What You Need to Know About IT Support Contracts for Your Atlanta Business

by | Dec 26, 2023 | IT support contract

The type of IT support contracts you sign with your Managed Service provider tells a lot about your provider’s ability to prevent, respond to, and resolve your IT issues. That’s because certain models are flawed in the way they are structured. If they are on the lower end of the rating scale, you can expect end-user downtime, successful cyber-attacks, and, at worst, complete data loss.

Know the Risk and IT Maturity Level in Your IT Support Contract

An IT Maturity Level is the ability of an IT organization to deliver exceptional service and continuously improve its IT performance. My book, IT Outsourcing Secrets, explains Gartner’s IT Assessment tool for IT Maturity. The IT Maturity levels include:

  • Level 1 Awareness– This company is reactive and fighting fires all day.  They have no defined processes or technology tools to help them provide consistent service.
  • Level 2 Committed– The MSP invests in industry best practices and initiates formal processes.  They invest in a robust ticketing system, network monitoring tools, and asset tracking.
  • Level 3 Proactive– It is not enough to have the technology tools; the MSP must also program them for continuous improvement.  For example, they can use the ticketing system to measure key performance indicators and implement processes to overcome areas of weakness.  An excellent example of this is INSI’s onsite preventive maintenance program.  In addition, there is a focus on hiring the right engineering talent who can follow processes, communicate well, and have excellent problem-solving abilities.
  • Level 4 Service-Aligned– At this level, the MSP is a trusted business advisor and has all its people, technology, and processes in place.  They have also improved customer support, talent utilization, and decision-making capabilities.
  • Level 5 Business Partner– Finally, the MSP is at a stage where they are forward-thinking and discovering innovative ways to help their clients meet their goals through technology.

As you can see, the more mature the organization, the better the service you will receive.  Therefore, it is imperative to understand the provider’s stage in the IT maturity model.

Know the Type of IT Support Contract

IT Support Ranked by Risk and Maturity

The IT support contract tells you much about the company’s IT model. It lets you know if it is a sustainable model, the experience of their people, and the likely outcome if you choose them. The following are the more common types in Atlanta:

Ad Hoc IT Support Contract – High Risk and Low on the IT Maturity Scale. Independent contractors don’t charge much for their services because they do not have much overhead. Nor have they invested in people, processes, or technology to perform proper documentation, track your assets, or monitor your network. In other words, they lack efficiencies. As a result, you can expect multiple visits, breaks, and security risks, which cause the cost to spiral out of control.

Blocks of Time IT Support Contract – High Risk and Low on the IT Maturity Scale: These IT support companies usually have a handful of IT people and technology tools to provide a certain efficiency level. However, the risk is high because of the liability for unused hours. Therefore, they can’t staff correctly because they do not know when the client will call in the hours. In the meantime, they still have bills to pay. So, when the client calls during these hours, they may not have the personnel to respond to your needs. This model is a high risk for the client and the IT support provider, and they often go out of business and start back up under a new name.

Use-it-Or-Lose-it IT Support Contract– 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. That’s because the client will either go over their hours and pay an overage fee or not use all of their hours and pay for hours they don’t use.

Budget IT Support Contract– High Risk and High on the IT Maturity Scale: Budget companies invest highly in processes, people, and technology. However, the cost risk is exceptionally high to the client, and the invoices are highly unpredictable.

Fixed-Rate IT Support Contract– Low Risk and Medium to High on the IT Maturity Scale: Also known as price per seat or price per device, Fixed-rate companies absorb all the cost of devices under contract. This method makes the risk extremely low, and it is a safe bet they invested in people, processes, and technology to run efficiently and make a profit. Unfortunately, the client is paying the same high rates for entry-level tickets as for advanced support issues.

INSI Customized IT™ IT Support Contract– Low on Risk and High on IT Maturity the INSI Customized IT™ (CIT.) The CIT support program absorbs all costs with a monthly flat rate. It also lowers the price by 80% of the IT support cost (helpdesk support) and invests heavily in people, processes, and technology. INSI designed the Customized IT™ to address the IT support industry’s flaws and offer real solutions.

Summary on Types of IT Support Contracts

INSI has long been a proponent of educating and empowering small- and medium-sized businesses with industry knowledge, current technology trends, events, issues, and news.  For example, our “How To” articles provide easy step-by-step instructions on identifying different types of phishingspear phishing, and smishing.  We all know that informed, knowledgeable, and resourceful business professionals make the best IT support contract decisions.

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 want to be 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.