HomeSoftwareIn-House IT vs. IT Assist

In-House IT vs. IT Assist [Infographic]


Many charities start up on a shoestring, get the most computer-savvy person in the office to do all the computer stuff, and pretty quickly outgrow that accidental techie model. What’s the next step? It’s called managed IT services.

Some Signs Your Organization Has Outgrown Its Accidental Techie

First of all, I want to give a big round of applause for our heroic accidental techies. They’re the brave souls who, without any real IT training, are game to take on building and maintaining an IT infrastructure. They often work with a mishmash of hardware with all kinds of different software on it, no real data backup system, and no training in IT security.

They get handed a less-than-perfect website and a database that needs to be built from scratch. They do amazing things. With little or no IT budget, relying on an accidental techie is an unavoidable step for most organizations to get going.

At some point, even the most heroic accidental techie just can’t keep up. This usually starts to happen when an organization grows to about 8 to 10 people. Printers don’t print; the website keeps going down; email is not sending; the hardware and software is getting really old and crashy.

Maybe you’ve tried getting volunteers to help out or hired an expensive consultant when something went catastrophically wrong. But this “break and fix” model of IT support isn’t working.

Managed IT services can be a good, inexpensive solution to your IT problems.

What Are Managed IT Services?

Managed IT services companies support your IT systems by sending someone to your office or, increasingly, by working remotely outside your office. It usually takes them a few hours each month to do maintenance. Their experts use special remote desktop tools that give them full access to your IT system so they can do regular preventive maintenance and fix anything not working. They usually also take calls by phone.

Managed IT services companies will usually:

  • Assess and inventory your technology
  • Stabilize your hardware and software
  • Do monthly maintenance
  • Manage data backups and security patches
  • Provide help-desk support on demand

Most importantly, managed IT services consulting firms do this work very cost-effectively for a fixed-fee monthly service that is much lower cost than hiring a full-time IT professional.

How Much Do Managed IT Services Cost?

Managed IT services pricing is usually based on the size and complexity of your office, including

  • Number of seats (computers)
  • Number of servers
  • Number of offices or locations

Prices are usually roughly $100 to $150 per month per seat.

Introducing TechSoup’s New Managed IT Service: IT Assist

TechSoup knows managed IT services can be the most efficient, cost-effective way for growing organizations that have outgrown the “break and fix” model to get the tech support they need.

That’s why we’re happy to announce IT Assist, TechSoup’s new managed IT service that is available to any charity or public library anywhere in the U.S.

The TechSoup IT Assist program is designed to be 25 to 30 percent lower cost than comparable services; the service has an added benefit of offering ongoing technology advice for upgrading and budgeting as organizations grow. The service

  • Serves only nonprofits and public libraries
  • Provides services virtually
  • Works with existing accidental techies or IT staff
  • Offers live help-desk support
  • Monitors security and performance
  • Manages your system and backups
  • Includes a hardware update program
  • Comes with a free one-year TechSoup Boost subscription

The Bottom Line on Managed IT Services

Managed IT services are the way for small nonprofits that have outgrown their accidental techie to get good, affordable IT support at much lower cost than hiring a desktop support person.



Jim Lynch
Jim Lynch
Jim Lynch is a staff writer and director of green technology at TechSoup in San Francisco. TechSoup is a high-tech nonprofit whose mission is to provide charities, churches and libraries worldwide with donated and discounted software, hardware, and the knowledge to use them. Jim has been interviewed extensively over the years by the Wall St. Journal, National Public Radio, PC World Magazine, and many other news outlets.

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