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Is it really a fixed fee? A candid guide to understanding managed IT support

In the complex landscape of IT support, the concept of 'fixed fee' services often stands out as a beacon of predictability and transparency.

However, as decision-makers in a modern business environment, it is crucial to understand that not all 'fixed fee' services are truly fixed. 

The 'Fixed Fee' Misconception 

Many Managed Service Providers (MSPs) promote 'fixed fee' services that may initially appear cost-effective. However, the reality often involves numerous 'bolt-ons' - additional charges for services such as adding a printer, making changes, or relocating equipment. These bolt-ons shift the risk from the MSP to your business, enabling the MSP to avoid full responsibility for your company's IT needs. 

The Hidden Costs and Risks 

While these 'fixed fee' services might seem economical at first glance, the true cost often becomes apparent when you require assistance. Unexpected charges can add up quickly, undermining your budget and causing unnecessary stress. This approach can also lead to a reactive rather than proactive relationship with your MSP, which can ultimately hinder your business's IT efficiency and resilience. 

The Value of a Truly Fixed Fee 

In contrast, a genuinely fixed fee service encompasses all aspects of IT support, charging only for the implementation of new elements, such as additional computers or cloud services. This model ensures predictability and transparency in your IT support costs, providing a clear overview of what you're paying for and why. 

Shared Responsibility and Partnership 

A key element to look out for when choosing an MSP is their willingness to share the risk of delivering your business outcomes. A provider that embraces this shared responsibility is likely to offer a more mature partnership and a smoother client experience. They will also invest time in getting to know your business, understanding your unique needs, and streamlining your operations. 

A Win-Win Situation 

A genuine fixed fee model fosters a win-win relationship between your business and your MSP. This partnership allows for a more in-depth understanding of your business goals, leading to tailored IT solutions that align with your strategic objectives. This collaborative approach ensures a seamless tech experience for your team and enhances your business's overall IT resilience. 

The Bottom Line 

As you navigate the world of IT support, remember that not all 'fixed fee' services are created equal. Look beyond the initial pricing and ask about what's included and, more importantly, what's not. A truly fixed fee provider doesn't just fix issues - they partner with you, providing comprehensive IT support designed to drive your business forward. By choosing wisely, you can secure a robust, reliable, and truly supportive IT partnership for your business. . 


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