Technology has long played a critical role in the work of accountants. Some of the oldest relics of human civilization dating back more than 7,000 years ...
Understanding and Dealing with Hidden IT Support Costs in Los Angeles
IT support in Los Angeles comes with associated costs. Sometimes there are additional costs associated with your IT that come up and take you by surprise. These hidden costs can turn a reasonable IT budget into an unmanageable one.
Direct and Indirect Costs
You first need to get a handle on the direct and indirect costs that you pay for. Direct costs include the following:
- Equipment – Computers, servers, and other devices, including their maintenance.
- Software – Programs that your business use, licenses for those programs, updates, upgrades, etc.
- Labor – This encompasses what the IT team does on a regular basis such as handle support tickets and other services
- Administrative – Procuring talent, training, managing, etc.
Indirect costs usually fall under the category of downtime or time IT personnel spends not working while on the clock. Even downtime, which can represent a budget killer, is still not so much a hidden cost, but one you should still address. So where do hidden costs come in?
Types of Hidden IT Support Costs
Familiarize yourself with as many types of hidden costs as you can. This way, you can better discuss them with your Los Angeles IT support group. Here are just a few of them.
- Services not mentioned in the service contract
Something that can come up which your service contract doesn't cover. Some managed service providers may take it upon themselves to deal with the situation. They will then bill you an hourly rate without you having foreknowledge of what’s happening. This can also happen if you choose a lower tier service from the tech support group.
- Third party support
Your IT support may not have the expertise needed for a particular problem or situation. In such a case, they may call on a third party, but then pass the cost of that outside service onto you.
- A lack of proactivity
When the IT solution is reactive, it can cost a lot more money than you bargained for. You want an IT provider that actively monitors, seeks issues, and performs maintenance. This will keep your business from suffering expensive problems.
If the IT service group waits for a problem to develop before they do anything about it, you will pay in various ways. You will lose revenue from downtime, and may have to pay extra for repairs.
- Sudden upgrades and fees
When you sign on with a support provider, you may not realize that your software or equipment requires upgrades. The provider may know, but not tell you, and not include upgrades in its package.
You can sign the contract and start paying before learning you need extensive upgrades. The price of those upgrades can skyrocket and you will find yourself hard-pressed to turn them down.
Speak About Hidden Costs with Your IT Support Company
Before using any IT service, you should:
- Ask blatantly about their fee structure
- Get it in writing
- Understand how they charge and what they charge
- Understand how they deal with issues when extra charges may apply
If your business has fallen victim to hidden support costs, immediately speak to the IT service provider. If they weren’t honest about how they applied those charges, you may want to seek concessions. You may even want to seek litigation if the costs were especially damaging to your business.
Start your search for proper IT service with a professional IT company. DCG Technical Solutions, Inc. can provide you with proper guidance, so you don’t have to deal with an IT company that’s okay with hitting you with hidden costs. Explore our website for more about IT support in Los Angeles, and other IT topics; or call our office (215-525-3223) if you need assistance. Our friendly staff will be waiting for your call.
About Brent Whitfield
Brent Whitfield is CEO of DCG Technical Solutions, Inc., which provides IT Support in the Los Angeles area since 1993. DCG exists to help our clients choose, implement, and manage IT and cloud solutions that are cost effective and reliable. DCG's pro-active approach to IT is ideally suited for companies who depend on reliable IT infrastructure, but don't want to spend a lot of money to keep it that way. DCG was recognized among the Top 10 Fastest Growing MSPs in North America by MSP Mentor. Brent has been featured in Fast Company, CNBC, Network Computing, Reuters, and Yahoo Business.