Types of IT Support Models at a Glance

by | Mar 14, 2023 | INSI Articles, IT Support

IT Support Models at a Glance

If you are not in the IT Support business, aka Managed Services, it is difficult, if not impossible, to compare the different IT support models. This article summarizes our series on the various types of IT Support Models based on the book: IT Outsourcing Secrets.

Previously, we looked closely at Ad Hoc, Blocks of Time, Use-it-Or-Lose-It, Budget, and Flat Rate programs. However, this article will compare the models and explain how our Customized IT Support Program addresses the flaws in the IT support landscape.

High Level IT Support Model Comparison


When comparing IT support models, you should take into account the risk and IT maturity.

  1. Risk is based on the overall cost
  2. IT Maturity Scale is based on the efficiencies of the organization

Both should be taken into consideration in order to determine which model is best for you.  See below:

Pay as You Go Ad Hoc Services is High Risk and Low on the IT Maturity Scale:

An independent contractor who sells Ad Hoc services or pay-as-you go, charges less because they do not have much overhead. They haven’t invested in people, processes, or technology to perform proper documentation, track your assets issues, and monitor. In other words, they lack efficiencies. This approach often results in multiple visits, multiple breaks, and security risks, which can cause the cost to spiral out of control. 

The one exception to ad hoc services is one-time projects or companies who are not dependent on their IT operations to conduct business.

Blocks of Time is High Risk and Low on the IT Maturity Scale:

Companies that sell Blocks of Time usually have a handful of IT people and technology tools to provide a service. Under this program, they pay for hours upfront and get a discount based on the number of hours they buy.

A company that only provides the blocks of time model carries a high liability risk of unused hours. From day to day, they have no idea when a client will need their services, and they cannot staff appropriately. So, while business continues as usual, they must still pay their expenses. So, by the time the client calls in the hours, they may not have the capacity to respond to the client’s needs. Unfortunately, they could take days or weeks to get around to your tickets. Without a doubt, this is a high risk for both the client and the IT support provider.

Use-it-Or-Lose-it is High Risk and Medium on the IT Maturity Scale:

Use-it-Or-Lose-it firms usually invest in people, processes, and technology, but the cost burden is still heavily placed on the client. Hence, if the client uses only some all their monthly hours, they lose the remaining. If they go over their hours, they pay a hefty overage fee.

Budget is High Risk and High on the IT Maturity Scale: 

Budget IT support companies invest highly in processes, people, and technology. However, the cost risk is exceptionally high to the client, and the invoices are unpredictable and confusing.

The budget model charges a base package plus ½ an hour per workstation, 1 hour per server, and 15 minutes per firewall per month at high industry rates. They claim you can apply hosting, managed security, or any project against the budget. Still, if you do not leave the appropriate amount in the budget, you will run over every month. As a result, this makes the forecasting of IT expenditures useless. In addition, each account is assigned a “client engagement manager,” which is nothing more than a technical salesperson who tries to up-sell you at every turn.

Fixed-Rate is Low Risk and Medium to High on the IT Maturity Scale:

A fixed rate is also known as price per seat or price per device, Fixed Rate companies absorb all the cost of devices under contract. This service makes the risk extremely low for the client and the provider. In addition, the company invests highly in people, processes, and technology to run efficiently and make a profit.

However, not all Fixed Rate companies are equal, and you must ask the right questions to know where they are on the IT maturity scale. Further, the client is paying the same high rates for entry-level tickets as they are for advanced support issues.

INSI Customized IT™ Low on Risk and High on IT Maturity

The INSI Customized IT can provide fully managed services (fixed rate) or fill in the gaps for small internal IT departments for a fixed monthly fee. Our unique program offers decreased rates on helpdesk issues without sacrificing quality. This is because we charge entry-level rates for entry-level tickets, which constitute 80% of the IT support tickets.

The INSI Customized IT™ plan was designed with the other IT support plans in mind. It addresses the flaws within the IT support industry and offers real solutions.

How Does Customized IT Compare to Other IT Support Models in Atlanta?

There are several advantages to the INSI Customized IT™  program, including:

  • Low-Risk Flat Fee – INSI will absorb all the risk on their INSI Customized IT™ and Managed Support programs with a fixed monthly fee.
  • Delivers Better Quality – INSI’s tiered support structure ensures our clients receive the proper support level for each ticket. As an example, Tier 3 engineers are only assigned Tier 3 tickets. For this reason, they are much better at solving the client’s advanced issues. Further, our entry-level engineers are only assigned entry-level tickets. Therefore, they do not find themselves over their heads and learning on the client’s time.
  • One Back to Pat – The initial engineer completely owns the ticket. If they do not know how to resolve the ticket within 15 minutes, a higher-level engineer will fix the problem in front of them. As a result, this speeds up the time to resolution for the client while also increasing the engineers ckill set. Subsequently, the next time your engineer gets the same issue, they will know how to resolve it.
  • Lowers 80% of the IT Support Cost – All INSI support programs incorporate true helpdesk rates on tiers 1 & 2. Consequently, this reduces the cost of 80% of the tickets to entry-level rates.
  • Right-Sized for the Client – Since each service is broken out into its own service, the client can pick and choose the exact services they want in their IT support program. Now that’s true customization!

Do You Want To Learn More About the Different Types of IT Support Models?

Go here to see the various types of IT support, their pros and cons, and great questions to ask the provider on each one.

About INSI – The Best MSP in Atlanta!

Innovative Network Systems, Inc. has a unique approach to integrating IT support and cybersecurity. Our month-to-month programs range from basic support to proactive support, managed support, and customized support. Each program is tailored to the client’s needs and internal IT strengths.  

For more information about cybersecurity dangers and the preventative measures for your company, connect with the top MSP in Atlanta; Contact INSI: 770-387-2424, option 2 or click the link below. In addition, we offer 16 different cybersecurity programs to protect you and your data.

About the Author

Deborah Frazier is the author of IT Outsourcing Secrets – A Small Business Guide to Compare IT Support Companies. With nearly 20 years of experience consulting small and medium-sized businesses on their IT support needs, she brings a wealth of knowledge to INSI as Head of Marketing and Sales. If you like this article and would like to get notified when a new article is posted, click here

To make an appointment for more information about INSI and our Marietta and Atlanta metro IT Support services, click here.