Understanding Managed Services Pricing Models

Lst updated on
November 7, 2023

In today's fast-paced digital world, businesses of all sizes rely heavily on technology to operate efficiently and stay competitive. 

This reliance has given rise to the prominence of Managed Service Providers (MSPs), companies that handle the IT needs of businesses, ensuring that their technological infrastructures are robust, secure, and up-to-date. However, one of the most critical decisions for both MSPs and their clients lies in Pricing. 

The pricing model an MSP adopts not only shapes its revenue streams but also influences customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The significance of selecting the right pricing model cannot be overstated. It is a balancing act that requires careful consideration and strategic planning. 

A well-thought-out pricing model ensures that MSPs can cover their costs, make a profit, and continue to invest in the quality of their services. 

For clients, the pricing model determines the predictability of their IT expenses, the scalability of services, and the alignment of IT support with their business objectives.

As we delve into the managed services pricing models, we'll explore the various structures that MSPs can adopt. From the simplicity of per-device Pricing to the comprehensive all-you-can-eat models, each approach offers unique benefits and caters to different client needs.

 Understanding these models is crucial for any business looking to partner with an MSP, as well as for startups or established companies transitioning to managed services from other channel business models.

Join us as we break down the main pricing strategies employed by MSPs, helping you to navigate the options and find the perfect fit for your business's IT requirements. 

Whether you're an MSP evaluating your pricing strategy or a business seeking IT services, this guide will provide the insights needed to make an informed decision.

Section 1: The Per-Device Pricing Model

Simplifying Costs with Per-Device Pricing

In the realm of managed services, the per-device pricing model stands out for its straightforward approach. 

This model is built on the premise of charging a flat fee for each type of device that is supported within a customer's environment. It's a model that resonates with clarity and simplicity, making it a popular choice for many MSPs, especially those who value ease of billing and straightforward cost calculations.

Understanding the Model:

  • The per-device model typically assigns a specific monthly rate to each device, such as desktops, servers, network printers, and managed networks.
  • It is favoured for its transparency, as customers can easily understand and anticipate their monthly IT support costs based on their inventory of devices.

Benefits for MSPs and Customers:

  • MSPs can quickly adjust the monthly service fee as the customer's device count changes, allowing for flexible and scalable service agreements.
  • Customers appreciate the predictability of their IT expenses, which aligns with their budgeting and financial planning.


  • MSPs must be cautious not to oversimplify their value proposition. The focus should remain on the benefits and quality of service rather than just the price.
  • It is essential to ensure that the Pricing reflects the complexity and demands of managing different types of devices.

Section 2: The Per-User Pricing Model

Per-User Pricing - Comprehensive User Support

Moving beyond the per-device approach, the per-user pricing model offers a more holistic view of IT support. This model charges a flat fee per user per month and covers all individual devices. It's a model that reflects the modern workplace, where one user may operate multiple devices, from office PCs to smartphones and tablets.

The Scope of Per-User Pricing:

  • This model supports all users' devices, including office computers, mobile devices, home PCs, and any technology used while travelling.
  • It's designed to simplify the management of IT support across a user's entire device ecosystem.

Advantages for Clients and MSPs:

  • Clients benefit from a single, consistent fee for each user, regardless of the number of devices, simplifying budgeting and accounting.
  • MSPs can offer comprehensive support packages without tracking individual devices, streamlining service delivery.

Strategic Considerations:

  • MSPs must carefully assess their service capabilities to ensure they can efficiently manage the diverse needs of users across multiple devices.
  • It's important to communicate the value of comprehensive user support, emphasizing convenience, security, and productivity gains.

Section 3: The Tiered Pricing Model

Tiered Pricing - Customized Service Levels

The tiered pricing model is a cornerstone in the managed services industry, offering a range of service packages that cater to varying customer needs and budgets. This model is structured into different levels, commonly referred to as Bronze, Silver, and Gold, each providing a progressively higher level of service.

Breaking Down the Tiers:

  • Each tier includes a predefined set of services, with the basic Bronze package covering essentials like phone and remote support, patch management, and virus removal.
  • The Silver package might add on-site visits, while the Gold package could offer premium services such as emergency after-hours support.

Benefits of Tiered Pricing:

  • Customers can select a service level that matches their requirements and budget, with the option to upgrade as their business grows.
  • MSPs can cater to a broader market segment, from small businesses needing basic support to larger enterprises requiring comprehensive IT management.

Key Considerations:

  • MSPs must clearly define and communicate the differences between each tier to avoid confusion and ensure customer satisfaction.
  • It's crucial to balance the service offerings in each tier to provide value at every level while encouraging upgrades.

Section 4: The All-You-Can-Eat Pricing Model

All-Inclusive Support with All-You-Can-Eat Pricing

The all-you-can-eat pricing model takes a comprehensive approach, offering clients unlimited IT support for a flat monthly fee. This model is designed for businesses that require extensive support and prefer the predictability of a fixed cost.

Unpacking the All-Inclusive Approach:

  • This model typically includes all forms of remote and on-site support, as well as lab or bench time, for one monthly fee.
  • It may also offer 24/7 support or be tailored to include after-hours services to provide a complete IT solution.

Advantages of All-You-Can-Eat Pricing:

  • Clients enjoy the peace of mind of knowing their IT support costs are fixed, regardless of how often they need assistance.
  • MSPs benefit from the simplicity of billing and the potential for higher customer satisfaction due to the unlimited nature of the support.

Strategic Points to Consider:

  • MSPs must ensure they have the resources and infrastructure to deliver on the promise of unlimited support without compromising service quality.
  • It's important to define the scope of "all-inclusive" clearly to manage client expectations and prevent service abuse.

Section 5: The A La Carte Pricing Model

Tailored Services with A La Carte Pricing

The a la carte pricing model stands out for its flexibility and customization. Unlike the bundled services of other models, a la carte allows clients to pick and choose specific services that meet their unique needs, creating a personalized package of managed IT services.

Exploring A La Carte Options:

  • This model provides discrete services such as disaster recovery, managed backup, and patch management.
  • Clients can select exactly what they need without paying for a bundle that includes services they don't use.

Customization and Control:

  • A la carte pricing empowers clients with the ability to tailor their IT support to their current situation, with the flexibility to add or remove services as their business evolves.
  • MSPs can cater to niche markets or offer specialized services that may not be included in standard packages.

Considerations for MSPs:

  • It's crucial for MSPs to clearly define each service offering and its value to make sure clients have enough options.
  • MSPs must ensure that even individual service offerings maintain a high standard of quality and support.

Conclusion: Key Takeaways and Next Steps

As we've explored the diverse landscape of managed services pricing models, it's clear that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each model presents its benefits and considerations, from the simplicity of per-device Pricing to the comprehensive coverage of the all-you-can-eat model, the customizable tiers, and the flexibility of a la carte options. The key for both MSPs and their clients is to find the model that aligns best with the client's business objectives, IT requirements, and budgetary constraints.

Summarizing the Pricing Models:

  • Per-device pricing offers straightforward, easy-to-calculate fees based on the number of devices.
  • Per-user pricing provides comprehensive support for all users' devices with a single fee.
  • Tiered Pricing caters to different levels of need with bundled service packages.
  • All-You-Can-Eat Pricing ensures unlimited IT support for a flat monthly fee.
  • A La Carte Pricing allows for a customized selection of specific services.

The Path Forward:

  • For businesses, it's essential to assess your IT needs carefully and choose a pricing model that offers the best value and aligns with your growth trajectory.
  • For MSPs, selecting the right pricing strategy is more than revenue—building lasting relationships with clients through transparency, trust, and quality service.
  • Keep the complexity of IT management focused on your core business. Embrace the opportunity to have expert IT support tailored to your specific needs. Take the next step towards streamlined and efficient IT management.
  • Get a tailored, managed IT service that fits your business needs. Click here for a Free Consultation on White Label Managed IT Services.
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