The cost of IT support depends on various factors ranging from the industry to the organization’s size. It also depends on the type of tools in place to support activities such as hardware and software maintenance, user support, training and its role in the organization.
Role of IT support in an Organization
IT support is an essential part of an organization. It helps keep the systems and networks running smoothly and allows users to access the information and applications. IT support is a core function of any organization in many ways. Here are the reasons why:
1. Keeping Systems and Networks Running
IT support is responsible for maintaining an organization’s systems and running the networks smoothly. The IT department will decide the hardware and software to use in an organization and be in charge of their installation and maintenance.
2. Responding to Staff Needs
One of the most common activities for an internal IT department is responding to staff members’ needs. These include issues like password resets, troubleshooting hardware or software issues, or providing basic training on how to use a particular application.
With a proper remote support tool, this support is relatively easy as it requires fewer IT personnel. However, this work can be incredibly time-consuming and expensive without a remote support tool. Each staff member’s request requires an IT professional to walk up to each person’s workstation, log into their machine and help them troubleshoot the issue at hand.
With the ability to remotely connect with staff members’ computers, this activity becomes much more efficient and cost-effective. In addition, the remote technician can help multiple users simultaneously from their desk or mobile device.
3. Customer Support
IT support also responds to customers’ queries, especially for organizations that require clients to sign in on an online platform to access some information. This can include password reset and site navigation issues. A company’s IT team could also be tasked with developing end-user applications.
Providing IT support to customers often involves telephone calls, resulting in a significant increase in the company’s phone bill. In some cases, an IT personnel will be dispatched to the client’s business premises or residence.
Factors that determine IT costs
The determining factors are similar for most enterprises when it comes to IT costs—first, the needs of the business and its budget for it. Second, the size of the business and finally types of services required.
Needs vs Budgets
In some cases, the right amount of IT support may be determined by budget constraints; the perfect solution is not always what’s affordable. For example, a company that works in the healthcare field may need to be HIPAA compliant — but they may not have enough money in their budget for a dedicated server or personnel to handle all of their security needs. As a result, compromises are often made, extra precautions are taken, and other areas are neglected until the situation improves.
Type of Support Provided
When determining the cost of IT support, the first thing to consider is the type of service being provided — whether it’s a managed service, an outsourced service, or a combination of the two.
• Managed Service
A managed service is provided by an organization that is specially trained to serve an organization’s tech needs. They will install and configure the systems and then take care of their maintenance and support.
• Outsourced Service
Outsourcers specialize in providing support for specific applications or technologies, such as email hosting services or managed Microsoft Exchange servers. In those cases, the cost will depend on what they’re supporting and what level of service they offer.
Outsources will charge a flat rate for their services. On the other hand, a managed services provider will likely charge a month-to-month rate, depending on their services.
Size of the Organization
The size of your business will decide the cost of IT support. This is especially important for businesses with greater needs; the same service will likely be differently priced for a business with 100 employees than for a business with ten employees.
Many small businesses will have a budget of around $1,000 per employee per year, or around 1% to 2% of their revenues. This is a loose rule of thumb; you will likely spend less in your first year or two of business as you build your systems and more once you’re established and your systems are aging. However, you can certainly spend more if you want faster response times or higher-quality service.
What Is The Cost Of IT Support?
IT costs will depend on many factors, as discussed in the previous sections. However, to get a rough estimate, it can be looked at in terms of internal vs Outsourced Support:
1. Cost of an internal IT Staff
The cost of an internal IT staff is easy to calculate. This is simply multiplying headcount by hourly rate and then adding overhead costs. Headcount can be calculated by looking at the number of people you will need to perform all your desired tasks and a few extras for when someone is sick or on vacation. The hourly rate will vary depending on experience and skill, but it is typically between $30 and $75 per hour, depending on the area. You will also want to add about 25% for overhead costs such as benefits, equipment, training and software licensing. For example, if you have a staff of three technicians with an average hourly rate of $50 per hour, your cost would be: (3 * $50 * 1.25) = $187 per hour.
2. Cost of an external IT Service Provider
The cost of an external IT service provider is also relatively easy to calculate. First, you need to determine your monthly IT services cost. As discussed in the previous section, this varies depending on business size and the services required, but it is typically between $2,000 and $5,000 per month for a mid-sized organization.