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Reduce IT Costs: Find Out What You’re Really Paying For
While autopay is normal for most businesses, it can hide what you're truly paying for. Find out how to reduce IT costs and make sure you're not overpaying.
In a fast-paced world filled with autopay, it’s easy to overlook what you’re actually paying for. Unfortunately, your IT provider bill might be roped into the repetitive autopay cycle, and some providers try to sneak hidden costs in without you knowing.
In this article, we’ll dive into common hidden IT costs as well as how to reduce IT costs and get more transparent pricing.
Direct vs. Indirect Costs in IT
Direct IT costs refer to the necessary, specific expenses affiliated with information technology functions. These costs tend to be quantifiable, easily identifiable, and clearly written out in your contract. Some examples of direct IT costs include:
- Hardware expenses
- Software costs (varying based on in-house vs. outsourced support)
- IT personnel salaries
- Maintenance and support costs
- Cloud services
While direct costs are typically unavoidable in IT, indirect, hidden costs are preventable most of the time but also overlooked.
Common Hidden Costs for IT Managed Services
Unfortunately, hidden costs are…hidden. They’re frequently overlooked or considered “normal” charges. However, this isn’t the norm and shouldn’t be accepted. To help you out and make sure you’re not being overcharged, we’ve compiled a list of common hidden IT costs.
- Charging for network assessments
- Software and hardware auditing
- Training and skill development
- Upcharges for travel…with no option for remote support
- Anything “outside the scope of work”
1. Charging for Network Assessments
Imagine getting a quote for work on your house and it costing $500 just for them to look at it. Similarly, if you get charged for a network assessment, you’re essentially paying someone to look at your network and tell you what’s wrong…but not fix anything.
We believe if you need help, you shouldn’t be charged to diagnose the issue.
2. Software and Hardware Auditing
Software and hardware auditing may also be referred to as monthly reporting, which shouldn’t be billed. These reports or audits from companies such as ConnectWise are automated, sent to the provider’s email, then the provider prints or sends them to you (the client).
Essentially, if you’re paying for software and hardware auditing, you’re paying for the IT provider to open their email and forward it to you.
3. Training and Skill Development
If your current IT provider is charging you for employee cybersecurity training, this isn’t necessary. Cybersecurity training for employees protects your business as much as it protects the IT provider’s reputation and business as well, so it shouldn’t be an expense.
4. Upcharges for Travel…With No Option for Remote Support
In most of the IT helpdesk tickets we close, they can be resolved remotely. However, not every IT provider offers remote support, so you’re forced to pay travel costs.
For example, if you have printer issues, most can be solved remotely. If your IT provider doesn’t offer remote IT support services, you will be billed for travel to your business, their time (which most likely is going to be a quick fix), then for travel back to their office.
Let’s face it, the technology out now is capable of handling remote IT support. If your IT provider doesn’t offer it, it may be time to look for a provider that’s up-to-date with the latest tech.
5. Anything “Outside the Scope of Work”
In some cases, such as a big project, you may be billed for work outside of the scope. However, if you’re being charged for “server maintenance” for example, that should be included in your scope of work as a necessity for a healthy network.
Anything involving routine maintenance shouldn’t be a charge to you on top of the monthly fee you’re paying.
Known Hidden Cost – A Real-Life Example
While we aren’t wanting to tear down other IT providers, we also don’t appreciate shady business. One of our current clients, who would like to remain anonymous, has experience with another IT provider who charged them significantly more than needed.
By doing a free network assessment with Omnis Technologies, we found they were overpaying in several areas including:
- Remote support – the IT provider refused to do remote support, then charged them for travel expenses later on.
- Forced cloud migration – the client was pushed into a cloud-hosted server with a monthly fee that was completely unnecessary. On top of the monthly expense the client faced, they then paid excessive markup costs on the server licensing itself.
- Billing for automated services – the IT provider was invoicing the client for 8-9 hours of Windows updates…which involves the provider to click start and watch updates run (that takes zero effort). These updates should be included in routine maintenance.
Frankly, by the time Omnis was informed of these issues, it was clear that the client was getting taken advantage of and created a new, much less expensive contract for them.
Now, the client has access to several experienced technicians, routine maintenance, around-the-clock support, remote support, and transparent billing.
How to Reduce IT Costs
If you’re looking to reduce IT costs, the best place to start is with assessing your current provider and using our checklist to look for hidden costs. As in the name, these costs are hidden and not easily found, so getting an expert IT opinion may be the way to go.
However, if you’re locked into a contract and unable to make a switch, you can try to ask for an itemized list of what you’re paying for. You can then work with the provider to reduce these costs and cut unnecessary spending.
Get Transparent Pricing with No Hidden Fees
To put it simply, if you’re looking for an IT provider that won’t nickel and dime you, Omnis Technologies is the way to go. We provide completely transparent pricing and have several experienced technicians ready to help you, when you need it.
Don’t spend more money on unnecessary services. We know this is a shameless plug but honestly, even if you don't choose Omnis, please take this list to your current or future IT provider and make sure you're not getting screwed.