Small Business Managed IT Services

Part
01
of four
Part
01

Managed IT Services for Small Businesses Prices-Part 2

Ultimately, pricing information for Office 365 maintenance and laptop provisioning for small businesses in the DC area was not widely available. Selected pricing for Office 365 management in general was found, but laptop provisioning is not a service usually offered by IT services. Below you will find our helpful findings and an explanation for why the information could not be found.

Office 365 Managed Services

  • Corserva, based in Connecticut, has a basic Office 365 plan which is charged at $8.25/user/month. This is the cheapest plan and goes up to $35 for more elaborate services. This would be $206.25 for 25 users.
  • Rackspace offers a similar service for $8/user/month. They are located in San Antonio but service companies all over the US. This would be $200 for 25 users.
  • Hostway was the cheapest per user pricing available, starting at $6/month. However, it does not include Outlook.
  • Windows Management Experts offers managed Office 365 services for a flat fee instead of based on number of users. The cheapest plan is $1,500/month.
  • Office SWAT has a more small business-friendly plan, starting at $250/month for only overnight coverage. 24/7 coverage starts at $3,000/month.

Laptop Provision

  • Network Depot, a DC-based IT service firm, can assist with the purchase and maintenance of hardware like laptops but it does not provide them directly. All pricing is available upon request.
  • Reveille Systems offers complete IT support including hardware procurement assistance.
  • Solvere One will help companies manage vendors and assist in purchasing for hardware.

Research Strategy

While our first strategy entailed looking at managed IT services in the Washington DC area, it quickly became apparent that this was not possible. None of the managed IT service providers we could locate in the DC area (such as CWPS, Raffa Tech and EPC Group) provided price lists for their services. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the company directly to discuss pricing. Our next strategy to find this information was to then check business listing websites for managed service providers, then to check their individual websites to see if they listed pricing information. This strategy did not prove fruitful. Finally, we approached the task from the other direction, sourcing what MSP price lists were published in the public domain and narrowing them down to any in the greater Washington DC area. This did not get us any closer, as among all the price lists we could find, none were in this area. Therefore, we expanded our search to more broadly to find any price lists available for managed IT services. Even this yielded limited results, which we have presented above.

Finding laptop provisioning pricing was even more difficult, as this does not seem to be a service commonly offered by managed IT services. Similar to before, we first searched for MSPs near Washington DC with price lists for their services. As this was not fruitful, we then methodically checked several DC-based MSPs to see who offered laptop provisioning as part of their services. This led us to conclude that the provision of workstations, like laptops, is usually handled by the business, and MSPs can assist a business in their maintenance. Alternatively, businesses can rent equipment like laptops from vendors like Meeting Tomorrow, AA Rental or Hartford Rents. These companies do offer complete rental services, but they are not wider IT services providers. We then used these business equipment rental companies to check for any pricing information possible, but none of them publish prices on their websites, plus we also knew this was not the exact service sought in this research. Ultimately, even after casting our net more broadly, geographically, we were not able to find any managed IT service providers that offered laptop provision and published their prices.
Part
02
of four
Part
02

Managed IT Services for Small Businesses Prices-Part 1

While the average cost of hiring an IT managed help desk or security service in Washington could not be identified, our team estimated that the average cost of hiring an IT managed help desk service in Washington, without considering business size, is $78,819 per year.

Statistics and Additional Relevant Information

Help Desk Support

  • The company Progent offers IT managed help desk services for small businesses in Washington, from level one to level three support via call center. Their global remote support prices are $2.95 per minute; however, the cost for small businesses is available by request through their contact form.
  • Dataprise also offers help desk services in Washington, for small businesses, the price is provided only by request. Their cost of managed IT help desk services starts at $6.75 per incident per month.
  • According to Indeed's reports, the average salary earned by IT managed help desk analysts in Washington is $65,472 per year; above the average IT help desk employee in the US, who earns an average of $41,500 per year.
  • GMS Live Experts provides an online calculator of annual costs per help desk tech.

IT Security

  • Progent offers IT managed services for small businesses in Washington for security and inventory. The global remote support price per minute is $2.96; however, the specific cost is provided only by request.
  • Based on Indeed's reports, IT security analysts in Washington earn an average of $90,548 per year.

Research Strategy

To determine the prices of managed IT Help Desk and Security services that are available for small businesses in the Washington, D.C. area, we began by looking through official lists of prices in government reports, statistics, economic analysis, and industry reports. Some reports found were the Washington at a Glance by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Washington Price index, the Washington jobs report, and some from the Employment Security Department (ESD). However, these only had information about jobs, statistics of small businesses, fees for IT services, and statistics for IT services but none had information about the cost of hiring these services in Washington or breakdown by type of service and business size.

Our second strategy was looking through articles for mentions of the average cost, in interviews with small business owners who were acquiring the services, partnering with an IT management company, interviews with IT management leaders, or industry analysis. We found a costs' calculator by GMS Live Experts, but it had no difference by region or business size; an analysis about the benefits of working with IT desk outsourcers, but didn't have prices or reference by state, business size, or region; and a list of estimated prices per provider for different outsourcing services, but only had information about Dataprise.

As our third strategy, we attempted to calculate the average cost based on a triangulation of prices provided by three different companies in Washington that offer managed IT services. We found companies like Progent, Dataprise, UKN Group, and DIA Systems, that provide IT managed services of help desk and security to small businesses in Washington; however, none of these listed their prices publicly, only by request.
Also, the prices found for Progent and Dataprise were for all support types and could not be used to calculate an average since one was provided by the minute and the other by the incident.

For our fourth strategy, we tried to do a second triangulation using the average salary of IT managed help desk and security employees using the information available in job board platforms like Indeed, Glassdoor, and Payscale. Our idea was using this information, and the average number of IT managed analysts hired by small companies to calculate the information needed. However, the information available was about direct employees and not for people under IT management companies, so the cost results were not accurate for our research.

Finally, we concluded that the cost of hiring IT managed services like help desk and security, for small businesses in Washington, is not publicly available since the companies don't provide public prices. A reason could be that they hide it to attract customers through benefits and not cost, to provide customizes services, or to prevent price competition.

Calculation

Using GMS Live Expert Cost calculator, and the average annual salary of help desk analysts in Washington, $65,472 per year, we were able to estimate that the average annual cost per technician for the company would be $78,819. Considering that the company is employing the basic staffing for a business hours' operation, which is three agents, serving an average of ten clients per agent per day, and without including hiring and training costs; however, this does not consider the business size.
Part
03
of four
Part
03

Managed IT Services for Small Businesses

Small businesses use various managed IT services such as help desk support, security, backup, disaster recovery, monitoring, and networking. The requested information on the services is presented below.

Help Desk Support

  • Help desk support services entail providing small businesses with IT support services needed to ensure that their critical systems and applications are always up and running. They entail resolving IT-related problems faster and accurately before users even know about them.
  • Small businesses do not have the resources to support an in-house IT department needed to keep their businesses running optimally. Thus, they use help desk support services to sustain their operations cost-effectively.
  • Small businesses enhance their customers’ experiences by using the IT expertise and knowledge base provided by firms offering help desk support services. Thus, they are able to address customers’ concerns quickly by providing relevant solutions, which build brand loyalty.

Security

  • Security services entail provision of specialized security services aimed at helping small businesses build a solid security foundation and protect their operations. Specifically, the services address the various cyber threats using market-leading security tools such as firewalls, malware detection software, and network access control.
  • Small businesses typically use the security services to manage risks emanating from threats such as Crypto-Locker and botnets, meet security compliance standards, ensure data integrity, and maintain operational efficiency. The businesses use managed IT security services to reduce risk and downtime resulting from security breaches.

Backup

  • Backup services entail safeguarding small businesses’ data against losses occasioned by human error, database corruptions, hackers, hardware failures, and natural disasters. Managed IT firms offer numerous data backup solutions for small business depending on their needs and budget.
  • With cost in mind, small businesses typically use backup services to store their valuable data and protect it from any accidental loss. Small businesses are tempting targets for cyberattackers, a fact that underscores the importance of using backup services. Such businesses opt for the cheapest but reliable backup service providers because they are focused on lowering cost.

Disaster Recovery

  • Disaster recovery services entail helping small businesses recover from incidences of data loss and ransomware. Data loss may be caused by sabotage, fire, theft, or natural disasters.
  • Disaster recovery services restore critical business services to help small businesses maintain their productivity as needed. They help in technology continuation when a man-made or natural disaster strikes.
  • Small businesses typically use disaster recovery services to ensure that their doors are open during a data crisis. They use the services to protect against being cut off from their critical data as a result of ransomware attack, human error, or uncontrollable weather.
  • Irrespective of the causes, the results of being unable to access critical data can be devastating to small businesses. Implications such as massive loss of revenue can be crippling to small businesses.

Monitoring

  • Monitoring services entail helping small businesses remain aware of the health and functioning of their systems. Monitoring focuses on service availability, network performance, storage performance, and security event monitoring, among others. Through monitoring, a small enterprise can know about its system’s behavior, analyze it appropriately, and respond accordingly to prevent disruptions.
  • Small businesses use monitoring services to take a proactive and preventive approach to preventing cyberattacks and costly downtime. According to IBM, 62% of all cyberattacks target small and mid-sized businesses. 60% of the affected small businesses are forced to shut down because they are unable to recover. Typically, such businesses use the monitoring services to prevent such eventualities.

Networking

  • Networking services entail helping small businesses keep their network effective and efficient in data transmission. The services involve several solutions such as network evaluation and design, Wide Area Network (WAN) optimization, network evaluation and design, and network performance monitoring, among others.
  • Small businesses also strive to attain operational efficiency. However, they are poorly equipped to maintain the desired efficiency due to their limited financial capacity.
  • With limited IT resources, small businesses can easily fall behind in updates and network management. This exposes their systems to risks of breaches or outages. Thus, they typically use networking services to protect against network inefficiencies caused by poor network management.




Part
04
of four
Part
04

Managed IT Services for Small Businesses 2

The provisioning of laptops as a managed IT service entails procurement and other asset management solutions such as warranty and configuration. Small businesses typically use laptop provisioning managed IT services for laptop tracking and end-user support. Maintenance of an Office 365 environment as a managed IT service, on the other hand, consists of deployment, proactive monitoring, optimization and round the clock support from the Managed Service Provider (MSP).

Provisioning of Laptops Managed Service

  • The provisioning of laptops managed service entails the procurement of laptops by the MSP on behalf of the company, installation of the relevant software, and ongoing maintenance.
  • MSPs come with IT expertise with which they assess an organization's business model and develop suitable laptop recommendations to meet company needs.
  • They take responsibility for supplier relations on behalf of the company and offer shipping as well as setting up services to optimize office workspace usage.

Services Offered

The company offers many different services, including:

How Small Businesses Use Provisioning of Laptops Managed Service

  • Small businesses use this managed service for more rapid deployment of laptops and other IT infrastructure in an ever-changing technology environment. Company system upgrades often take long periods, therefore MSPs help companies stay up to date with system updates.
  • They also use it to obtain customized solutions that fit their company's unique business demands and budget rather than securing a whole generalized infrastructure.
  • Small businesses also use laptop managed services for performance optimization with regard to malware protection and additional utilities which speed up operations.

Maintenance of an Office 365 environment

  • Office 365 managed IT services consist of management, proactive monitoring and round the clock support functions within the Office 365 environment for smooth and efficient operation.

Services Offered

How Small Businesses Use Maintenance of an Office 365 Environment

Sources
Sources

From Part 02