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sxz



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# 177490 4-Aug-2015 11:49
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We are a small professional business with approx 15 users / PC's.  Some of us work remotely via RDP.  We currently have one central server, which I believe may have 2 virtual servers running on it.  It runs our emails (Outlook), our client relationship management software and stores our word documents & emails.  

We do nothing particularly taxing on our PC's - just word and email.

If you were pitching for our business, how much would you expect we should be spending per hour  month / year / whatever / to run and maintain our server and look after our system, including a few phone calls and IT support per month when issues invariably arise?

Do you think ditching the server and moving to a 'cloud based' microsoft server could be worthwhile to streamline our costs?  We are on a 100mb fiber plan if that helps.  Would this slow us down much?

What does your business spend on IT?

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  # 1358582 4-Aug-2015 12:03
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Which city is your business operating out of? Get few external IT consulting companies to come take a look at your hardware, workflow and requirements and go from there with best advice.




Do whatever you want to do man.

  

sxz



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  # 1358596 4-Aug-2015 12:15
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billgates: Which city is your business operating out of? Get few external IT consulting companies to come take a look at your hardware, workflow and requirements and go from there with best advice.


Thanks, yes we are in the process of doing that right now. Just wondering what sort of range to expect and what people here pay / charge.

Obviously there will always be a rolls Royce approach and a budget one, each with their own advantages or disadvantages, just wondering what you gut feelings are for a typical 15 user small business.

 
 
 
 


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  # 1358600 4-Aug-2015 12:24
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I think that is the wrong way around to look at it and you run the risk of compromising your true requirements by starting with a cost in mind. The cost of IT for a business is always more than you will want to pay or feel you should be paying...

Firstly establish what the core, non-negotiable functions and services you need to run and build the business are, along with some ideas on Business Continuity and acceptable outages for these functions.

You can then add a wish-list or "nice to have" functions or features if you want (Surface Pro's for all! 24/7 service desk, remote working etc etc)

You then get a three tiered quote/solution build from at least two different providers, with the bottom tier being the cheapest, bargain basement way of achieving the core needs, tier two being the "optimal" or performance option and tier 3 being the Rolls Royce with all the trimmings.

That will then give you the cost, at which point you can negotiate accordingly.

Cheers




.

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  # 1358603 4-Aug-2015 12:25
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When you consider "cloud" there are a few things to consider.

Office365 - that is your email, office suite and file storage using onedrive - can be very cost effective and a great way to reduce your IT support costs.

Something like Azure (where you get a virtual server in an MS data center) can get really expensive, really quickly and is probably overkill.

As to your costs - most SME IT providers will offer a monthly maintenance type plan - which will cover coming onsite, checking logs/health, assisting with IT and will bundle x hours of support. That can be quite cost effective.

Prices - anywhere from $50 - $150 an hour, depending on the level of support you receive.

Another way to look at it - what will it cost you for your business to be completely offline?

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  # 1358633 4-Aug-2015 12:38
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Cloud based for email and storage is good, so lkong as your network connection stays up. If a digger chops your fibre connection, can you afford to be without documents etc until it is fixed (is their offline files with OneDrive?)

Your CRM may be the limiting factor. It needs to sit on a server somewhere - do the vendors of your CRM have a cloud-based solution? Can you move to one?

sxz



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  # 1358634 4-Aug-2015 12:38
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All good advice - we certainly are not looking to skimp, and we definitely want to protect against downtime, it's just if we get presented with a final figure we (not being IT pro's) have no idea if the charge is realistic or not.  They could estimate $5k per year or $25k per year and I wouldn't know which is more reasonable (i'm taking support only, not Hardware cost).  I see us as an ordinary small business using word and outlook only, with 1/5 of our users using RDP at any one time. 

Knowing a small bit about IT I can certainly understand some of the difficulties with selling IT support to business owners who have no understanding whatsoever...

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  # 1358650 4-Aug-2015 12:54
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sxz: All good advice - we certainly are not looking to skimp, and we definitely want to protect against downtime, it's just if we get presented with a final figure we (not being IT pro's) have no idea if the charge is realistic or not.  They could estimate $5k per year or $25k per year and I wouldn't know which is more reasonable (i'm taking support only, not Hardware cost).  I see us as an ordinary small business using word and outlook only, with 1/5 of our users using RDP at any one time. 

Knowing a small bit about IT I can certainly understand some of the difficulties with selling IT support to business owners who have no understanding whatsoever...


General support-wise, you are probably best off on a Time and Materials/Expenses basis - unlikely you will find a suitable flat-rate "all you can eat" support service to fit your needs.

$100 to $125 per hour is reasonable for a good IT engineer who knows her/his stuff plus call-out travel for site visits at the agreed rates. Senior engineer/consultant/IT Manager type work will come in at anything from $130 to $200 an hour.
It can be challenging to provide an accurate implementation quote for a turnkey IT/IS solution as far as man hours are concerned, but a good company should make a damn good stab at it and be able to come in pretty close, barring any major unexpected issues.

IT companies will clip the ticket on hardware/software they provide along with additional for 3rd party cloud services such as MS Office 365. You may be slightly better off by approaching retailers directly for some stuff if you are absolutely confident you know what you need, but it can complicate the setup and cause friction if issues arise on support or spec of equipment and/or services you have purchased directly, circumventing the support vendor you subsequently request to configure and support it!




.

 
 
 
 


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  # 1358655 4-Aug-2015 13:04
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Government departments appear to spend between 8 and 20% of their operational costs on IT, most around the 12% from memory.

Zal

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  # 1375246 27-Aug-2015 15:10
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Bumping an old thread - did you manage to find someone in the end? Keen to know the results of what you picked.
Am in the I.T support business, enjoy hearing what others are up to.

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  # 1375697 28-Aug-2015 14:08
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timmmay: Government departments appear to spend between 8 and 20% of their operational costs on IT, most around the 12% from memory.


Ah 12% would be fantastic, we only get 4% sometimes less.

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  # 1375852 28-Aug-2015 18:31
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If Gartner had their way it would be a higher percentage. they believe an It person in a managed environment should only be managing around 50-70 computers.    As it is the average in Govt Depts seems to be closer to 250-300 each - from my experience.





nunz

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  # 1375855 28-Aug-2015 18:37
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timmmay: Government departments appear to spend between 8 and 20% of their operational costs on IT, most around the 12% from memory.


Which departments get to spend that much?  (and I mean even as high as 8%)

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