Companies need their IT tools in tip-top shape to keep their operations running smoothly. Unfortunately, tech issues — ranging from jammed printers to full-scale cyberattacks — are inevitable. These can cause downtime that can cost your business thousands of dollars in lost productivity and potential sales. The good news is that you can avoid this by having reliable IT support.
In this blog, you'll find out the different IT support options for small businesses like yours and how much they cost.
DIY IT support
Since small companies usually have limited budgets, many of them rely on their most tech-savvy employee for IT support, on top of their current responsibilities. While this IT support option is free, it’s not ideal if someone without the necessary expertise tries to fix technical issues, they may make the problems worse and drive your costs up. Your employee will also be unable to focus on what you really hired them to do.
In-house IT support specialist
You can hire an in-house IT support specialist to manage your IT. But given how technology is becoming more and more complex, you may struggle to find someone who can adequately support all the tech your company uses. IT professionals tend to specialize in specific solutions, so you may need to hire more than one person to cover all your bases.
The annual salary of an IT support specialist in Charlotte ranges from $56,226 to $63,996. This rate excludes benefits and the cost of recruitment, training, and provisioning of work equipment and other tools. That’s why many small businesses can't afford to hire a full-time IT employee, let alone a team.
Outsourced IT support from a break/fix technician
If there's no one in the company who can handle IT support, a manager may opt to outsource it to a break/fix technician. A break/fix technician is an IT professional or company that resolves tech issues on demand. Since break/fix technicians are contractors, they don't have the same overhead costs as an in-house IT staff, making this IT support option more affordable for small businesses.
Break/fix technicians usually charge by the hour. Their hourly rate can range from $80 to $100, depending on their level of expertise, familiarity with your IT systems, and the size of your business. But since there's no telling how long the repairs will take, you may end up receiving a shockingly enormous bill — an unexpected expense that can mess up your business’s cash flow.
There are also other risks to working with a break/fix technician. First, since they are not your employees, you won't have the same level of control over their work as you would with in-house IT staff. Second, if they're busy with another client, you'll have to wait until they have time to help you. This may mean longer IT downtime for your company, which can cripple your operations and affect sales.
Finally, since break/fix technicians are hired only when IT issues arise, some of them may provide only quick fixes rather than address the root problem. This makes it likely that the issues will recur and require constant fixing. Some technicians may also purposely take a long time to resolve the problem so they can charge higher fees.
Outsourced IT support from an MSP
If you want the benefits of an in-house IT staff without the associated costs, you can outsource your IT needs to a managed IT services provider (MSP). An MSP can act as your company's IT department for an affordable, flat monthly fee — typically $100 to 150 per user per month. This means you'll know exactly how much your IT support costs each month and you won't have to worry about any unexpected expenses.
Unlike break/fix technicians, MSPs try to prevent issues from happening in the first place. They have a dedicated team of IT experts that monitors your technology for potential issues before these lead to downtime. Moreover, when you work with a reliable MSP like SpectrumWise, you can expect 24/7 support and have guaranteed response and resolution times. Not only that, but MSPs can also provide both on-site and remote support to fix issues right away.
For exceptional IT support and other services, turn to SpectrumWise. By partnering with us, you can leave behind all IT-related worries and focus on your business. Schedule a consultation with us today.