT services.
While this may not seem like a service, having the support of a team that understands the inner workings of your industry is invaluable. Not only will your MSP provide quality IT support, but as industry experts, they can advise on powerful new tools, software, and practices to increase productivity and monitor compliance.
License and Equipment Purchasing
Not sure which equipment or software will best serve your company? Your MSP can consult on what devices and equipment will best serve your unique company structure. They will then take care of purchasing and licensing.
Having an MSP provide hands-on equipment support allows them to better manage upgrades, security updates, warranties, and end-of-life disposal. Because of their ongoing relationship with multiple hardware and software vendors, your MSP can also provide helpful price negotiations and suggestions on the most up-to-date devices.
Application and Device Management
Managed Service Providers are experts in a wide range of applications, including the Microsoft products that many SMBs use to power their companies. MSPs work to make sure all of your company devices—or personal devices that employees use for company-related tasks—are properly connected to your network and running the appropriate applications.
Many companies are moving from on-campus servers to public or private cloud platforms. The right MSP will have experience migrating businesses like yours and providing the necessary support to make sure your data remains secure before, during, and after migration to the cloud. Whether you are using Azure, Amazon Web Services, or any number of cloud-based platforms, MSPs will also provide expert advice on how to navigate business using new applications and accessing company data from the cloud.
Storage and Managed Database Services
MSPs work to make sure your database is optimized, backed up, and protected at all times. They also offer managed storage services—on-site, off-site, and cloud-based—protecting your data through multiple backups in different locations. Quality storage and database management make all the difference in the event of disaster recovery due to system failure or cyberattacks.
Remote Monitoring and Alerts
One of the key benefits of working with a Managed Service Provider over in-house IT staff is the availability of 24/7 monitoring and remote IT alerts and support. While in-house management can mean issues are detected and dealt with hours—or days—after they occur, a quality MSP will detect and deal with an issue in just minutes. Remote monitoring also means there is someone available at all times to diagnose problems and provide real-time support.
Patch management is another essential service provided by an MSP. While some providers offer manual support, advanced companies also provide automated processes and self-healing technology. These automated services not only provide automatic patching, but also monitor regular backups, and provide consistent reports indicating that all processes, data backups, and systems are up-to-date.
Cybersecurity and Training
More and more companies are at risk of cyberattacks as criminals look for new and unexpected ways to obtain customer information, hold data for ransom, or simply put your systems and network at risk.
MSPs offer multiple levels of cybersecurity. Certified security experts can set up automated systems that help continually monitor and patch firewalls and antivirus software. MSPs also provide regular vulnerability testing to find and repair any gaps in your security. For companies that need higher levels of security due to sensitive data, it is important to work with an MSP that offers security as an ongoing managed service as well as security training.
The majority of ransomware attacks begin with a phishing email that is opened by an unsuspecting employee. Training your staff on how to recognize and respond to cyberattacks such as phishing emails is an important service provided by your Managed Service Provider.
Maintaining and managing an in-house help desk may seem like the best solution for your company, but the costs associated with staffing highly-trained IT support can be high. The right MSP will provide fast, effective help desk support from resetting a password to troubleshooting issues with your device.
Compliance is incredibly important when it comes to the data your company stores and uses on a regular basis. Regardless of your industry, there are laws regulating how you can use client information, where you can access it from, and how long you can store that data.
Your MSP provides expert knowledge of compliance regulation for every industry and will ensure your network, database, and storage solutions are following every guideline. MSPs work to mitigate your risks so that the pressure of compliance is no longer on your shoulders.
While MSPs protect your company from as many IT risks as possible, the best service providers will always have a disaster recovery contingency in the event of the worst-case-scenario. Your MSPs disaster recovery program will get your company up and running swiftly and at minimal cost to you.
The Cost Savings of an MSP
The number of services provided by an MSP cover above and beyond the those provided by in-house teams, and at just a portion of the cost.
Comparing the average salaries of database and network engineers with the average cost of a quality MSP, you are guaranteed to see savings year over year.
Small Business Savings
Earlier we looked at the different salary and yearly costs of hiring IT professionals to work on your staff. For small businesses of around 10 employees, in-house desktop support can cost around $130,000 on average in the first year. In comparison, working with a full-service MSP can cost an average of only $40,000 to $50,000 per year.
For cloud-based companies, the costs are even lower for all the protection, expertise, and support of an MSP. Average costs range from $21,000 to $23,000, putting your company way ahead on budget while keeping you and your information secure.
Savings for Medium-sized Companies
For companies with more employees—anywhere from 50 to 100—the cost savings of working with an MSP are still significant in comparison to in-house salaries and costs.
If your company staffs approximately 50 employees, you could expect to require both a network engineer and desktop support to keep your devices, software, and network running smoothly. Recruiting, onboarding and salary costs can average around $200,000 per year. With an MSP, you can expect to pay around $165,000 or less per year, keeping in mind that the first year of service will also encompass one-time onboarding fees.
Larger companies of 100 or so employees can also expect savings by working with an MSP. The average costs of maintaining a team of four professionals fall in the range of $419,000 per year, after the first year. Alternatively, the average MSP can provide even higher levels of expertise and security management for around $367,000 per year after the first year.
Saving Time and Money
The cost-effectiveness of an MSP goes beyond annual savings in the thousands of dollars. The quick, on-demand service provided by an MSP means you are also saving your company time and money by avoiding long downtimes and missed sales due to ineffective IT support. Every time an employee experiences an issue with their device, software, or network connectivity, they lose productivity and momentum. Your MSP help desk and remote monitoring help employees solve problems immediately, improving productivity and work satisfaction.
Choosing the Right Managed Service Provider
Finding the right MSP for your company requires a close look at your IT needs and determining what level of support will provide you with the most peace of mind.
Many managed service providers will help you audit your current system and develop a plan for service and an SLA that goes above and beyond your basic needs while still supporting your bottom line.
IT support has become a foundational part of every modern business and is essential to the day-to-day efficiency of your company. Choosing to partner with an MSP that provides expert services and security will ensure your data is protected and your employees are supported as they navigate devices, applications, and connectivity.
When reviewing managed IT service providers, be sure to check off not only your essential IT service needs, but also the services that will help your company keep up with industry standards, compliance regulation, and prepare for the future. As technology advances and new applications, devices, and software join the scene, partnering with an MSP that strives to keep you up-to-date will help your company continue to save time and money as your business grows.
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