How “Cheaper” IT Providers Sneak In Expensive Hidden Costs

Is your company looking to hire an IT firm? Unfortunately, unless you’re tech-savvy or experienced with IT contracts, there can be hidden costs that you wouldn’t expect or know to look for. While it can sound appealing to go for the cheapest firm, that decision can end up costing you more in the long run due to carve-outs and hidden fees in the contract. Cheaper IT firms will omit certain services from the original agreement and later nickel-and-dime you to add them on or by quoting you inadequate solutions that you’ll later need to pay to upgrade.

To help you weed out these companies that are not the bargains they advertise themselves to be, there are a few key elements to consider determining if your quote is insufficient, overpriced or underquoted.

Insufficient Compliance And Cybersecurity Protections:

A ransomware attack is a significant and devastating event for any business; therefore, it’s imperative that the IT company you’re working with isn’t just putting basic (cheap) antivirus software on your network and calling it a day. This is by far the one critical area most “cheaper” MSPs leave out.

Antivirus is good to have but woefully insufficient to protect you from serious threats. In fact, insurance companies are now requiring advanced cyber protections such as employee cyber awareness training, 2FA (2-factor authentication), and what’s called “advanced endpoint protection” just to get insurance coverage for cyber liability and crime insurance. We provide those standards in our offering, so not only do you greatly reduce your chances of a cyber-attack, but you also avoid being denied an important insurance claim (or denied coverage, period).

Inadequate Recovery Solutions:

One thing you also want to make sure you look for in your IT firm proposal is that they do daily backups of your servers and workstations, as well as any cloud applications your company uses (Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, etc.), because online applications do NOT guarantee to back up your data. You also need to make sure your backups are immutable or unable to be corrupted by hackers. Again, most insurance companies now require immutable backups to be in place before they’ll insure against ransomware or similar cyber events.

Transparency About On-Site And After-Hours Fees:

This might take you by surprise, but most IT firms will charge EXTRA for any on-site or after-hours visits. We include ALL of this in our agreements, but ‘cheaper’ MSPs will intentionally leave this out and add it on later to make the sticker price appear lower. Make sure you understand what is and isn’t included in your service agreement before signing.

Nonexistent Vendor Liaison And Support:

Will they help you with all of your tech, or just select pieces that they’ve installed? Some IT firms will charge you hourly to resolve tech support issues with your phone system, ISP, security cameras, printers and other devices they didn’t sell you but that still reside on the network (and give you technical problems). These fees can stack up over time. As a client of ours, you get all of that INCLUDED, without extra charges.

Cheap, Inexperienced Techs And No Dedicated Account Managers:

One way some companies cut costs is by skimping on customer support and expertise. Many of the smaller MSPs will hire technicians under a 1099 agreement or find cheaper, less experienced engineers to work on your network and systems. The more experienced and knowledgeable a tech is on networking and, more specifically, cybersecurity, the more expensive they are.

Further, many smaller MSPs can’t afford dedicated account managers, which means you’re depending on the owner of the company (who’s EXTREMELY busy) to pay attention to your account and to look for problems brewing, critical updates that need to happen, upgrades and budgeting you need.

Good account management includes creating and managing an IT budget, a custom road map for your business and reviewing regulatory compliance and security on a routine basis to make sure nothing is overlooked. You get what you pay for, and this is NOT an area you want overlooked.

BEFORE you sign on the dotted line, it’s important to make sure that you fully understand what IS and ISN’T included in the service you are signing up for. It’s VERY easy for one IT services provider to appear far less expensive than another UNTIL you look closely at what you are getting.

If you’d like to see what dependable, quality IT support looks like, book a call with our team, and we’ll be happy to give you a quote that covers everything you need. To Schedule Your FREE Assessment, please visit or call our office at 602-691-2088

New Security Features To Protect Your Phone In 2024

Long gone are the days when phones were simple devices used to make calls. Today our phones are advanced, handheld supercomputers that can do everything from pay a bill to order lunch for delivery to edit videos and more.

But with more capabilities come more risks. Because our phones are computers and connected to the Internet, they are susceptible to the same security risks that any other computer would be. Worse yet, personal devices often contain private information like bank account numbers, which, if accessed by the wrong person, could result in dangerous and expensive problems like drained bank accounts, identity theft and so on. Still, despite the obvious risks, most people do not treat phones like the security threats they pose, making them easy, no-brainer targets for cybercriminals.

To give perspective on how severe the problem is, Apple recently shared a study from MIT revealing a shocking 2.6 billion personal records were breached in 2021 and 2022 and were expected to increase in 2023. According to Kaspersky Security Network, in Q3 of 2023 alone, a total of 8,346,169 mobile malware, adware and riskware attacks were blocked, with adware being the most common tactic at 52% of total detected threats.

The risks are even more serious for business owners. Does your organization have a mobile policy for employees? Are employees accessing sensitive work documents or accounts using unprotected devices? If you’re not sure, you need your IT department to look into this immediately. It only takes one entry point for a hacker to break into your network.

There are a few ways to protect your devices now. Both Apple and Android have developed powerful security systems with advanced protective features you can start utilizing today.


End-to-end encryption has been the default for Apple iMessage, iCloud Keychain, and Health data, but with a recent update, Apple rolled out Advanced Data Protection (ADP). This feature is an optional setting that offers Apple’s highest level of cloud data security by encrypting messages in iCloud, iCloud Backup, Notes, Photos, Safari bookmarks, Siri Shortcuts and more.

Activating this setting protects your data in the event of a cloud-based data breach by only allowing trusted devices added by you to decrypt the information. Not even Apple can access your data.

Here’s how to enable Apple’s Advanced Data Protection Setting:

  1. Make sure devices signed in with your Apple ID have been updated to at least iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, macOS 13.1, tvOS 16.2, watchOS 9.2 or later.
  2. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  3. Tap your name at the top.
  4. Select iCloud, scroll to the bottom, and tap Advanced Data Protection.
  5. Tap Turn On Advanced Data Protection.

NOTE: If you don’t have a recovery contact or key set up, you’ll be prompted to do that first.

  1. Once a recovery contact/key is set up, return to Settings > iCloud > Advanced Data Protection and tap Turn On Advanced Data Protection.
  2. Follow the prompts.

NOTE: You may be asked to update other devices signed into your iCloud account before enabling end-to-end encryption (E2E).

You can also remove devices with old software to continue the process.

If your device is new, for security reasons, Apple might make you wait to enable the feature. If that’s the case, that timeframe will show on your screen during setup.


While Apple is known for having a robust security system that reduces vulnerabilities and protects users’ data, Android’s security features are not far behind. Google Play Protect analyzes every app before it’s available for download, and any new apps where a security risk is detected are unable to be accessed. The software also runs daily scans to help identify and disable malware and other harmful applications installed on your phone to protect your data.

Furthermore, Android backups are regularly uploaded to Google servers and encrypted with your Google Account password for security purposes.

How to keep data secure if you’re using an Android:

If you’re using Google One, you can set up automatic backups on your Android device to ensure that if disaster strikes, your data is securely stored in the cloud:

  1. Open the Google One app on your Android.
  2. At the bottom, tap Storage.
  3. Scroll to “Backup” and tap View.
  • If this is your first phone backup, tap Set up data backup.
  • If this isn’t your first phone backup, tap View Details.
  1. To review backup settings, tap Manage backup.
  2. Choose your backup settings.

NOTE: If you get a message to install an app, update an app or change your settings, follow the onscreen steps. Then, go back to the Google One app to finish.

  1. If asked, tap Allow Permissions.
  2. At the top left, tap Back.

NOTE: Google One backups may take up to 24 hours to complete.

How To Protect All Of Your Devices:

These features are not the end-all, be-all for phone security, but they will add a layer of protection for your data. To ensure every device on your network is secure, we recommend getting a third-party Cybersecurity Risk Assessment. This is a free, no-obligation assessment where one of our experts will examine your network and let you know if and where you’re vulnerable to an attack, including your mobile device policy.

Schedule your assessment with one of our senior advisors by calling us at 602-691-2088 or going to


5 New Cybersecurity Threats You Need To Be Very Prepared For This Year

The year of 2023 marked a significant turning point for cyber-attacks with the introduction and wide proliferation of AI (artificial intelligence), now in the hands of people who wish to do you harm and who are actively using it to find faster and easier ways to rob you, extort you or simply burn your business to the ground.

As I write this, I’m well aware there’s a tendency to shrug and just accept the “we’re all gonna get hacked anyway” mantra to avoid having to deal with it. Further, like overhyped weather reports, it’s also tempting to just ignore the warning signs, thinking all of this is just fearmongering rhetoric designed to sell stuff.

However, it truly is becoming a situation where the question is no longer IF your organization will be hacked, but WHEN. The Hiscox Cyber Readiness report recently revealed that 53% of all businesses suffered at least ONE cyber-attack over the last 12 months with 21% stating the attack was enough to threaten the viability of their business.

This year is going to be a particularly nasty one, given the U.S. presidential election along with the ongoing wars between Russia and Ukraine and Israel and Hamas. Tensions are high and hacking groups are often motivated by revenge as well as money.

Now, here are the 5 biggest developments in cyber threats you need to know about.

1. The Proliferation Of AI Powered Attacks:

If cybersecurity is a chess game, AI is the Queen, giving the person in possession the most powerful advantage for whomever plays it best. All cyber-related reports expect to see highly sophisticated deepfake social engineering attacks on the rise designed to separate you from your money.

We’ve already seen scams using AI-generated voices of family members, calling relatives to claim they’ve been injured, kidnapped or worse, to extort money. This is also being used to hack into companies by getting employees to provide login information to people they think are their IT department or boss.

This is where employee awareness training comes in, as well as controls such as MFA (multi-factor authentication), come into play. One of the things we do here at Compushooter is combat AI attacks through continuous monitoring and detection of anomaly in network traffic and algorithms.

2. Increased Risk Of Remote Workers:

The expansion of remote work is a trend that is not going away; and with that comes an exponentially greater risk for cyber threats. From laptops being carried around and connected to suspicious Wi-Fi to mobile phones providing a “key” to logging into critical applications (like your bank account, Microsoft 365, line-of-business and credit card applications), these devices pose a high risk for being easily lost or stolen. Further, when people use their own devices or work remote, they tend to mix business and personal activities on the same device.

That employee who frequents gambling or porn sites may be using the same device used to login to company e-mail or critical applications. Even logging into personal social media sites that get hacked can provide a gateway for a hacker to get to YOUR company’s information through a user’s (employee’s) personal accounts.

3. Escalation Of Ransomware Attacks:

There are an estimated 1.7 million ransomware attacks every day, which means every second 19 people are hacked worldwide. If you’ve been lucky enough to avoid this, know that someone else is getting hacked on a very frequent basis, and you are very likely to be hit.

Last year, ransomware attacks increased by 37% with the average ransom payment exceeding $100,000, with an average demand of $5.3 million.

Fortunately, not all ransom attacks are successful. Businesses are getting much smarter about cyber protections and have been able to put in place protections that prevent hackers from successfully extorting their victims. One of the ways we protect our clients from ransomware is to implement threat detection systems and backup solutions.

4. IoT Attacks:

IoT, or “Internet of Things,” is a term to describe the proliferation of Internet-connected devices. Today, even kitchen appliances, like a refrigerator, can be connected to the Internet to tell you when it’s time to change the water filter to alerting you if there’s a power outage.

This means hackers have a FAR greater number of access points into your world. If there are 100+ more doors to walk through in a house, you have a much greater security risk than if there are only five. That’s why IoT attacks present such a problem for us, and a huge opportunity for the hackers.

While many people know they should lock their PC, they might not be as meticulous in locking down their fridge or their dog’s tracking collar, but those could all provide access to you, your devices, e-mail, credit card and personal information.

5. Cyber Protection Legal Requirements

To try and combat the out-of-control tsunami of cybercrime, the government is initiating more comprehensive federal and state laws requiring business owners to have in place “reasonable security” protections for their employees and clients.

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has been the most active in this space, bringing numerous actions against companies it alleges failed to implement reasonable security measures, issuing monetary penalties.

Of course, all 50 states plus Washington D.C. have passed laws imposing security requirements as well as data breach notification laws that require businesses to notify anyone whose data and PII (personally identifiable information) has been stolen or accessed by hackers via the company. For example, in California, under the California Privacy Rights Act (CCPA), a business could face a penalty of $100 to $750 per consumer and per incident if that company gets hacked and the court determines they failed to put in place reasonable security procedures.

Not Sure If You’re As Protected And Prepared As You Should Be?

To make sure you’re properly protected, get a FREE, no-obligation Cybersecurity Risk Assessment. During this assessment, we’ll review your entire system so you know exactly if and where you’re vulnerable to an attack.

Schedule your assessment with one of our senior advisors by calling us at 602-691-2088 or going to

The 4 Most Common IT Problems Small Businesses Face

In today’s digital age, even small businesses rely on IT systems as their bread and butter. It sets the backbone of every business operation, large or small, as it facilitates communication, data management, customer service, and marketing. However, setting up and maintaining an IT system is where the part gets tricky, with tech issues being a major concern for small businesses.

Information systems are efficient tools that make complex and time-consuming tasks simpler. But, it’s also not perfect due to various reasons like imperfections in system design, non-compliance with standards, human error, and the complexity of the technology involved.

It’s overwhelming for small business owners to singlehandedly deal with complex technology, data security, and maintaining system reliability. Sometimes, these efforts can lead to more issues due to lack of experience. So when it comes to IT systems, it’s smarter to seek the expertise of an IT professional.

1. Choosing the Right Tech

It’s a common question that SMEs encounter as part of their initial hurdles in selecting the tech that best fits their business needs. For instance, a video editing or recording company will need more extensive desktops compared to other industries.

With several options available in the market, decision-making as to scalability, compatibility, and budget constraints can complicate the process. Seeking guidance from IT professional services can help small businesses choose the right tech that fits their specific operational needs and long-term goals.

2. System Installation

IT installation demands a meticulous process. It can be in the form of implementing a new software solution or upgrading an already existing hardware component. But the hard part is that it requires technical expertise and attention to detail as it involves configurations and tweaking the system’s settings.

3. Reliable 24/7 Desktop Support

Small businesses rely on their IT systems to complete their day-to-day operations and maintain business functions. A sudden IT problem can slow operations and result in downtime. Some SMEs have in-house IT support to address inquiries and assist with troubleshooting. However, many SMEs lack the budget to maintain an IT team capable of providing 24/7 support – as it can be very expensive.

4. Fixing System Issues

System issues are inevitable. No matter how preventive and proactive a business’ maintenance efforts are, problems are bound to arise from time to time. It’s critical to address system issues promptly with proper diagnosis with skilled professionals who can quickly identify the root cause and recommend effective remedies.

Here are common system issues:

  • Software bugs
  • Failures in hardware components
  • Network connectivity issues

Get the Right Support and Expertise

Technology is great, but not so great that it never goes wrong. More SMEs are applauding the benefits of IT systems and recognizing the fact that limitations exist. The most important thing is to turn to the right expertise for guidance and support.

Ready to overcome your IT system’s challenges and optimize your business operations? Let us help you propel your business to success. Click here to schedule your Free 10-minute discovery call.


How to Detect a Computer Virus: Common Signs Your Computer Is Infected

Modern computers play a crucial role in various industries and in facilitating automation. But as technology continues to advance, so does the threat of computer viruses. And as the world goes digital, a virus is becoming too alarming to ignore.

A computer virus is a malicious software program that hijacks people’s personal stuff – like your data, identity, your accounts, and even your money. They can come in different forms, but their primary purpose is simple – to cause you and your computer harm. Its consequences can be severe. So it’s necessary to exercise due diligence when detecting one.

In this article, you can learn some common signs your computer is infected. Let’s dive in and learn how to detect a computer virus before it’s too late.

Common Signs of a Computer Virus

A computer virus can go from just infecting files to infecting the entire system. If you notice any of these signs, try running for an antivirus scam to check for potential damages to your computer.

Slowdown in system speed

A slow computer performance doesn’t automatically mean your computer has a virus. But it can be a red flag if it’s taking forever to open programs or load files – as the malware takes up your computer’s processing power. So if the lag is too noticeable and you’re struggling with even the simple tasks, it might be time to increase your cybersecurity measures.

Unwanted pop-up messages

Random pop-up messages that you didn’t ask for are the most accurate signs of a computer virus. Most messages can consist of warnings from fake antivirus software or requests for money. Its job is to grab your attention and invade your peaceful computer experience.

Frequent system crashes

Viruses can cause a computer to have a mind of its own. If your computer often crashes unexpectedly, then chances are viruses are interfering with your computer’s normal functions. The worst situation is that when you turn it back on, the virus has already destroyed all your files and made alterations to your computer.


However, not all viruses are designed to make your computer crash. So keep an eye out as some might just be lurking behind your computer files to avoid detection.

Missing files

A malware is well capable of corrupting and deleting data on your computer. And it doesn’t discriminate – it can delete anything from important documents to critical system files and damage your computer’s function. Severe ones are more contagious and spread the virus to other computers through emails.

Emails sent from your account

Cybercriminals often hijack infected computers to spread phishing schemes. If your friends are asking about suspicious links or strange attachments you supposedly sent, it’s a big red flag alert that a cybercriminal is working behind the scenes. These emails are phishing schemes used to spread malware or cause fraud.

Restore Your Computer’s Health

A computer virus mimics a real virus and spreads its influence to the entire brain of your computer’s system. Other viruses can be harmless and unauthorized access might just be as lucky as you can get, but untreated infections like these can extend to severe damages like financial losses.

If your computer is infected with a virus, the best move is to act promptly and seek help from an expert IT service provider. We can help you return your computer’s health to normal. Our team offers virus and malware removal services. Click here for a FREE 10-minute discovery call and we’ll discuss how we can help you.

Beware Of Cybersquatters!

Have you ever searched for a specific website but landed on a completely different one after misspelling a letter or two in the URL? This deceptive tactic is known as cybersquatting. This practice not only jeopardizes the online presence of businesses and individuals but also poses a significant challenge in the ever-evolving landscape of cyber security. The scariest part is that you can be a victim of a cybersquatted domain and not even realize it.

Here’s what you need to know about this type of cybercrime:  

What Is Cybersquatting?  

Cybersquatting, also known as domain squatting, involves the malevolent act of registering a domain name that is confusingly similar to that of a legitimate entity, be it a business, organization or individual. The primary motive behind this maneuver is often financial gain, with cybersquatters aiming to exploit the recognition and success of well-known brands. However, the repercussions extend beyond monetary losses, as cybersquatting can stain the reputation of its victims.  

Types Of Cybersquatting 

 There are many types of cybersquatting scams, but here are the most common ones that you need to be aware of. 


1. Top-Level Domain (TLD) Exploitation:

     A TLD is the final element of a domain name, such as “.com,” “” and “.org.” Because there are so many variations, it’s difficult for small to medium-sized businesses to register all of them for their brand, and it’s even more difficult for celebrities or famous individuals.

     Cybercriminals will register matching domains using different TLDs and either create offensive or inappropriate websites, requesting the original domain owner to pay them to take them down, or they will use these websites to gain customers’ trust and make them susceptible to phishing attacks. 


2.Typosquatting: This form of cybersquatting involves intentionally registering misspelled domain names to capitalize on common typos, leading unsuspecting users to malicious sites.

     If you take, for example, here’s how a cybersquatter might buy their domains: 



     Typos are easy to make, so misspelled domains can generate a lot of traffic.  

3. Look-Alike Cybersquatting: This form of cybersquatting involves creating domains with common words added to mislead customers, even if they aren’t confusingly similar at first glance. 

Here are a few examples:  

1. Original:

2. Original:
Lookalike: or


Looking at these, you might not think they’d easily trick users, but they still do!   


How To Avoid Being A Cybersquatting Victim  


You can avoid being a cybersquatting victim by taking a proactive approach. Here are a few steps to take:   

  1. Register Your Trademark: To benefit from the full protection of the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) and Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), it can be helpful to register your trademark early. These regulations will still apply if a cybercriminal registers a cybersquatting domain name and you have an unregistered trademark; however, you’ll need to prove you were using it for business before the domain was registered. Trademarks aren’t required, but they can make this easier. 
  2. Invest In Multiple Prominent TLDs: When you register your domain, also register it with the most popular TLDs, like .co and .org. 
  3. Be Cautious Of What Websites You Visit: When typing URLs into the address bar, double-check to make sure you’re going to the correct website.

    This applies to links you click too! Hover over links with your mouse to confirm that it is the correct link. For extra security, skip clicking links and type them into the search bar on your own.  

Cybersquatting is only one method hackers use to cause chaos. Cybercriminals are constantly coming up with new ways to scam businesses and individuals alike. If you want to double down on security to make sure you and your company are protected from sneaky attackers, we can help. 

 We’ll conduct a FREE, no-obligation Security Risk Assessment where we’ll examine your network security solutions to identify if and where you’re vulnerable to an attack and help you create a plan of action to ensure you’re protected. Click here to book a 10-minute Discovery Call with our team to get started. 

Your 15-Step IT Profitability Road Map For 2024

If you’re hoping to cut costs and boost profitability in 2024 without compromising productivity or efficiency, assessing the technology you use in day-to-day operations is one of the first areas in your business to examine. 

 We’ve created a road map that you can use to go step-by-step through your organization to determine if and where you can be saving money or utilizing new or better technology to improve operational efficiency.   

1. Technology Inventory: 

  • Conduct a comprehensive inventory of your current technology assets, including hardware, software licenses and peripherals like monitors, printers, keyboards, etc.
  • Identify outdated or underutilized equipment that can be upgraded or decommissioned. 

2. Software Licensing And Subscriptions: 

  • Review all software licenses and subscriptions to ensure compliance.
  • Identify any unused or redundant software and eliminate unnecessary expenses. 

 3. Cloud Services Optimization: 

  • Evaluate your usage of cloud services and consider optimizing resources based on actual needs.
  • Monitor and adjust cloud service subscriptions to match fluctuating business demands.
  •  Evaluate security protocols for cloud-based services to ensure you’re not at risk of a data breach. This can be an expensive problem, so do not skip it. 

 4. Energy Efficiency:  

  • Implement energy-efficient practices, such as consolidating servers, using energy-efficient hardware and optimizing data center cooling.
  • Consider virtualization to reduce the number of physical servers, saving both energy and hardware costs.  

 5. Remote Work Infrastructure:  

  • Optimize remote work capabilities to support flexible working arrangements. Inefficiency in this area will decrease productivity, inflate costs and increase cyber security risks.
  • Invest in secure collaboration tools and virtual private network (VPN) solutions for remote access. 

6. Data Storage Optimization:  

  • Assess data storage needs and implement data archiving strategies to free up primary storage. Are you saving documents you don’t need? Are there redundant files that should be removed?
  • Consider cloud storage options for scalability and cost-effectiveness. 

 7. Network Performance:  

  • Regularly monitor and optimize network performance to ensure faster and more reliable data transfer, reduce downtime, enhance the user experience and support cost savings, ultimately contributing to the overall efficiency and success of your business operations.
  • Implement quality of service (QoS) settings to prioritize critical applications and services. 

 8. IT Security Measures:  

  • Regularly update and patch software to address security vulnerabilities.
  • Ensure that antivirus, anti-malware and other security solutions are up-to-date and active.
  • Conduct regular security audits and employee training to prevent security breaches. 

NOTE: This cyber security measures list barely scratches the surface. If you haven’t had a professional dig into your security solutions, this needs to be a priority. Data breaches are expensive and can shut a business down. Click here to book a call with our team. 

9. IT Help Desk Efficiency:  

  • Implement or optimize an IT help desk system to streamline support requests.
  • Use a faster, more efficient ticketing system to track and prioritize IT issues, improving response times and resolution rates. 

 10. Mobile Device Management (MDM):  

  • Implement MDM solutions to manage and secure mobile devices used by employees.
  • Enforce policies that ensure data security on company-issued or BYOD (bring your own device) devices. 

11. Vendor Management:  

  • Review vendor contracts and negotiate better terms, or explore competitive options.
  • Consolidate vendors where possible to simplify management and potentially reduce costs.
  • Evaluate vendor cyber security practices to ensure your data is as secure as possible. If they are breached and your data is released, you’re still at fault. 

 12. Employee Training Programs:  

  • Provide ongoing training programs to enhance employees’ IT skills and awareness.
  • Reduce support costs by empowering employees to troubleshoot common issues independently. 

 13. Energy-Efficient Hardware:  

  • Invest in energy-efficient hardware to reduce electricity costs and contribute to environmental sustainability.
  • Consider upgrading to newer, more power-efficient devices when replacing outdated equipment. 

 14. Paperless Initiatives:  

  • Explore paperless solutions to reduce printing and document storage costs.
  • Implement digital document management systems for greater efficiency and cost savings. 

 15.Telecommunications Optimization:  

  • Review telecom expenses and consider renegotiating contracts or exploring alternative providers.
  • Utilize Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for cost-effective and scalable communication solutions. 

 By systematically addressing these areas, business owners can enhance their IT infrastructure, drive productivity and achieve cost savings that contribute to overall profitability. Regularly revisiting and updating this checklist will help businesses stay agile in the ever-changing landscape of technology and business operations. 

 If you need help implementing the action steps on this list, our team is ready to help. Click here to book a FREE 10-Minute Discovery Call with our team, where we’ll discuss what your company needs and answer questions you might have. 

How IT Support Companies  Charge For Their Services – Part 2 Of 2 

Continuing on from our previous blog post, we’re answering one of the most common questions we get from new prospective clients: “What do you charge for your IT services?” In the last blog posted, we discussed the most common models – break-fix and managed IT. In this post, we’ll discuss the actual fees. 


The price ranges provided are industry averages based on a recent IT industry survey conducted by a well-known and trusted independent consulting firm, Service Leadership, that collects, analyzes and reports on the financial metrics of IT services firms from around the country. 


We are providing this information to give you a general idea of what most MSPs and IT services charge and to help you understand the VAST DIFFERENCES in service contracts that you must be aware of before signing on the dotted line. Please note that the actual price is not what’s most important but instead what you are getting for your money. There are a lot of ways “cheaper” IT firms hide the true cost of their fees, and the lowest bidder might actually end up costing you a lot more than you bargained for. 


With that in mind, here are the fee ranges for IT services and IT support for small businesses in <<City>>: 


Hourly Break-Fix Fees: Most IT services companies selling break-fix services charge between <<$150 and $250>> per hour, with a one-hour minimum. In some cases, they will give you a discount on their hourly rates if you purchase and pay for a block of hours in advance. 


As we discussed, this approach works best for microbusinesses that are not hosting or processing client data that is considered “sensitive,” such as health records, financial information like credit cards, Social Security numbers, etc., and that have very simple IT. This is definitely not the approach a growing business with five-plus employees would want to choose. 


Project Fees: If you are getting an IT firm to quote you for a onetime project, the fees range widely based on the scope of work outlined and the complexity of the project. If you are hiring an IT consulting firm for a project, I suggest you demand the following: 


  • A detailed scope of work that specifies what “success” is. Make sure you document what your expectations are in performance, workflow, costs, security, access, etc. The more detailed you can be, the better. Clarifying your expectations up front will go a long way toward avoiding miscommunications and additional fees later on to give you what you REALLY wanted.
  • A fixed budget and time frame for completion. Agreeing to this up front aligns both your agenda and the consultant’s. Be very wary of hourly estimates that allow the consulting firm to bill you for “unforeseen” circumstances. The bottom line is this: it is your IT consulting firm’s responsibility to be able to accurately assess your situation and quote a project based on their experience. You should not have to pick up the tab for a consultant underestimating a job or for their inefficiencies. A true professional knows how to take into consideration those contingencies and bill accordingly.


Managed IT Services: Most managed IT services firms will quote you a MONTHLY fee based on the number of devices, users and locations they need to maintain. The average fee per user (employee) ranges from $146.08 per month to $249.73 per month – and those fees are expected to rise due to constant inflation and a tight IT talent labor market. 


Obviously, as with all services, you get what you pay for.Operationally mature” MSPs typically charge more because they are far more disciplined and capable of delivering cyber security and compliance services than smaller, cheaper-priced MSPs. 


They also include CIO (chief information officer) services and dedicated account management, have better financial controls (so they aren’t running so lean that they are in danger of closing their doors) and can afford to hire and keep knowledgeable, qualified techs vs. junior engineers or cheap, outsourced labor. 


To be clear, I’m not suggesting you have to pay top dollar to get competent IT services, nor does paying “a lot of money” guarantee you’ll get accurate advice and responsive, customer-centric services. But if an MSP is charging on the low end of $146.08 per employee or less, you have to question what they are NOT providing or NOT including to make their services so cheap. Often they are simply not providing the quality of service you would expect and are leaving out critical security and backup services that you definitely want to have in place.

Are you done with ongoing IT problems, downtime and ineffective systems? Then it’s time you gave us a call and let us deliver the responsive, quality IT support you want with friendly, US-based techs who are both knowledgeable and easy to work with. 


Schedule your free initial consultation with one of our senior advisors by calling us at 480-464-0202 or going


On this call, we can discuss your unique situation and any concerns you have and, of course, answer any questions you have about our services and how we might be able to help you. We are also happy to provide you with a competitive bid. 

How IT Support Companies  Charge For Their Services – Part 1 Of 2 

     Before you can accurately compare the fees, services and deliverables of one IT services company to that of another, you need to understand the two predominant pricing and service models most of these companies offer. Many companies offer a blend of the two, while others are strict about offering only one service plan. The two most popular are:

  • Time And Materials (Hourly). In the industry, we call this “break-fix” services because the IT company is called to “fix” something when it “breaks” instead of doing regular maintenance and support. These services are typically priced by the hour. The price you pay will vary depending on the provider you choose and the complexity of the problem. Ransomware removal will require a more experienced and skillful tech vs. a simple printer problem.Under this model, you might be able to negotiate a discount based on buying a block of hours. The scope of work might range from simply resolving a specific problem (like fixing slow WiFi or resolving an e-mail problem) to encompassing a large project like a software upgrade, implementing cyberprotections or even an office move. Some companies will offer staff augmentation and placement under this model as well.

    Similar to this are value-added reseller services. VARs typically do IT projects for organizations that have internal IT departments. The term “value-added” reseller is based on the fact that they resell hardware (PCs, firewalls, servers, etc.) and software, along with the “value-added” services of installation, setup and configuration. VARs typically service larger organizations with internal IT departments. A trend that has been gaining ground over the last decade is that fewer VARs exist, as many have moved to the managed IT services model.

  • Managed IT Services (MSP, or “Managed Services Provider”). This is a model where the IT services company, called an MSP, takes on the role of your fully outsourced IT department. In this model, they handle everything related to your IT “infrastructure.” That includes (but is not limited to) the following: 
  • Troubleshooting IT problems (help desk support). 
  • Setting up and supporting PCs, tablets, Macs and workstations for new and existing employees, both on-site and remote. 
  • Installing and setting up applications such as Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, SharePoint, etc. 
  • Setting up and managing the security of your network, devices and data to protect against hackers, ransomware and viruses. 
  • Backing up your data and assisting in recovering it in the event of a disaster. 
  • Providing a help desk and support team to assist employees with IT problems. 
  • Setting up and supporting your phone system. 
  • Monitoring and maintaining the overall health, speed, performance and security of your computer network on a daily basis. 

In addition to managing your IT, a good MSP will provide you with an IT road map and budget for necessary projects to further secure your network and improve the stability and availability of critical applications, as well as ensure that your IT systems are compliant with various data protection laws (HIPAA, FTC Safeguards, PCI, etc.) and that your cyberprotections meet the standards on any cyber insurance plan that you have.

     The advantage of break-fix services is that you only pay for IT support when you need it, without being locked into a monthly or multiyear contract. If you’re not happy with the service you’re getting, you can change providers easily. If you’re a microbusiness with only a few employees, very simple IT needs where you don’t experience a lot of problems and don’t host or handle sensitive data (medical records, credit cards, Social Security numbers, etc.), break-fix might be the most cost-effective option for you. 


     However, the downsides of break-fix services are many, particularly if you’re NOT a microbusiness and/or if you handle sensitive, “protected” data. The five big downsides are as follows: 


  1. Break-fix can be very expensive when you have multiple issues. Because you’re not a managed client, the IT company resolving your problem will likely take longer to troubleshoot and fix the issue than if they were regularly maintaining your network and therefore familiar with your environment AND had systems in place to recover files or prevent problems from escalating.
  1. Paying hourly works entirely in your IT company’s favor, not yours. Under this model, the IT consultant can take the liberty of assigning a junior (lower-paid) technician to work on your problem who may take two to three times as long to resolve an issue that a more senior (and more expensive) technician may have resolved in a fraction of the time because there’s no incentive to fix your problems fast. In fact, they’re incentivized to drag it out as long as possible, given that they’re being paid by the hour.
  1. You are more likely to have major issues. One of the main reasons businesses choose a managed services provider is to PREVENT major issues from happening. As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
  1. You can’t budget for IT services and, as already explained, could end up paying more in the long run if you have to constantly call for urgent “emergency” support.
  1. You won’t be a priority for the IT company. All IT firms prioritize their contract managed clients over break-fix clients. That means you get called back last and fit in when they have availability, so you could be down for days or weeks before they can address your problem.

     Are you done with ongoing IT problems, downtime and ineffective systems? Then it’s time you gave us a call and let us deliver the responsive, quality IT support you want with friendly, US-based techs who are both knowledgeable and easy to work with.  


     Schedule your free initial consultation with one of our senior advisors by calling us at 480-464-0202 or going to  


      On this call we can discuss your unique situation and any concerns you have and, of course, answer any questions you have about our services and how we might be able to help you. We are also happy to provide you with a competitive bid. 

7 Ways To Maximize Workplace Productivity With Tech 

In the fast-paced world of business, efficiency and productivity are paramount. Advancements in technology have revolutionized the way we work, providing a plethora of tools and resources to help us accomplish more in less time. Maximizing workplace productivity with technology has become an essential strategy for organizations looking to stay competitive and innovative in today’s global market. Here are 7 ways to add tech to your day-to-day activities to stay productive.  

  1. Automation And Streamlining Processes:

One of the most significant ways technology maximizes workplace productivity is through automation and process streamlining. With the help of tools like workflow automation software and robotic process automation, businesses can automate repetitive tasks, freeing up employees to focus on more creative and strategic tasks. By automating routine processes, organizations reduce the likelihood of errors and increase the speed at which tasks are completed. This not only boosts efficiency but also enhances job satisfaction by allowing employees to concentrate on tasks that require critical thinking and problem-solving skills.  

  1. Collaboration And Communication:

Effective communication and collaboration are vital to a productive workplace. Technology has provided a range of solutions, such as video conferencing, project management software and instant messaging platforms, that enable teams to work together seamlessly regardless of their geographic locations. These tools facilitate real-time communication, file sharing and project tracking, ensuring that all team members stay on the same page and are able to work efficiently together. This results in faster decision-making, improved project management and, ultimately, higher productivity.  

Need help with choosing the right collaboration and communication tools for your business? We can help! Click here to book a 10-minute discovery call to get started.  

  1. Data Analytics And Business Intelligence:

In the modern workplace, data is king. The ability to collect, analyze and leverage data is a powerful tool for improving productivity. With the help of advanced analytics and business intelligence tools, organizations can gain insights into their operations, customer behavior and market trends. This data-driven approach allows for informed decision-making, optimized resource allocation and the identification of areas where improvements are needed. By harnessing data and analytics, businesses can work smarter, not harder.  

  1. Remote Work And Flexibility:

Technology has also played a pivotal role in reshaping the traditional office environment. The rise of remote work and flexible work arrangements has been made possible by advancements in communication and collaboration tools. Employees can now work from anywhere, provided they have an Internet connection, which not only enhances their work-life balance but also opens up opportunities for businesses to tap into a global talent pool. Remote work can boost productivity by reducing commuting time and allowing employees to work in environments where they are most comfortable and productive.  

IMPORTANT: Security should be a high priority if you have remote workers. If you don’t have a robust security system for virtual team members, you need to get one right away.  

  1. Project Management And Task Tracking:

Effective project management is key to productivity. With project management software, businesses can plan, execute and monitor projects more efficiently. These tools provide a clear overview of tasks, deadlines and team member responsibilities, ensuring that everyone stays organized and accountable. From agile methodologies to Gantt charts, technology offers a range of project management approaches to suit various business needs.  

  1. Employee Training And Development:

Investing in technology for employee training and development is another avenue to maximize workplace productivity. Learning management systems and online training platforms enable organizations to offer continuous learning opportunities to their employees. By upskilling and reskilling their workforce, companies can ensure that their staff remains adaptable and capable of using the latest tools and technologies, which in turn enhances overall productivity.  

  1. Security And Data Protection:

As technology becomes more integrated into the workplace, the need for robust security and data protection measures is crucial. Cyber security solutions help protect sensitive information, prevent data breaches and ensure business continuity. When employees feel secure in their digital environment, they can work more confidently and productively, knowing that their data and the company’s assets are protected.  

Technology is an indispensable resource for maximizing workplace productivity. From automating tasks and improving communication to harnessing data and fostering employee development, technology offers a wide range of solutions to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in the modern workplace. Embracing these technologies and staying up-to-date with the latest trends is essential for businesses looking to thrive in today’s competitive and ever-evolving business landscape. By leveraging technology effectively, organizations can achieve their productivity goals, improve their bottom line and create a dynamic, innovative work environment.  

If you need help creating a strategic plan for your technology, such as determining what software to invest in, sourcing devices, creating a plan for efficiency or securing your network, our IT team can support you. Click here to book a 10-Minute Discovery Call to get started.