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The Average Cost of IT Support Services for Small Business Owners

July 19, 2023
Reading Time: 6 mins
Author: Katherine Spanner

For many small to medium-sized business owners in Australia determining the average cost of IT support services isn’t cut and dry. Comparing how much one company pays compared to another doesn’t accurately capture the full picture.

After all, it’s not just about finding a provider that fits the purse strings, you also need to strike the perfect balance between IT cost and quality.

As Ray Sweeney, the CCO of Sensible Business Solutions explains, “The amount a business spends on IT support should be relative to a return of value. Effective IT solutions should be a catalyst for business success, rather than a burden on finances. This truth gets lost when comparing hourly rates and generic service offerings.

However, you don’t want to overpay for IT support services either. In this blog, we’ll take a look at how Australian business owners should evaluate the costs of IT support services.


Factors Influencing IT Support Costs

IT support costs are influenced by several variables, making a 'one-size-fits-all' price difficult to establish. Let's consider some key factors:

  • Business Size: Larger businesses with more users and systems often require more support, leading to higher costs.
  • Service Level: Costs can vary greatly depending on whether you need a fully managed service, co-managed IT, or just network monitoring and support.
  • Customisation: Solutions tailored to your unique needs and business operations are inherently more valuable than standard packages.
  • Industry Compliance: If you operate in a regulated industry, such as healthcare or finance, additional security and compliance measures may escalate your IT support costs.
  • Business Goals: The specific objectives and growth plans of your business also play a role. IT support should enhance business growth, not just provide band-aid solutions.

Understanding these factors can provide a clearer picture of what influences the pricing of IT support services and can guide your decision-making process.


You should know how IT support can affect your business. Learn more in our blog:


Average Cost of IT Support for Small Businesses


A Look at the Numbers

Estimating the average cost for IT support per hour in Australia can be challenging due to the wide range of services and levels of expertise on offer.

Generally, hourly rates for IT support services can range anywhere from $135 to $225 per hour depending on the complexity and immediacy of the service required. Managed IT service providers often offer a flat monthly rate which, when broken down, usually equates to a more cost-effective solution.

However, don’t make the mistake of assuming the cheapest provider will get you the services you need. Rates are determined by the combinations of wage costs, overhead news, utilisation rates, and other factors. Oftentimes, those who offer the lowest rates only do so because they have lower skilled staff, reduced training initiatives and lack team capacity.


Cost Breakdown

When considering IT support pricing, it's helpful to understand the typical services included in a managed IT support package. This usually encompasses:

  • Network monitoring and management: This includes server and software maintenance and updates.
  • Helpdesk and support services: Don’t sacrifice access to support when you need it to save a few dollars. Be sure to work with a team that’s available when you need them.
  • IT consulting: Strategic planning to align your IT setup with your business objectives.
  • Data backup and recovery: Ensuring your data is regularly backed up and can be recovered quickly in case of a failure.
  • Cybersecurity: Measures to protect your business from cyber threats, online security issues and disaster recovery planning.

When comparing IT support contract prices, be sure the services are equal in scope, service and long-term value. Don’t let the number of dots on a service agreement confuse you. Be sure you clearly understand what each point includes, and more importantly, what it doesn’t.


Value Over Cost

While understanding IT support costs is important, focusing solely on the price tag can be a costly mistake in the long run. The key lies in considering the value these services bring to your business - improved productivity, reduced downtime, and enhanced security.

In other words, the cost of not having quality IT support can often exceed the monetary expense. Therefore, it's worth investing in a support company that understands your business needs and works proactively to support your growth.


Cost vs. Quality: Striking the Balance


Assessing Value

Quality IT support can make the difference between staying stuck in maintenance mode and driving true business growth. As you consider what type of IT support is right for you, reflect on the following:

  • Do you want someone who can spot and fix IT problems before they slow down your work?
  • Do you need advice on how to make your technology setup match your business goals?
  • Do you want help making your business work more efficiently?
  • Are you tired of waiting around for IT help when problems come up?
  • Do you need IT solutions that are specially made for your business and industry?

By thinking about these things, you can see the benefits of good quality IT support. It might cost a bit more, but it can help your business grow and prevent problems that could cost a lot more in the long run.


Finding the Perfect Fit

Striking the right balance between cost and quality involves finding an IT service provider that understands your business objectives and delivers a high level of customer service.

Many businesses tend to focus on the activities rather than the outcomes they require. The right IT partner is one that gives you additional capacity, protects your revenue and helps you make better decisions.” Ray Sweeney, Chief Commercial Officer, Sensible

Rather than focusing solely on the cost, the emphasis should be on how the service can propel your business towards its goals. With the right support, your IT infrastructure can become an asset that drives growth, rather than a necessary expense.


How to Choose the Right IT Support for Your Business


Know Your Needs

Understanding your unique business needs is the first step in choosing the right IT support. Identify your IT challenges, your goals, and what you expect from your IT support. If you’re not sure how to do this, focus on your immediate and non-technical needs and try to pull information from that.

It’s okay to not know your exact IT challenges, after all, that’s what your IT provider should help you narrow down and define. You should, however, try to isolate how the impact or your technology solutions make you feel.

Once you understand if your requirements aren’t being fully met, you can start evaluating potential providers based on how well they can meet these needs.


Assess Potential Providers

Look at potential providers' expertise, responsiveness, and service offerings. Check customer reviews and ask for references. Ensure they can offer solutions tailored to your business, and not just generic services.


Criteria to Consider Description
Transparent Pricing Does the provider offer clear, upfront pricing that matches the services you need?
Value for Money Is the cost justified by the quality of services, expertise, and the potential benefits to your business?
Scalable Costs Does the provider offer scalable pricing that can adapt as your business grows and needs change?
Unrealistic Costs Does the price look too good to be true? If so, the provider may have a history of charging for additional services or hidden fees not included in the original agreement.


Choosing the right IT support is not only about finding the lowest support prices, but also about ensuring you are investing wisely for maximum return on your IT expenditure.


IT Support Costs: The Bottom Line

It's clear that the 'average cost of IT support services' goes beyond a simple dollar figure. It's about finding a partnership that can take your business to the next level. While pricing is an essential factor, the true value lies in the quality and scope of the services.

Choose a provider that understands your business, enhances your operations, and ultimately propels your growth. To determine an appropriate pricing strategy for your IT support needs, reach out to our team today.


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