The Most Popular Pricing Models for Managed IT Services

By: Dustin Bonn
April 25, 2022

In recent years, more businesses are outsourcing either some or all of their IT needs to a Managed Services Provider (MSP). Outsourcing IT is an extremely attractive option for a number of reasons. Recruiting and retaining IT talent can be challenging, and that’s unlikely to change any time soon. Additionally, rapidly escalating cybersecurity threats require significantly more attention and resources than even fully-staffed internal teams have to give. 

However, if you are comparing various MSPs and what they can offer your business, you might have encountered one area of difficulty — pricing. Pricing models vary between providers, which means it’s often unclear which MSP would provide you the best service for the best price.


Pricing For Managed IT

The most common pricing models are monitoring-only, per-device, per-user, tiered, all-you-can-eat and a la carte. Let’s explore each of these in more detail.


This pricing model is pretty simple, and offers a flat fee for each supported device, like desktops, servers, printers and managed networks. This model makes it easier for MSPs to quote prices, and modify their fees if additional devices are added. However, depending on the provider and how they sell their services, it’s not always as clear to clients exactly what services they’re getting.


Instead of billing per supported device, this model offers a monthly flat fee per user, and covers support for all devices. Remote workers want to access the same productivity and collaboration tools through multiple devices, so they can be productive from anywhere. So this model tends to allow hybrid and remote workplaces greater flexibility, and provides a more seamless experience.


Many MSPs rely on tiered pricing, which defines different service levels they can provide. The lowest tier might offer basic remote support, patching and updating. The next tier might include on-site visits, and the highest tier might include 24/7 support.

A La Carte

A la carte pricing might be more cost-effective than all-you-can-eat, but this model allows customers to pick and choose everything they need, without spending money on unnecessary services.


While organizations typically don’t want to pay for more services than they need, they also don’t like surprise expenses that might occur after, for example, a cybersecurity incident. Like an all-you-can-eat buffet, this model charges one predictable monthly fee which will typically cover all services the MSP offers. Some exceptions might include support outside of normal business hours.


Monitoring-only pricing can be useful for organizations who only need certain cybersecurity solutions from an MSP. Depending on the offering, an MSP might patch and update your operating system software, and offer disk optimization and backup monitoring. If any risk or incident is identified, the MSP may charge an additional fee to resolve it.

Finding the Right Managed IT Provider For Your Business

Depending on your organization and its goals, one pricing model may be far better than the other. Therefore, understanding MSP pricing will help you narrow down which provider might be the better fit. However, some MSPs can accommodate different pricing models, depending on the services needed.

For example, at Marco, our fully-managed Managed IT Services are priced per user. It allows our customers to understand exactly how much they’ll be investing, what they’ll be getting for their money, and it allows them to scale up or down along with their staff. Over the many years we’ve offered per-user pricing, we’ve found that our customers avoid unpleasant surprises, are able to get the consistency and flexibility they need, and can easily budget for growth.  

Project-based IT services are also available, and this service model is intended for customers who might only need expert help with migrating to the cloud, or other specific tasks. 

If you’re wondering which IT service might be right for you, our experts have created this checklist to help point you in the right direction. Our IT experts can also answer any questions you might have about our services, and how we might be able to deliver the best outcome for your organization.  

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Topics: Managed IT Services