Here at Fuse Technology Group, we offer both hourly IT support and managed IT services, as both can provide significant value for businesses. However, we always encourage our clients to strongly consider how the managed IT option might offer them comparatively more value. Let’s review what both consist of, and the value that each can provide.
What is Hourly IT Support, and Who is it For?
With a name that is somewhat self-explanatory, hourly IT support are those services that charge by the hour for work done maintaining a business’ technology. Often known as break-fix services, hourly IT support is called in as needed to resolve IT issues.
This is the old-school, traditional way that businesses would get computer support. Much like any other specialist, like plumbers, auto mechanics, and HVAC technicians, IT support services would get billed hourly. This means you’d only use them when things were broken and your users can’t get their jobs done.
That’s okay, in some circumstances. If downtime isn’t a huge issue for your business, and you don’t have sensitive information to protect and compliance standards to meet, you can probably get by with this method of IT support. If you are lucky, you might go for weeks or months without needing any support, or your users might be able to bandage up issues they run into. At the end of the day though, this can add up.
Hourly IT is also good for those one-off projects. For instance, setting up a new wireless network, migrating a server, or auditing your compliance can all be done hourly. This is especially useful when your current IT staff (or IT contact) doesn’t have the skillset or confidence to do a particular specialized project.
What About Managed IT Services?
Managed services, on the other hand, take the opposite approach. Rather than charging by the hour to address problems as they arise, a managed service provider charges a flat monthly rate in exchange for comprehensive support services delivered proactively.
It’s the inverse of the hourly, break-fix concept above; if uptime is crucial to your business, and you need to ensure that you meet certain compliance requirements and need to protect your infrastructure and data, then this is the way to go. You can look at it as hiring an in-house IT department, but that department is constantly growing and improving their processes, skill sets, and methods, whereas an in-house IT department may become stagnant unless the company is paying for additional training and certifications.
Comparing the Benefits of Hourly Support to Managed Services
Let’s go over a few of the benefits that each approach to IT maintenance offers, starting with hourly services:
- Monthly costs are minimized, as the client is only charged when services are rendered.
- The hourly support approach also prevents your business from becoming too reliant on a provider’s availability, preserving your autonomy.
- Hourly support services also allow a business to maintain a greater level of control over their own technology.
Meanwhile, managed IT services offer the following:
- Proactive service and issue remediation, accomplished by monitoring the client’s technology for signs of trouble.
- All-encompassing, 24/7 coverage for a budget-able (and therefore predictable) flat rate.
- Due to their approach, managed service providers are incentivized to maintain their clients’ networks in the long term.
While each approach offers its definite advantages, managed services could very well be the better choice for an organization to take advantage of.
Which Approach Should I Go With?
Frankly, that depends on your needs more than any other factor. If hourly IT support can maintain your operations sufficiently, it makes sense to opt into that. However, managed services can often provide greater value for your money, and so if your needs are sufficient, a managed service approach simply makes more sense. You can often start with an hourly project to “test the waters” with a provider just to get a feel for how well they understand your business.
We are here to help you with either. Our prerogative is to allow you to make the most of your technology, whatever that means for your business individually. Reach out to us to learn more about your support options. Give us a call at 248.545.0800 to start a conversation.