Last year I wrote an article titled "How Much Does IT Support In Idaho Cost?" In the article, I explain how services are priced in the Managed Service Provider (MSP) world, and what factors cause pricing to go up or down (ie. cloud services, cybersecurity, VoIP). I list out some real numbers we see in Idaho, and what you can expect to hear in quotes from IT providers in Boise and Idaho Falls. It's still a very relevant article, and if you are looking for a ballpark number of how much a managed IT service costs in Idaho, I would suggest reading it.
It's a new year and, probably just like in your industry, things have changed in the IT space. Simply put...
The Cost of Managed IT has gone up but not because of inflation
It seems like the cost of everything has gone up - gas, eggs, computer hardware, trash bags. You may have noticed an increase in the rates of your managed IT provider as well. While a small increase year after year in your service agreement is completely normal (we usually see 3-5%), the price increase I am talking about is more dramatic. The reason for this hike in cost is not due to inflation but rather an overall increase in value and services. Instead of just buying managed IT services, more organizations are choosing to invest in full security programs that cover IT, cybersecurity, compliance, and governance.
Most Idaho businesses need advanced security protections in 2023
Look at your master service agreement (MSA) with your IT provider. When was it drafted? If it was more than a year ago, chances are you are not paying for the level of cybersecurity that is needed to protect your business in 2023. Here are 3 quick things to look for in your agreement:
- Zero-Trust computing
- Multi-factor authentication
- Advanced email phishing protection
One of the reasons the cost of IT service has gone up is that in addition to essential IT functions (helpdesk, hardware procurement, software upgrades), Idaho businesses are also purchasing advanced cybersecurity solutions.
More Idaho businesses are falling under regulatory compliance
New regulations are coming down the chain that are requiring certain industries to reach a level of data security compliance. Just one example is the new FTC Safeguards Rule. The FTC—Federal Trade Commission—put together new guidelines to help address the growing gap in data security. They revamped their security requirements to include more businesses that directly interface with consumers.
If you work with money and keep personal information about customers on file, there's a good chance you’ll fall within the new FTC Safeguards guidelines. Noncompliance leads to heavy fines, disruptive oversight, and possible jail time.
Being compliant with different regulations means having proper controls in place to address data security. It also includes good documentation of technology policies and procedures. Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is a newer offering from some Idaho MSPs.
Idaho organizations are seeing the value in a managed security program
Finally, we have an overarching security program service. This service, called virtual Chief Security Officer (vCSO) is very new to the MSP world. In fact, most IT providers in the United States do not yet offer this service.
When an organization invests in a vCSO, they have a resource who is strategically managing their entire security program. From IT to cybersecurity to compliance, everything is overseen by the vCSO who is setting the strategy and roadmap for the company. If you haven't heard of a vCSO service and want to learn more, click here.
The Cost of Your IT Services Should Be Rising, Idaho
So, if you noticed the rates of managed service providers rising in 2023, I wouldn't be alarmed. This trend will continue as technology improves and cyber criminals adapt. If your prices have gone up steeply but you are not receiving any of the added value I have talked about, there is something fishy going on.
Yes, the price of talented technicians has gone up, and yes our operating expenses have gone up just like any other business. But ultimately, the increase in pricing you see should be coming from additional services, not the same ones that were sold to you years ago.