With all of the advances in remote access, the IT industry has reached the point where roughly 95% of all network management and support can be performed from afar. From server patching, to helpdesk services, to firmware updates for your firewall, all it takes are some keystrokes from an engineer and you’re golden.
While it isn’t best practice to have purely remote support across the board (on-site really is crucial to a comprehensive IT service plan), it’s these kinds of services that are the essence of what the IT industry calls “managed services.” As such, over the years we’ve gotten tons of questions about what it will cost an organization to subscribe to a steady diet of remote IT support.
What are the different types of remote support out there, and how much will each of them run you each month? We’ll break it down below.
What kinds of remote IT support are there?
The two most prevalent kinds of remote IT support focus on the core elements of your technology systems: servers and workstations.
1. Remote server maintenance. This service typically includes monitoring, alert generation, scanning for health statistics, and patch application. Higher-level offerings will also include performance optimization, and remediation of any issues that arise.
2. Remote desktop management/help desk. Here, you’re looking at base packages that consist of anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, remote access capabilities, and remote remediation of desktop issues. Some higher-end providers extend their support window to “24/7,” and others provide application-specific support that borders on training.
In some cases, you’ll see providers separate their workstation management service from their helpdesk support (take one Optimal Networks for example). Generally speaking, though, these two services are halves of the whole.
What is the average price range for remote IT support?
For remote server maintenance, expect to pay anywhere between $100 to $395 per server per month. The more features you want to be handled remotely (especially where issue remediation is concerned, unlimited or otherwise), the more you’ll need to invest.
For helpdesk, you’ll find packages ranging on average from $60 to $85 per workstation per month, with the higher-cost options generally including 24/7 user support.
In a lot of cases, smaller providers will fall on the lower end of the pricing scale in order to stay competitive. The only thing to watch out for here is that the smaller the company, the fewer people they have at their disposal to help you when you need them.
As always, do take care to vet your providers before signing on (remember: there’s no equivalent to the bar exam in IT). And, wherever possible, try to balance out your remote service with regular on-site attention—just because you can go fully remote doesn’t mean you should.