Apples to Oranges Definitions
As we mentioned earlier in this article, “managed IT services” can have different definitions so you have to be very clear on exactly what is being offered when you’re comparing companies side-by-side. What you need to understand is what is being managed and the overall goal of the provider. For example, is the IT company’s goal to deliver a set amount of services or is it to give you a smooth running IT system on which you can leverage technology?
Service Delivery and Relationship Management
It’s okay to get into some specifics about how the company you’re evaluating will deliver services, but you should see a red flag if all they want to talk about is their tech tools and how they use them.
Answers to the following questions should give you insight on both service delivery and approach:
- How does the company provide comprehensive IT expertise?
- How will you work together to create IT strategy?
- Are there limits with services? What does “unlimited” mean?
- How will the relationship be managed?
- Tell me about your onboarding process and plan for the first three months.
- What will we do if we have problems? How long will it take to get ahold of someone?
- What will success look like? How will we measure results?
- What will cost extra, or what’s outside the scope of this agreement?
- What kind of communication can I expect?
- How long does it take to resolve issues, on average?
Related: 10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Managed IT Services Contract
Pricing for Managed IT Services
You already know that it’s hard to compare “managed services” apples to apples with different companies, and the same is true for pricing. There are many variables that come into play, including how much equipment you have, the number of employees, and the complexity of your network.
You’re probably looking at a per device price of $100 - 400 per server, $50 - 100 per workstation, $30 - 75 per firewall, and $15 - 40 per switch, and a per user charge of about $150 - 250 per user.
Related: Get details about Managed IT Services pricing for Southern California businesses with our Pricing Guide.
In order to give you a quote, the managed service provider will need a little more information besides an equipment count. They’ll want to know what software you use including cloud applications; how many locations you have; and other details that will give them a clear representation of your technology lay of the land.