how much does it cost to outsource it support

How Much Does It Cost to Outsource IT Support: A Guide

"How much does it cost to outsource IT support?" is something you may have pondered. Whether you're a small business or a large corporation, knowing the financial aspects of hiring outside IT support can be very relevant, especially if you consider the projected growth of the market over the next decade. According to Fact.MR, the global market for IT support is expected to grow from $66.3 billion in 2023 to almost double, namely $111 billion by the end of 2033.

how much does it cost to outsource it support


Breaking Down the Pricing Models

First, let's take a look at the different price models that affect how much it costs to hire someone to handle IT support for your customers.

Rate per Hour: The Quick Fix

Imagine that you're having a calm day when, all of a sudden, your email system decides to go off-grid. Set condition DEFCON 1! This is where the hourly rate plan comes in.

If you need to fix an IT problem right away, paying by the hour is the best way to do it. It's simple, adaptable, and gets the job done without making a long-term commitment. But if you're not careful, the cost can add up quickly.

Monthly Retainer: The Subscription Box

These days, you can subscribe to anything, from snacks to socks, even IT support. If you choose a monthly fee, it's like having a menu of IT services that you can eat from. For a flat fee, it gives you peace of mind that all of your IT needs are taken care of. This model is the best choice for companies that want to keep an eye on their IT environment all the time without having to worry about hidden costs.

Even though it's nice to know what will happen, make sure you use all the services that are available to get the most for your money.

Pay-Per-View Event: The Price of a Ticket

It's like each help request is a ticket to a special event with lots of other people. This plan works great for businesses with IT systems that are mostly stable and only need an all-star to step in every once in a while.

It lets companies budget for IT help by letting them pay as they go, which can save them money if they know exactly what they will need. The costs can change, though, just like with a pay-per-view event, depending on how often and how rigorous the shows are.

How Much Does It Cost to Outsource IT Support: Factors That Influence Outsourcing Costs

As we dig deeper,  we come across the biggest factors that affect the end cost.

The cost in influenced by the scope of your need, the volume of assistance required and the expertise of the hired help

Your Need Dictates How Much You Pay.

Your IT help needs are like cars that need different levels of upkeep. Some cars may only need a basic tune-up, like an oil change or the tyres rotated. Of course, the price will go up if your needs are more complicated. How much you spend on help depends on the complexity of your IT needs..

Volume Is Important: One-Man Shows vs. Full Squads

Let's say you're cooking a meal. Getting food ready for one person is easy, but what about a whole football squad? Likewise, the number of users who need help is a key factor in figuring out how much outsourcing will cost. A small team might use some of your IT support budget, but a group of people from across the whole company will definitely use more. When there are more users, there are usually more help tickets, which means that more people need to be on call.

Expertise: What You Pay Is What You Get

The amount of skill you call on for IT support makes a difference. Need a general check-up or some small repairs? Someone who does general IT help might be enough, and they won't charge the family's cow. For more complicated or specialised issues, you'll need to hire an IT professional operator, who will charge more for their services.

Average Costs by Service Type

We are now in the area of service types and the prices that go with them. IT support is like a well-thought-out meal: it comes in different courses, each one meant to satisfy your business's tech needs.

Basic Support: The IT Appetiser

To start, we have basic help, which is like a starter in the world of IT services. In this group, you'll find people who answer general IT questions and fix small bugs. It's there to meet your quick, simpler wants without overloading your taste buds or your budget.

This choice is great for businesses that only need a little help to keep things running smoothly because it is simple and essential. It gives you a bit of peace of mind without costing a lot.

IT Management for Everyone: The Main Course

The options get better and more complicated as we move on to the main meal. Full-service IT management is what your business needs when it wants a lot of different services. This choice covers everything, from managing networks and servers to making sure they are safe online.

This menu is made for businesses that need a lot of ongoing help figuring out the complicated IT world. It costs more, but it covers a lot of ground and does it well.

Custom Solutions: The Chef’s Special

Custom solutions are the chef's master stroke of IT help for people who want a one-of-a-kind experience. These are the steps where the service provider creates a special mix of services that are just right for your business.

Custom solutions are priced based on how complicated and extensive your needs are. This is true whether you're combining old systems with new ones or putting in place a custom security policy. Like a fancy restaurant, it costs more, but the support service perfectly fits with your business goals.

Here at IntelligentBee, we are all about coming up. with customised solutions for our partners, in order to be the best fit for their requirements.

saving money without sacrificing quality

How Much Does It Cost to Outsource IT Support: Saving Money Without Sacrificing Quality

As we get closer to the wrapping up, let's talk about what every business that wants to save money needs to do. And that is: to not sacrifice quality. Let's look at ways to get the most out of the money you spend on IT help.

You can save money through discounts for service packages, choosing only what you need to use and by committing to long-term partnerships

Should You Buy in Bulk or À La Carte?

Deals are great for everyone. When you hire outside IT help, think of the different services you can get as things you need to buy. You could buy them one at a time and pay full price for each one (called "à la carte"). Or you could choose a group deal, in which services are bundled together. Not to mention, often at a discount.

You have to decide whether to buy coffee beans separately or get a great deal on a breakfast set. Bundling services not only makes your support system easier to use. It also helps you keep costs low and doable.

The Marie Kondo Method for Choosing Efficiency Over Extravagance

Just like Marie Kondo, who is an expert at getting rid of junk, take a moment to think about which IT services add real value to your business.

You should go through your IT support services like you would a wardrobe full of clothes you haven't worn yet. It may be time to let go of something that isn't helping your business. This will make room for services that fit your budget and plan better.

When you stay loyal to a brand, it pays off.

Have you ever been given a free coffee for being a regular customer at a local coffee shop? In the same way, this is pretty much how IT help services work. Building a long-term relationship with your outsourcing company can give you a lot of benefits, such as lower prices, faster help, and more.

Providers like reliable customers and are often ready to give them better deals or extra services if they stay with them. It proves the old proverb that ood things come to those who stay.

Wrapping It Up: The Sweet Spot of IT Support Outsourcing

So, how much does it cost to outsource IT support? We now know that the answer is as different as the companies that asked it. You can operate with outsourcing if you know how prices are calculated, what affects prices, and what different services cost. You can ensure every dollar you spend on support by shopping around, putting speed first, and building relationships.

At IntelligentBee, we are dedicated to speed, offer flexible service sets, and build long-term relationships. Feel free to reach out in order to create an IT support plan that fits your budget and helps your business grow.

why outsource it support

Why Outsource IT Support: Choosing the Right Partner

Are you wondering why outsource IT support? It's like choosing whether to do the work yourself or hire someone to do it. It might look like fun (and maybe even cheaper) to do it yourself until you bust a pipe and flood the kitchen. Similarly, it can be hard to handle IT help in-house, which is why many businesses find it smart to outsource. Smart and profitable. A study by Precision Reports indicates that the IT Support market is expected to register a tremendous increase until 2031, with a considerable CAGR before 2026.

The question is, how do you pick the right partner?

why outsource it support


Criteria for Selecting an Outsourcing Provider

It is not easy to start looking for the best outsource partner for your tech support. A good sense of what's right, some insight, and a lot of hard work are needed. Watch out for these things:

Know-how and experience

Imagine putting someone who has only ever flown in video games in charge of the controls of a big jet. That sounds like the start of a disaster movie, right? So, if you want to hire an outsourcing partner, their track record should look like an aeroplane pilot's logbook, full of safe trips and landings. Look for a service company that has a lot of experience and a lot of different types of knowledge. They should be able to handle IT problems, and they should have case studies to back it up. You don't want a co-pilot, after all; you need an experienced leader.

In this regard, 13 years of experience providing tech support to an important customer qualifies as a solid and successful track record for the companies that are looking for a long-term stable, scalable and efficient partnership.

Flexibility and the chance to grow

When you're in business, you need to grow, but it's not just about getting bigger. You also need to get better at adapting. Today, your IT support needs may look like a cosy campfire. But what will happen when they turn into a raging fire? That's where being able to grow comes in. Pick a partner who will help you grow, not put out the fires of your progress. For your IT needs, this partner should be just like a skilled yoga teacher: they should be able to bend, stretch, and change without breaking under pressure.

To this extent, IntelligentBee has stuck with some partners for more than 10 years, providing ever-adjustable IT support in order for seamless growth for all parties involved.

A trustworthy IT Support partner needs to have extended experience, the capacity to adapt to your changing requirements and to provide reliable data security.

Safety and Following the Rules

In the digital world we live in now, data is both money and goods, so protecting it is very important. If you work with an outsourcing company, you'll be giving them control of your country, so make sure they have a strong castle and not just a cardboard fort. Not only does having strong locks matter, but also knowing the area, knowing where threats might appear, and being ready to deal with them.

Why Outsource IT Support: Importance of Cultural Alignment

There's more to being in sync with your IT support partner than just meeting on paper, just like there are many steps to dating. Here's why cultural harmony is so important for getting your business to work together as a whole.

A Vision and Shared Values

Imagine going on a cruise with someone who wants to go around the world, while all you want to do is see the coast. In the same way, it's important to make sure that your IT partner shares the same values as your business. It's about meeting someone who not only knows where you want to go but is also excited to go on the trip with you.

How You Talk to People

Have you ever laughed at how "Send reinforcements, we're going to advance" can turn into "Send three and fourpence, we're going to a dance" when you play telephone? Such mistakes are not allowed in the world of IT support. To put it another way, the best IT help partner should speak your language, both figuratively and literally. They should be able to answer your questions, guess what you'll need, and explain options clearly.

Flexibility to Meet the Needs of Your Business

The ideal jeans: soft, long-lasting, and just the right size. That's how your IT support partner should fit in with the way your company culture is established. But being able to change is what makes it possible to find such a great fit. Overcoming language barriers, empathy and a personal approach to each situation are just a few of the guiding points for IT support services tailored on an intercultural level.

successful negociation

Why Outsource IT Support: Negotiating Contracts and SLAs

According to Coursera, SLAs are key to a working outsourced IT support service because it establishes peace and trust between partners, they align everyone's expectations and they can lead to further business opportunities.

Being clear on what to expect

Have you ever planned a lunch when the weather was dry but then got rained on? That's why it's so important that your outsourcing contracts and SLAs are clear. It's important to spell out every goal, delivery date, and help detail as clearly as a sunny day. This clarity will protect you from mistakes and make sure that everyone knows what's expected of them, rain or shine.

Allowance for Changes in the Future

Imagine starting a long trip and finding that your map is out of date. That's the business world for you: it's always changing and there are new problems to solve around every corner. Your SLAs and contracts should be live papers that can change as your business does.

Learning About Rewards and Penalties

It's always better to play a game strategically when you know what's at stake. In the same way, a motivated relationship starts with everyone knowing what the consequences are for not meeting standards and what the rewards are for going above and beyond. Everyone plays better when they know what they're playing for. This knowledge makes sure that the outsourcing partner you choose is on the same page as yours.

Onboarding Your Outsourcing Partner

As we've looked into "Why Outsource IT Support?" we've covered the basics of choosing a partner, how important it is for cultures to fit, and how to negotiate a contract. Now we've reached a very important step: bringing your outsourcing partner on board. In this step, you'll choose an IT help partner and start to see the benefits of working together. It's about making things possible for a relationship that works for both people.

Your IT Support partner should know beforehand what he is setting out to do, pending a proper knowledge transfer from your side.

Easy integration into your business

Getting a new contract partner should feel like adding a new artist to your group. To make sure the transition goes smoothly, make sure your new IT help partner knows the pace, style, and audience of your business. Getting their skills to work with your business operations is a team effort that makes sure the change goes seamlessly and adds a new balance that improves performance overall.

Transfer of Knowledge That Works

When talking about knowledge transfer, we are looking at transitioning information from one business to another, according to Helpjuice. However, one should not mistake it for training, which implies only the transfer of facts and data. A reliable knowledge transfer also involves enabling your team members’ flexible abilities and their capacity to go practical with said information. Last, but not least, all of this useful data starts in the mind and needs to be put in a practical system in order to be properly transferred.

Check-ins and feedback loops that happen often

Communication that is open and honest is the key to any relationship that works. It's important to have regular check-ins and feedback loops. They make sure that both sides know what the other is doing and are following suit. This ongoing conversation helps improve operations, change tactics, and build a connection based on openness and trust.

Why Outsource IT Support: Final Thoughts

Now that we've talked about outsourcing IT help, it's clear that signing a paper is just not enough; you need to start the relationship off on the right foot. Each step is important for making sure that the teamwork goes well, from making sure that there is smooth integration and effective knowledge sharing to setting up regular check-ins and feedback loops.

At the end of the day, what matters is what is important to you and what facts are clear to see. Do not rely solely on promises, but assess said capabilities that your business requires. Have a look at not just our Outsourced IT Support Services, but also at our proven track record. Take the decision process further and reach out to Intelligent Bee to see how we can use our skillset end expertise to your own growth journey!

How to Outsource IT Support The Right Way

What if your hardware or software stops working? How quickly can you recover? Do you have a data loss contingency plan? Are your networks secure? 

Your answers will mostly depend on whether or not you have an IT support department. Businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on technology to stay competitive, and having a team to manage your systems ensures that operations run smoothly. It’s a critical function for every organisation. 

Whenever there’s a problem, your company can suffer. Unresolved issues are all but guaranteed to frustrate staff and hamper productivity. Let’s not forget about the time and money that usually goes to waste. 

Outsourcing your IT support needs to an external provider can eliminate these stresses and put the focus back on core operations. It can also lead to major cost savings and efficiency improvements among other benefits. Let’s start by taking a closer look at what IT support outsourcing is all about. 

What is IT Support Outsourcing?

A professional IT support provider will take on the responsibility of maintaining your networks, devices and systems. The vendor, which is commonly known as a managed service provider (MSP), keeps your technology up to date and carries out any other tasks that you require. Some of the most commonly outsourced processes include: 

  • Network monitoring and security 
  • Data storage and maintenance
  • Process execution and enforcement
  • File backup and recovery 
  • User authentication 

You can choose whether to delegate specific functions or send off your entire department. The best approach depends on your individual circumstances. Following is a detailed overview of the IT support services that an MSP may offer. 

Device and Inventory Management

In a market where only 14% of small businesses consider their security effective, partnering with an external team who can reliably safeguard your data has a noticeable impact. Outsourcing providers in this space can also use their expertise to help you make smarter purchase decisions, which leads to cost savings. Here’s how else they can help:

  • Hardware procurement
  • Security configuration
  • Device health monitoring
  • Technology provisioning

Security and Compliance

Both of these elements are crucial to reducing your risk and mitigating threats. Cybercrime is more prevalent than ever, and organisations that don’t have a solid line of defence will inevitably become a victim of data loss at some point. A few ways that an MSP can keep your company safe include:

  • Enforcing security policies
  • Improving auditing procedures
  • Installing firewalls and encryption tools
  • Configuring hardware and software in accordance with cybersecurity best practices

Network and Server Management

From system failures and viruses to human error and natural disasters, your network faces countless threats on a daily basis. Monitoring your hardware and staying up to date is key. Outsourced IT support providers can perform the following tasks to ensure that your servers are secure and reliable:

  • Manage and monitor networks externally
  • Reduce downtime caused by outages
  • Offer hardware recommendations
  • Assist with implementing new technologies
  • Bring down the cost and complexity of network errors

Backup and Disaster Recovery

It can take anything from hours to weeks for your businesses to recover lost data. That’s assuming your internal staff are capable of doing it in the first place. Regardless, the damage done to your reputation, brand image and bottom line is permanent. Here’s how the right IT support vendor can mitigate this risk:

  • Scheduling and performing regular backups
  • Establishing a disaster recovery plan
  • Developing strategies to prevent data loss

Applications and Cloud Management

If you aren’t already in the cloud, you should certainly consider leveraging the technology. Cloud-based solutions are generally more affordable and efficient. However, they can be challenging to incorporate. An MSP can assist by:

  • Securing your SaaS apps
  • Setting up and managing accounts
  • Automating software deployments
  • Introducing new cloud applications


Another dreary statistic, around 20% of small businesses will experience some form of critical data loss at least once in the next five years. How you store your information plays a major role in its overall safety. Effective storage technologies and procedures do more than just keep your data secure - they also reduce costs and increase productivity. 

Outsourced IT support providers will ensure that you’re using the best hardware and software to store your data. They’ll also use their knowledge and skills to make performance optimisations. 


Virtualisation is the process of emulating hardware functionality such as operating systems and servers on a single computer. In doing so, your business can cut costs by not having to purchase the hardware being simulated. Most vendors are happy to make use of virtualisation in your IT department, which has several benefits:

  • Improved productivity and scalability
  • Automated processes that reduce expenses
  • Simplifying and streamlining the IT function

Analytics and Insights

An MSP can enable a comprehensive overview of the issues that your support department is facing. You’ll be more competent when it comes to identifying vulnerabilities, as well as the trends which help you make informed decisions that drive growth. Here are some of the ways that outsourced IT support providers achieve this:

  • Offering access to reporting dashboards 
  • Facilitating real-time visibility of user requests
  • Finding room for improvement through analytics

Telecommunications and Phone Systems

Finally, handing over your IT support needs to a third party can enhance the systems you use to stay in touch with stakeholders. Your partner will ensure regulatory compliance, assist with selecting suitable service providers and keep remote workers connected. This all leads to more time and resources for you to put elsewhere. 

When to Outsource Your IT Support Services

Are you struggling to move forward? Do your labour costs cripple your bottom line? Is your network vulnerable to breaches? If you answered in the affirmative to any of these questions, then it may be a good time to outsource your IT support. This is also true if your team is overworked or you need an edge on the competition. 

To elaborate a little more on this, advancements in modern technology have given consumers high expectations when it comes to product and service delivery. If you find it difficult to stay on top of queries and requests, then it may be a suitable time to consider re-allocating your functions. 

Insufficient Technology 

As for scaling up, every organisation struggles with reaching new heights after a certain period of time. A primary growth factor is technological readiness. Your outdated or insufficient hardware and software may very well be responsible for the plateau stage that you’ve reached in the growth of your company. Outsourcing helps you keep a steady pace. 

Lackluster infrastructure can also hinder your staff’s productivity. Using hardware from the last decade will likely keep your operations just as far behind. Broken deadlines and depleted efficiency are hardly conducive to anyone’s prosperity. A good MSP will not only help you solve these problems but also understand and mitigate their risk. 

Security Concerns

Smaller organisations often rely on old software solutions that are no longer supported and/or accepted by the industry. These types of applications are prime real estate for long-term security issues, which can lead to breaches or a similar form of data loss. Outsourced IT support companies will use their expertise to address any of your security concerns. 

They will also have measures in place to keep sensitive information safe from less ill-intended attacks to your infrastructure, such as human error and natural disasters. Implementing the backup and recovery tools that make this possible is expensive, so it’s wise to consider outsourcing if you lack the funding or capabilities. 

Infrastructure Upgrades

Technological advancement can be a headache to keep up with, even among the most forward-thinking businesses. Many organisations - particularly larger ones - are still operating on legacy hardware that’s miles behind the competition. But bringing the infrastructure into the 21st century can be costly, complicated and time-consuming.

If you currently find yourself in this position, then give some thought to the idea of letting an MSP handle your upgrades instead of taking on the mammoth task of overhauling existing technologies internally. 


Are your systems prone to experiencing issues outside of business hours and on weekends when internal staff are usually unavailable or late to respond? If so, you may want to consider outsourcing your IT support. This will help you ensure that someone is around to tend to any errors, problems or requests at moment’s notice. 

Need for Guidance

While not necessarily a sole deciding factor, being a newer business that lacks the knowledge and experience required to run successful teams can put you in a position where outsourcing is a smart move. Partnering with a longstanding and reputable MSP will allow you to learn from their mistakes and obtain valuable insights for improving your processes. 

If it’s your first time outsourcing, be sure to start small and avoid handing over large portions of your IT support tasks, never mind the entire department to a third party at once. Trial runs are once again something to keep in mind. 


Internal vs External IT Support

Still not sure about the next step? Here’s what sets the two approaches to running IT support apart. 

In-House IT Support

Hiring, training, maintaining and facilitating the staff required to run this department becomes your responsibility when choosing to carry out IT support internally. While that does mean you have to pay the associated costs, it also gives you full control over workers and their actions. 

Additionally, internal staff have more intimate knowledge of your systems, which can help them fix problems faster. However, putting together the right team can be an expensive and time-consuming process. There are also some challenges, such as how off-hours issues will be addressed when nobody is available. 

Let’s take a closer look at the primary advantages and disadvantages of having an in-house IT support team. 


  • Advantages 


Since internal employees are almost always situated at the workplace, they can tend to issues faster. All it might take is a quick walk down the hallway or out the cafeteria. Granted, the amount of time they spend remedying a problem after identifying it depends on their expertise. Sometimes, in-house technicians can take longer. 

Perhaps their intimate knowledge of the local technologies, networks and overall infrastructure can make up for this shortfall. Being familiar with your resources increases the likelihood of internal staff being able to prevent future issues. 


  • Disadvantages


Of course, hiring full-time IT workers is no small cost. Remember that you’re paying them even when they aren’t really doing anything. If your business hardly ever experiences technical problems or has very little hardware and software, then you might be wasting your time and money.

The same is true for scenarios that involve internal employees leaving. Whatever their reason, the resources you put into training and compensating them end up being mostly for nothing. Let’s not forget that looking for candidates, screening them and conducting interviews is also a demanding responsibility. 

Outsourced IT Support

With this approach, all requests are handled remotely. This has several benefits over internal teams. The most obvious is the reduction in expenses. Outsourced IT support providers offer a variety of pricing models that typically work out to be far more affordable than the in-house solution. 

Since they specialise in IT support, they will also have better access to resources, talent and the latest tools. Plus, it’s possible to provide 24/7 service so that any off-hours problems are swiftly resolved. The following is a more detailed overview of the advantages and disadvantages of outsourced IT support. 


  • Advantages


Aside from saving money on staffing and gaining access to superior expertise, you can also reduce the cost of repairs and upgrades by working with a knowledgeable third party. This will help you keep up when it comes to having the latest and most secure technologies, which is a must in today’s competitive and rapidly-evolving business environment. 

With a variety of repair tools and digital diagnostics software at their disposal, external IT support technicians are able to deliver a higher quality service. They will also have the skills to promptly troubleshoot obscure problems. 


  • Disadvantages


It isn’t always possible for your outsourcing provider to send out a field agent to solve your technical issues. Instead, they work remotely over the internet. This is obviously always the case with offshore vendors. It can prove to be troublesome when issues that require a more hands-on approach arise. 

Similarly, your partner might experience situations where they have their hands tied and all workers busy with other clients. That won’t be good news for you if there’s a problem that demands immediate attention. The final concern to be aware of is potential privacy and security issues. We’ll look into this a little later. 

Hybrid IT Support

As we touched on earlier, you also have the option to take a hybrid approach and only outsource certain IT support tasks while keeping key processes in-house. You can have third party contractors on call to tend to your needs when they arise. There might be some functions that require internal care or expertise, making them unsuitable for outsourcing. 

Pros of Outsourcing IT Support 

Outsourced IT support can assist businesses in a number of ways. Understanding how the move may impact your company will help you get a better idea of what there is to gain and whether those things are worth putting the effort into attaining. This includes the following benefits:

Cost Savings

A single in-house network admin can cost tens of thousands of pounds per year. Tech support specialists don’t come particularly cheap, either. Systems analysts and data administrators command even higher salaries. Those positions may not be necessary to fill right now, but you’ll eventually need the expertise to effectively run your IT services. 

You would also have to accommodate for holidays and other periods when staff are away, not to mention the overheads associated with training and managing employees. Outsourcing eliminates most - if not all - of these expenses. There’s also the costs that come with hiring temporary staff, which is seldom worth the effort. 

External teams are the way to go. Aside from human resources, the technologies that your IT support requires is another large expense that your outsourcing partner will bear the burden of.  This includes networks, servers, software, storage, security and a myriad of other components that can quickly add up. 

Don’t forget that almost all of these resources require regular maintenance and upgrading. Once again, the MSP will take on the cost as well as ensuring that you stay up-to-date and up-to-standard with your technologies. This ultimately leaves you with additional funds to put towards more competitive pricing or other departments that drive growth. 

Focus on Core Business

Your time and energy, as well as that of your staff, is better spent on core business operations than fixing computers. Employees naturally prefer being able to do what they do best, leading to improved morale and productivity. Plus, the skills of an external team reduces anxiety by assuring that any potential future problems will be handled effectively. 

Access to Resources

Another reason to outsource is that you can leverage a greater knowledge base. Vendors typically employ multiple techs with years of experience and proficiency in different fields. What’s more is that they use cutting-edge tools while being educated on the latest trends as they arise. This comes together to make a far more effective support team. 

In a similar vein, having these resources available ensures that you can quickly expand come periods of growth. Your average MSP is far more flexible than any internal IT support team. They can adjust your staffing and technological needs almost immediately after it’s requested. This is another way you can gain peace of mind from outsourcing. 

Lower Risk

Trained and certified workers operating on class-leading infrastructure are less likely to experience data loss or security breaches. Outsourcing keeps your sensitive information safe, and there’s no telling what kind of costly problems that will spare you the trouble of having to deal with. 

Compliance and Security

In the cybercrime-ridden world of today, there’s no such thing as being too safe. Data breaches are a daily occurrence, not only among large corporations, but also small to medium-sized businesses. In fact, growing companies that are just getting started are more likely to fall victim to data loss as they typically lack the security measures to prevent it. 

Outsourced IT support providers will ensure that you have the necessary protocols and procedures in place to keep your data safe, as well as to stay on top of the latest governing standards. They have the know-how required to identify vulnerabilities and determine how you can protect your sensitive information more effectively. 

Improved Coverage

As we mentioned earlier, handing your IT support needs over to a third party allows you to maintain 24/7 availability. In doing so, you’ll be able to maintain an uninterrupted flow of service. This is a must for certain departments that require continuous access to internet, intranet and extranet resources. 

Level Playing Field

The average small business stands little to no chance of being able to match the caliber of IT support services maintained by large corporations internally. Outsourcing helps your company reach the podium by offering access to similar technologies and expertise. This can make you stand out and appear more profitable to investors. 

Valuable Advice

A less obvious advantage of outsourcing IT support is that you can gain a partner whose expertise is trustworthy and beneficial to the growth of your company. Running a business can be lonely, so it helps to have someone nearby who can serve as a reliable and knowledgeable ally. 

Drawbacks of IT Support Outsourcing

Nothing comes for free. Aside from many compelling benefits, outsourcing IT support also has a few potential setbacks. It’s crucial that you understand what they are, as this will help you mitigate any risk and avoid costly problems later on. Here’s a brief overview of what to watch out for:

  • Giving another company access to your data is inherently risky unless the correct security measures are in place
  • Providers that work with many businesses can’t always keep your needs on top of mind
  • Your partner can take a long time to fully learn the inner workings of your systems 
  • Only being able to respond remotely can cause complications when it comes to physical problems
  • Working with (the wrong) overseas company can force you to contend with communication barriers

At the end of the day, these drawbacks only pose a threat if you don’t perform due diligence when choosing a vendor. They might all look the same on the surface, but outsourcing companies are far from identical when it comes to quality of output. So, before we move on, let’s take a look at some possible issues and red flags to be aware of. 

Contract Length and Terms

Before you write any signatures, be sure to familiarise yourself with the requirements of the contracts given out by your prospective partner. Reputable vendors will offer something along the lines of a two-month, no-fee opt-out clause that assures you a certain level of service will be provided, with consequences for the MSP if they fail to deliver. 

Keep an eye out for any obligations as well. It mostly depends on the pricing model, but some vendors may hold you to a specific period before you can exit the partnership. 

Additional Fees and Expenses

The main factor for outsourced IT support pricing is your number of users. Adding more should result in a higher fee, while removing users should leave you with a lower bill. If your potential vendor is proposing something different, then you need to thoroughly examine their pricing structure. Hidden fees are a very real concern here. 

Trail Runs

Trustworthy and reliable MSPs will usually have no problem setting up a trial run so that you can get a taste for how they work. If any prospective partner refuses to get on board without asking to sign long-term agreements, then they might have something to hide and are best avoided in favour of a more transparent provider. 

Turnaround Times and Efficiency

One of the primary reasons to take a trial run is to gauge the speed of an external IT support team. Average wait time is the key metric here. If one request was tended to in 10 minutes and the other took an hour, then the average response time is 35 minutes. 

Even if an MSP meets all of your expectations and requirements, poor response times can be a dealbreaker. They indicate the potential for countless problems in the future. That’s why wait times should be transparent and accurate with numbers being derived from reliable performance monitoring software. 

Offshore Risks

Looking abroad? It’s essential to be aware of the unique concerns that come with outsourcing to an overseas provider. This includes the laws of the host country, which can be too lackluster to effectively protect your sensitive data. Remember that you’ll be giving your partner full access to vulnerable internal processes that must be handled with care.

As we touched on earlier, offshore vendors also come with potential cultural and linguistic barriers that can make it difficult to communicate effectively. Granted, this depends on where you look. Outsourcing companies in the Philippines, for example, have a great reputation for being able to collaborate with businesses in the Western world. 

Another barrier comes in the form of time zone differences. Your partner needs to be available during your own business hours. Fortunately, most vendors are capable of adjusting to your needs and being available around the clock, so this isn’t an issue if you choose the right MSP. 

Outsourced IT Support Service Pricing Models

Outsourced IT support providers namely use one of the below-listed pricing structures. Every business should take some time to determine which model best fits their requirements. Some will be more beneficial to your company than others, so it pays to perform due diligence. 

  1. Time and Materials

This method is akin to an ‘as-needed’ service. When an issue arises, you call your partner to make the necessary repairs for an hourly rate. This is entirely in their favour, as there’s no incentive to prevent more problems from occurring later. The vendor will also be less familiar with your infrastructure. 

Conversely, time and materials can be a suitable pricing model for companies that require long-term development or maintenance. Since the scope and specifications are seldom easy to define, it helps to have a stable rate to lean on for better predictability. The same is true for scenarios where your needs are evolving fast. 

  1. Software Services

Some vendors offer limited IT support services like a help desk or remote support, albeit only for specific issues and not your entire network. You typically use their software for an additional fee. Since it isn’t comprehensive, this arrangement is best coupled with an internal team. 

  1. Managed IT Services

With managed IT services, the provider takes on the role of your entire department or specified functions. Businesses pay a flat monthly fee that includes a wide range of services such as network monitoring, security, recovery and end-user support. Being involved on a daily basis helps your partner find insights and improve operational efficiencies. 

  1. Unit Pricing

Also known as on-demand pricing, this model is based on an agreed-upon rate for a particular level of service. You will then be charged based on your usage. For example, let’s say you’re outsourcing desktop maintenance. In that case, you’ll pay a fixed amount for each supported device. 

Unit pricing often leads to immediate productivity gains. That said, you’ll need to accurately estimate your figures with regards to demand and minimum transaction volume. 

  1. Fixed Pricing

Here, the deal price is specified on day one. Fixed pricing is great when the requirements, objectives and scope of the project are all stable and clear. It’s an appealing model as everything is more predictable. However, fixed means fixed. So, when market prices inevitably go down, your fees are unlikely to follow suit. 

  1. Performance-Based Pricing

With these kinds of agreements, your business usually offers financial incentives that motivate the MSP to perform in accordance with your standards and ideally, excel even further. Vendors are often required to pay a penalty for failing to maintain the outlined service quality. There’s a balance to be had here. 

You need to ensure that the proposed incentives are conducive to incremental value. Otherwise, you might end up paying for work that the provider would be delivering anyway. Performance-based pricing is often used in conjunction with fixed pricing or another more traditional method to add stability while still improving output quality. 

  1. Gain Sharing

This pricing structure is influenced by the value that your partner delivers on top of their standard responsibilities. A simple way to understand it is to imagine paying for the number of problems that are solved over the month. This has the benefit of both parties standing to gain from optimal performance, creating an incentivised relationship.

  1. Shared Risk/Reward

Similar to gain sharing, this model involves client and MSP jointly funding the development of new innovations and solutions, with subsequent rewards being shared for a specified period of time. It encourages the outsourcing provider to identify room for improvement and come up with new ideas, even if it’s purely to reduce their own financial risk. 

The business also benefits by reducing their own liability as it’s shared between them and the third party in question. This comes with the requirement of maintaining higher level governance and assessment procedures to ensure that the relationship is working effectively. 

The Cost of Outsourcing IT Support

Paying for IT support on an ad hoc basis tends to be the most expensive approach. An on-site technician can charge between £65 and £125 per hour before transport. You’ll find similar numbers when pre-paying for time, which can be even more wasteful if the job is complete sooner than expected. 

An outsourced IT help desk, on the other hand, comes at a fixed monthly price of £25 to £80 per device. Depending on factors such as the required level of management, infrastructure complexity and scope of the work, managed IT service providers charge from £60 to £300 per user. Ask around for quotes before settling on a specific vendor. 

There are some additional, often hidden costs that you need to include in your calculations. This includes the money you spend on benchmarking and analysis, as well as investigating and selecting providers. The expenses that come with transitioning work and training external teams is another consideration. 

 Budgeting for Outsourcing

It’s not uncommon to hear businesses say that there isn’t enough cash flowing through their accounts to outsource their IT support functions. But considering the costs that come with facilitating an internal team and the associated infrastructure, it stands to reason that such a claim is invalid. 

The downtime that’s brought on by server crashes, router malfunctions and data loss extends to the hours that are wasted when your technologies hinder staff productivity. When your employees are constrained by loading screens, print delays and other issues that a third party can easily solve, they are essentially throwing away time and money. 

Suffice it to say that an MSP will almost always be better for your bottom line than an internal IT support team. What’s important to note here is that some providers are paid commissions to sell certain hardware or software, often charging more than what the technology is actually worth.

Make sure to compare prices when budgeting and ensure that you’re getting the best deal while keeping quality as the main focus. Saving money should never be your sole reason for making an outsourcing move. Delivering a satisfactory service that meets your expectations, as well as those of staff, customers and your industry is the priority. 

Potential Risks

Budgeting for a suitable IT support provider shouldn’t be a major challenge. However, there are some shady tactics that are commonplace among MSPs on the lower end of the pricing range. Here’s what you need to watch out for:


  • Hourly Block Fees


Some cheap vendors may attempt to charge you for a minimum number of hours each month. This isn’t necessarily an issue if you can reliably foresee your needs. But with outsourced IT support, that’s hardly possible. Going over the pre-purchased hours can subject you to massive fees, so perform due diligence with fixed pricing models. 


  • Flat Fees


A small monthly price for unlimited support can appear enticing. That is, until you realise that your payment doesn’t cover half of the task you require, such as on-site support and hardware setup fees. Keep hidden expenses on top of mind when dealing with providers that charge flat fees. 

When You’re Paying Too Much

The right outsourcing partner will work with your business to reduce expenses and provide the best possible output for the specified fee. Even better is when they can offer advisory services to strategise and mitigate future costs. This can only happen if the MSP is conducting regular performance reviews and letting you in on the feedback. 

When either or none of these elements are in place, you can safely assume that you’re paying too much for too little. A general rule of thumb is that anything above a monthly fee of £200 per user (for local providers) is likely overpriced. Consistency is another factor to keep in mind. Reliable vendors stick to the fees that were initially agreed upon. 

Choosing the Right Provider

What should you look for in an outsourced IT support company? Make sure that they have:

  • Trained staff with experience in your industry
  • Extensive work history with client references and testimonials
  • Adequate communication skills and thorough understanding of your requirements
  • Access to modern and capable technology
  • Stable finances and a profitable business model 
  • Flexible pricing options and transparent fees
  • Genuine interest in your individual needs 
  • Understanding of your values and goals
  • Fast response times 

Look for providers in regions that are free from political, economic and social issues. It’s good to have assurance that they’ll be around when you need them. It also helps to have the option of a trial period to test the waters. 

Another useful measure is to establish a comprehensive plan that details your selection criteria for vendors. This way, you’ll know what to look for and avoid wasting time on unsuitable candidates. The following guidelines can help you outline the steps you should take when assessing potential partners:

Contract Details

We’ve already run through the importance of carefully analysing any paperwork that gets exchanged when forming a partnership. Here’s a quick list of the factors that need to be addressed and understood in your contract:

  • Parameters and extent of services provided
  • Response times and availability
  • Proactive system maintenance procedures
  • Best practice standards for security
  • System requirements 
  • Onboarding process

Service Level Agreements

One of the most crucial documents that you’ll come across when outsourcing is the service level agreement (SLA). It specifies what the vendor is supposed to provide in measurable terms. You can use the SLA document to monitor your partner’s performance and hold them accountable when they fail to deliver quality output. 

Communication Plan

Your outsourcing partner should have appropriate guidelines and procedures for smooth communication. You should as well. It can include detailing clear expectations when it comes to the type of communication you receive and how often it occurs. Some businesses prefer to be on top of every task, while others only want updates on major issues.

The vendor should also have a communication breakdown, otherwise known as a calling tree or escalation flowchart. Team members may need to get in touch with different people depending on the circumstances. The purpose of a communication breakdown is to reduce transfer times by making the process as seamless as possible.

Finally, consider your communication channels and methods. This goes beyond phone calls and emails. It can include post-meeting recaps, feedback sessions, analysis and work summaries among other tasks. Choose those that best suit your company and set clear standards pertaining to how the tasks are carried out. 

Size and Agility

This factor is all-too-often overlooked by businesses when selecting an outsourcing partner. Preferably, your MSP should be large enough to meet your needs but small enough to see your objectives as a priority. They also need to be capable of quickly scaling up to changing demands so that you can promptly tackle any potential challenges in the future. 

The best vendors are willing to go the extra mile and tailor their solution to ensure that it meets your objectives. This can extend to their pricing options. It’s a good idea to stay away from MSPs that aren’t interested in doing more than just shoehorning your processes into their operations. 

Geographical Concerns

Perhaps you plan on moving or expanding to different regions in due course. Ideally, your outsourcing partner will be able to support you in the new location. Another consideration here pertains to data storage and laws such as the GDPR. It’s imperative that your partner is following all of the governed rules to keep your information safe and compliant. 

Common Misconceptions about Outsourcing Your IT Support

Some businesses are hesitant to let go of their in-house team because they believe that remote workers can’t respond fast enough. This is simply not true. With today’s technology, external IT support teams can configure, repair and update your systems just as fast without even stepping foot in your office. Here are some other common misconceptions:

  1. You can either have one or the other

There’s nothing stopping you from having both an internal and external IT support team. In fact, the ‘hybrid’ approach is becoming increasingly popular as companies find the ideal balance between in-house and third-party resources. It may turn out to be the case that keeping certain processes within your business is more conducive to quality or efficiency.

  1. Internal departments are more reliable

A reputable vendor will include Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in your contract that specify their terms. This includes how, when and in what timeframe your needs will be met, as well as set quality standards. They’re also experienced in quickly responding to clients and providing solutions. That’s why an external team can be just as reliable as your own. 

  1. Regulated industries risk non-compliance

The right service provider won’t carry any more risk than an in-house support team. Vendors are rigorous in their hiring processes and security standards, particularly when it comes to obtaining certifications related to data security. The outsourcing market has become far too competitive for any MSP to operate without these measures. 

  1. Only large businesses should outsource

You don’t need to be big to benefit. Small and medium-sized companies can enjoy just as many advantages as corporations when outsourcing IT support or other functions. It’s only when you face serious financial hurdles that it may be better to keep operations in-house until you can afford to hand them over to the right third party. 

  1. Your output quality will suffer

While it’s not impossible, your outsourcing move won’t necessarily result in an inferior final product. In fact, quite the opposite is true when you choose a leading provider that has procedures in place for quality assurance and performance monitoring. Make the right choice and you won’t have to worry about poor results being an issue. 

  1. Outsourcers hurt the economy

Anyone who believes this myth might be surprised to hear that business process outsourcing (BPO) companies actually strengthen the market. This is because they help organisations achieve more with less, which contributes to faster growth. External teams also make businesses more competitive, which lowers the cost of goods and services. 

Take the hardware boom that occurred between 1995 and 2002. Companies that chose to outsource their technological needs increased efficiency by up to 2.8%, which is said to have added an impressive $230 billion to the output of the United States. 

  1. MSPs disrupt your corporate culture

Organisational culture is vital to employee productivity and satisfaction. Engaged and motivated teams deliver better results. Some worry that bringing a third party into the mix can upset the balance. However, this is seldom the case. Reliable MSPs will acknowledge your internal team’s needs and adapt to fit your requirements. 

  1. Outsourcing is an expense

This is more of a matter of perception, but noteworthy, nonetheless. Rather than seeing outsourcing as an expense, it should be considered an investment. More specifically, one in the future of your company. You’ll likely end up saving a lot more than you spend. Just remember that cost cutting should never be your sole reason for outsourcing. 

  1. You don’t have to worry about contracts

That paperwork is more important than you might think. Contracts clearly outline the terms that both parties are agreeing to, leaving little room for misunderstandings. Being driven by your staffing responsibilities and other obligations can make it easy to skim over the provider’s contract or put insufficient thought into drawing up your own. 

Of course, this is no way forward. You need to be fully aware of what is stipulated in your agreements with the vendor. This will ensure that you know exactly what you’re getting into, preventing any costly surprises from popping up later on. Having legal experts review your contracts is a good idea. 


Now you know just about everything required to enter a successful outsourcing partnership. Give it some thought and decide whether to make the switch sooner rather than later.