How Much Should Your Company's IT Service Cost?

  • Break/Fix versus Managed IT
  • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  • How Much Do You Spend On Technology
  • .....

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There are two common models for IT support fees: the hourly break-fix model, and the managed IT services model. You can learn more about the differences and the pros and cons of each in our SMB’s Guide to IT Support Services and Fees.

A managed IT services firms will typically quote you a monthly fee. That fee is based on the number of devices you have that require maintenance, back up, and support. In the Chicago land area, that fee is somewhere in the range of $300 to $500 per server, $50 to $150 per desktop and approximately $20 per smartphone or mobile device.

Most IT services companies who offer a break-fix model will contract for between $125 and $225 per hour, often with a two-hour minimum service call. You can often qualify for a 5% - 10% discount if you purchase a block of hours in advance. You can ask them for quotes on individual projects which will vary depending on the scope of work required.

Nearly two-thirds of small businesses and organizations are expected to buy new IT equipment this year, replacing one in four office computers. Vendors now offer powerful computers at discounted prices, but what will this equipment really cost you in the long run? Whether you purchase a PC, notebook, server or other network hardware, you will likely experience sticker shock once you factor in the total cost of ownership (TCO).

Tight budgets and limited expertise often keep small organizations from making effective IT decisions. However, understanding hidden technology costs can actually help you reduce unnecessary expenditures and reallocate resources to more important business functions. Network Alliance has outlined current industry standards for determining TCO below. Before you invest in new IT equipment this year, we encourage you to evaluate your spending history and implement best practices that will improve your bottom line.


Gartner, Inc. ( defines TCO as the....

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