managed IT services pricing cost

Managed IT Services – What do they cost? Part One [Establishing budget]

Understanding managed IT services pricing is a complex topic, and there’s a lot to consider. The intent of this topic is to outline the considerations for businesses assessing their IT spending.  Rather than asking about specific costs, we will focus more on a series of questions such as “How should I think about my IT budgeting?”, “What level of cybersecurity investment should I pursue?”, “How do managed service providers price their services?”, and “What are the items I have not yet considered?”.  Let’s dive in!


The Context

When it comes to business, context is everything. IT budgets are influenced by many things, especially company size, industry, and most importantly business needs.  IT budgeting is strategic decision making in action, and it requires thorough understanding of the company’s priorities. All of the following items can vary based on this context.  

With that established, generally an appropriate IT budget can be thought of as between 3-6% of total revenue.  To determine the value of this level of investment one needs to view their IT roadmap as fundamental to achieving their business objectives.  Working backward from the overall objectives, executives must assess the company’s IT needs, prioritize its IT initiatives, and develop a strategic plan that outlines how much should be spent to enable these outcomes.  As part of ongoing strategic execution, it’s also important to regularly review and adjust IT budgets to ensure they are meeting the ongoing and ever-changing needs of the organization.  


How should our business think about IT budgeting?  And how do we maximize our IT investment? 

Purpose.  Everything starts with purpose.  The vision, values, and purpose of your business are going to inform how you think of IT budgeting.  And as you think through your current IT reality, consider the importance of people, processes, and technology, which all work together to deliver value to your business. When working with a managed IT services provider, its important to partner with them by sharing and working through the following: 


  • Define Your Goals

When allocating a budget for IT investments, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of your company’s strategic goals and IT priorities. A well-planned IT investment can help increase efficiency, streamline operations, and improve the overall performance of a business. Identifying gaps in your current operations are also a very valuable way of identifying IT investment needs.  


  • Conduct an IT Assessment

A critical next step in maximizing your IT investment is to assess your current IT infrastructure and identify areas of opportunity or improvement. This assessment should cover all aspects of your IT environment, including hardware, software, security, and networking.  It should help to define critical areas of your network and operations.  


  • Prioritize Your IT Needs

After assessing your IT infrastructure, you’ll need to prioritize your IT needs based on your business objectives. Identify the areas where an IT investment can have the greatest impact on your business goals, such as improving customer service, increasing employee productivity, or reducing costs.  A good thought starter is to outline the current or recent IT challenges you have encountered, and the impact they have had on your organization. Or ask the question “What are my top 3 IT wishes?”.  If you have existing plans to add new technology or update existing technology, capture it in this stage.  


  • Develop a Strategic IT Plan

Once you’ve identified your IT priorities, you’ll need to develop a strategic IT plan that outlines how you’ll allocate your IT budget to achieve your business goals. This plan should include a detailed breakdown of your IT investments and a timeline for implementation. You will also need to identify the delivery method of this plan, which is one area a managed IT services partner can provide great value.  


  • Invest in Cybersecurity

Investing in cybersecurity should be a top priority for any business and is a core component of your IT roadmap. Cyber attacks can be costly and damaging to a company’s reputation. Investing in cybersecurity measures such as firewalls, antivirus software, and employee training can help protect your business from cyber threats.  At EC Managed IT, we invest heavily internally on our cybersecurity stack, and provide exceptional value to our clients.  We also audit our practices yearly to ensure we continue to align with the Cybersecure Canada certification which we hold.  

Company policies related to cybersecurity are one of the most neglected areas that we have seen within medium sized businesses.  An honest look at internal company policy will provide great security value for your organization.  


  • Upgrade Hardware and Software

Outdated hardware and software can slow down operations and decrease productivity. Investing in new hardware and software can improve efficiency and performance. The opportunity cost of low performance in these areas is often not fully considered.  Upgrading to the latest technology, such as cloud-based services, can provide scalability and cost savings.  


  • Invest in Data Analytics

Data analytics can help businesses make informed decisions based on data insights. Investing in data analytics software and tools can help your business gain a competitive advantage by analyzing customer behavior, identifying trends, and improving forecasting accuracy.


  • Implement Automation

At EC, we have invested in robust automation for monitoring, maintaining, and securing your systems. This helps us drive consistent performance and uptime throughout your network. 


  • Train Employees

Investing in employee training can improve productivity and help employees stay up to date with the latest technology. Providing regular training on new software and tools can help employees work more efficiently and effectively.


The Takeaway

In summary, maximizing your IT investment requires intention and purpose.  There are many key areas to consider when allocating budget to your IT program as well as within your IT program.  Working with an experienced managed IT services provider can be a massive advantage in this area. Contact us today to begin your consultation!



  • Part 1: Establishing budget – Overall IT infrastructure
  • Part 2: Establishing budget – Cybersecurity allocation – COMING SOON!
  • Part 3: Managed IT Services Pricing models – COMING SOON!
  • Part 4: Hidden Costs:  What have I not considered?  – COMING SOON!
  • Part 5: Hidden Costs: Shadow IT (leverage SaaS Management) – COMING SOON!


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