To help answer this frequently asked question, we have set out some of the key advantages and disadvantages of each of these types of arrangements.
Advantages of Pay-As-You-Go IT Support
PAYG IT is an arrangement with a third-party supplier where you pay for IT services at an agreed hourly rate and just pay for whatever you use. Clients often choose this type of arrangement as it offers:
- A cost-effective solution for businesses that are not heavy technology users – making PAYG ideal for start-ups and smaller companies.
- Only paying for what you need in relation to your business’s IT issues – the IT service provider will usually quote you an hourly fee for their assistance with fixing any issues that crop up. Sometimes this fee may be tiered, so you will pay a higher fee for a senior consultant’s time and a lower fee for a consultant who deals with more run-of-the-mill problems that commonly affect businesses. Often clients are invited to buy blocks of hours, sometimes referred to as a “time bank”, that can help to reduce the hourly cost but may expire if not used up within a given timeframe.
- No ongoing monthly contract – multiple rolling service contracts for assistance with different areas of business support can cause your overheads to quickly stack up. A Pay-As-You-Go IT service avoids the higher set fee that is associated with managed IT support contracts, keeping your financial commitment to a minimum whilst enabling you to resolve IT issues quickly, whenever they occur.
- Access to high-quality expertise at a set rate – there will always be issues that occur in any business where internal resources are unable to resolve the problem. PAYG services enable you to access expertise at an agreed set rate and resolve the issues quickly.
Disadvantages of Pay-As-You-Go IT Support
PAYG IT may not be the right model for resolving your business’s IT issues. The downside to hiring IT professionals under this sort of arrangement includes the following:
- Resolutions to your company’s IT problems are reactive rather than proactive – under a PAYG arrangement, your service provider may only run very basic monthly checks on your systems or possibly none at all. If increasing numbers of staff are accessing your systems and encountering IT issues, a fully managed solution may be more advisable for continually assessing your infrastructure and providing a solution that minimises downtime and increases productivity.
- If IT problems become more prolific, you may end up spending more money under a PAYG arrangement – as mentioned previously, PAYG tends to suit start-ups and smaller businesses. As businesses grow, and their technology requirements expand, moving over to a fully managed solution may make sense if your business is continually firefighting by only ever reacting to IT problems as they occur (rather than anticipating and planning for their occurrence).
- The PAYG model is not best suited for organisations looking for strategic direction and systems monitoring – businesses that are reliant on technology and have ambitious growth plans should consider how they can either facilitate that growth in-house or by outsourcing the requirements to a third-party supplier. Furthermore, if your business deals with highly sensitive data or needs to adhere to stringent industry compliance regulations, a fully managed IT solution is by far the more advisable route to take.
Advantages of Fully Managed IT Support
A fully managed IT support solution is one that aims to identify and solve potential IT problems before they can impact the day-to-day running of your systems and your business. The benefits of a fully managed contract include the following:
- A significant reduction in support calls – a proactive, managed IT support plan can help you significantly reduce the number of support calls that your team need to make to help them resolve their technology-related issues.
- Achieve real-time continuous monitoring of your servers and critical network components – offering you greater protection against cyberattacks whilst providing a strong basis to anticipate technology-related issues that affect business performance.
- Better management of your hardware and software – including administration of licensing and software updates, tracking and monitoring devices, anticipating your future technology requirements and scaling up to meet them seamlessly.
- Stronger disaster recovery posture – ensuring that your business can continue to function in the event of a natural disaster, server failure, or cyberattack.
Disadvantages of Fully Managed IT Support
A fully managed IT support contract may not be suitable for all types of businesses. For example:
- Freelancers, start-ups, and businesses with less than 10 employees may not require all the features associated with a fully managed IT support plan – so the overhead of a regular rolling contract may be an unnecessary burden. However, any business with ambitious growth plans should discuss with their IT provider how best to set up their systems from outset, to avoid potential headaches further down the line.
- Fully outsourcing all your IT requirements to an external contractor could potentially limit aspects of your growth by reduced in-house knowledge retention – clients that are rapidly expanding may therefore want to consider bringing some IT functions in-house, whilst also retaining the services of a third-party supplier to ensure seamless delivery.
Still unsure which IT support model is right for you?
Are you currently considering a change to the way IT issues are handled within your business? The help4IT team have been providing an exceptional standard of IT support to customers both large and small on Pay-As-You-Go and Fully Managed arrangements since 2005. Read more about our success stories here or get in touch with our team to discuss your requirements.