Evaluating Proposals

What is Stopping You from Changing IT Providers? – Evaluating Proposals

| February 15, 2021

In this article we build upon the first two articles on “What is stopping you from changing IT providers?”  and dive into the types of proposals.

Types of proposals

If you invite 10 companies, you are going to get about 3 different proposal types with a wide variety of options.  They will differ mainly in their approach to billing rather than services if you break them down.  Here are the main types of proposals:

All-You-Can-Eat – Managed Services

The “all-you-can-eat” model is just that.  You are going to pay a fixed fee per month and receive unlimited remote support.  Some will even offer a day or x days per month on-site.  Others will do unlimited remote support, but onsite will be billed by the hour.  The benefits of this model are:

  • One fixed-price per user or per device per month.  Will typically do monitoring, remote support, and anti-virus as a package.
  • Flexible enough to add additional tiers of support (advanced security, backup/disaster recovery/business continuity, collaboration, etc) for additional fees.
  • Typically a very structured model with quarterly or monthly business reviews.
  • Resources are usually trained and certified.
  • Can also work with existing IT staff.
  • Is a true service model with commitments such as service level agreements.

Some risks with this model:

  • Support is tiered.  You will likely call in to a support desk to get a level 1 resource first.  They may be unfamiliar with your environment.
  • You may be required to utilize their stack of hardware/software.
  • Contracts may be difficult to get out of or may require a longer-term commitment.
  • May not include support for your business applications.

Break Fix  – Hourly OR RETAINER

These types of proposals usually come from smaller providers and usually just come with an hourly rate.  If you have an IT problem, you contact them and they handle it.  They are usually flexible on what they will support.   

Benefits of this model are:

  • Typically, minimal upfront fees to get started (if any).
  • Usually, work with an owner or co-owner that becomes familiar with you and your business.
  • Can provide backup if you have only one IT person.

Some risks with this model:

  • Response time can be constrained if they are on-site or have several incidents happen at once.
  • Billing accuracy may be a problem if they do not have the systems in place to track their time accurately.
  • Knowledge and experience vary between all vendors, but a successful break-fix organization will have a niche market.  If they do not have experience in your vertical or are not experienced with your compliance requirements, this can be a cause for concern. 

Staff Augmentation model

In this proposal, a resource can be dedicated for a period to complete a project or serve a particular role in your organization (CIO, CISO, Director, Engineer, Technician, or Subject Matter Expert for an application) for an extended period.  Sometimes, these are even contract-to-hire, where the contractor will be hired directly by your organization after the contract period is over.

The benefits of this approach are:

  • You can interview your resource before they are hired for the position.
  • If you have a specific skill set required, it is taken into consideration for the search.
  • Can be used for shorter-term and does not impact your operating model.

The risks with the Staff Augmentation Model:

  • Typically, this is the most expensive of the options.
  • Increased overhead managing subcontractors.
  • When the resource leaves, so does the knowledge.
  • Staffing agencies may not be the best evaluators of technical talent. 

Concensus offers a complete set of solutions for cybersecurity, cloud, and managed IT services for your business.  Reach out to our team for a consultation.

In the next blog, we will talk about choosing the right vendor and the right model for your organization. If you missed our last installment, “Getting Started,” click below.

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