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Managed Services Or Hourly IT Support?

Bryan Badger avatar
Written by Bryan Badger posted on Jun 1, 2022

You may want to save money by using hourly IT support when you need to—but it is really more cost-effective? Get the facts before you decide.

You’ve probably heard plenty about managed services. What they do, why they’re the best form of IT support, etc.

But you may not have a good understanding of their cost-effect.

Let’s be honest: on paper, the hourly IT support you’re paying for right now probably looks better than paying a larger monthly fee for managed services.

But is that really the best way to look at it?

The Difference Between Managed &n Hourly IT Support

One of the key differentiators to consider when finding a potential IT support provider is whether they offer hourly support or a flat-rate monthly contract. The former often appears more cost-effective than the latter—depending on the month, you may only need a few hours of support, right?

As compelling as this line of thinking may be, it’s not really founded in reality. Just consider how monthly, managed services have grown in popularity over the past decade when compared to conventional hourly support.

The Truth About Hourly IT Support

Call it whatever you like, but hourly support is identical in all but name to “Break/Fix services”. This is an insider term for the traditional style of outsourced IT services, which works by fixing your computers once they're broken.

In a nutshell, when something goes wrong—data loss, hardware failure, virus, etc.—you then get in touch with your hourly IT support provider, and have them fix it. The hourly strategy no longer works for businesses today. If you still use this method of IT service, you risk downtime that can slow you down.

On the other hand, services arranged via a monthly contract are also known as "Managed Services". This is the modern model for IT support, offering a range of vital solutions to your business all for one monthly rate. With fully managed support, you know that you are supported and protected 24/7.

From active monitoring and patch management to responsive on-site and Help Desk support services, fully managed support takes care of everything you need.

5 Problems With Hourly IT Support

Impermanent Solutions

When they’re charging by the hour, they’re encouraged to focus on billable hours. It doesn't benefit them if your tech is working the way it should. You could find yourself repeatedly calling them to help with a problem that never quite gets resolved.

Rapid Escalation

A minor computer problem can quickly turn into a disaster. This is especially true today with the increase in cybercrime like ransomware. What starts out with just one malicious email can spread throughout your entire network, locking down your data, and your operations.

Further Delays

It could take days to fix your problem—in the meantime, your employees won't have access to the data they need to continue working.  You're simply "bleeding money” by the minute.

Cost Of Downtime

Your support provider starts charging you after you've already lost work time—that time spent on repairs or updates can add up fast.

Inaccurate Budgeting

It’s impossible to predict how much to budget for IT services.  You can’t know what will happen or how expensive it might be.

4 Reasons To Invest In Managed IT Support

Freedom Of Focus

You can finally focus on running your business and not on IT worries. Your third-party support provider will minimize or eliminate downtime that could hit your bottom line.

Simple Support

Your tech support can be provided remotely without a technician visiting your office. There will be instances that require in-person care, such as hardware replacement. However, most of what affects your day-to-day operations can be worked on remotely.

Easy Budgeting

You'll benefit from a flat-rate payment model, allowing you to budget your tech more effectively. You'll be able to plan for growth far more easily and with greater peace of mind.


Tech maintenance from a third party is more cost-effective than relying on break/fix solutions, especially when you consider the lost revenue from downtime.

Which IT Services Model Should You Choose?

Only you can know for sure. If you have a perfect IT infrastructure, that rarely, if ever, has problems, then hourly IT support may be the more cost-effective choice. But that’s probably not very likely.

You know you’ve found the right IT services when you stop worrying about your technology altogether. It should work as easily as snapping your fingers; when you need it, it just works, with no delays or complications.

It’s much more likely that you could benefit from a managed approach to IT support—and Integra Networks can deliver. Our team will make sure that your technology works properly, without you having to do anything about it.

With our help, your problems will be prevented. Get in touch with our team to discover more.

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