How do IT service desk providers price their services?

By Mark Watson|14 May 2019

IT service desk providers typically operate their businesses using a subscription model. Organisations pay a monthly fee based on the service level required and the support hours needed, such as 24/7 IT support, core hours only, or out-of-hours / overnight only.

To find out how much outsourcing your IT support could cost your organisation, click here for our service desk calculator tool.

IT service desk tickets are defined as 1st, 2nd and 3rd line, and organisations can combine different service levels, aligning them with their internal IT team’s capacity and strategy.

IT service desk pricing models

Factoring in the service level and hours required, the monthly IT service desk fee may be charged in the following ways:

Per user – a flat monthly fee is charged per user on an individual headcount basis or in scales i.e. ‘up to 5 users’, 6-10 users etc. This model is ideal for small businesses who are new to IT service desk outsourcing as it’s easy to budget for IT support and clear how much your support will cost as the business grows.

Per device – this model also works for small businesses or larger organisations that don’t require all employees to have access to their IT systems. However, bear in mind that many employees now require IT support on multiple devices (desktop, tablet / laptop and smartphones). When comparing IT service desk providers using different pricing models, make sure you have a clear idea of how many devices and users your organisation needs to provide support for. 

Per ticket – IT service desk providers that use a per ticket pricing model make it easy to ensure you have sufficient coverage however many users and devices need IT support. You’ll need to have an idea of historic ticket volumes to get an accurate idea of what your monthly fee will be; although, as with any outsourcing model, it’s a scalable option so request more coverage if you need more tickets per month.

To find out how much outsourcing your IT service desk could cost using a ‘per ticket’ pricing model, click here.

Pricing models vary between different IT service desk providers. When benchmarking providers and calculating how much their services will cost, make sure you have a good idea of what your business actually needs. For example, if a pricing structure is based on ‘per user’ that doesn’t necessarily equate to every employee in the business (some individuals may not need access to IT). If it’s per device, make sure you know exactly how many devices your organisation has, including BYODs if you need to provide IT support for employees using their own devices.

Similarly, explore your historic ticket / incident volumes including different types of tickets. If you’re thinking about only outsourcing 1st line tickets try to differentiate between all internal tickets raised in the last 12 months so you can get an accurate idea of how many 1st line tickets per month your business needs support with.

If you don’t have this type of data, speak to the IT service desk providers on your shortlist to get their insight into the ticket volumes your organisation may require. They’ll be able to use their experience working with similar-sized organisations and businesses in the same sector as a guide.

Remember that one of the reasons organisations outsource their IT service desk to external providers is to reduce costs and drive efficiencies. So expect service providers to be transparent about their pricing structures and keen to help you get the ROI your business needs.

Finally, consider your future needs. If your organisation is planning for growth you’ll need to ensure your IT service desk provider can scale accordingly and that the pricing model is still cost effective as you grow.

Click here to get an idea of how much outsourcing your IT service desk will cost.

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Get an idea of how much outsourcing your IT service cost could cost your organisation by using our Service Desk cost calculator.

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