Cost Per Supported User (CPSU) is a key performance indicator (KPI) that every IT manager, from VP of IT Operations to Manager of User Support, needs to define and track to effectively manage support over time. CPSU provides a way of calculating how much is being spent on IT services for each user, and tracking that number allows companies to see how their costs are trending over time, even as their service numbers grow. While IT costs will rise for growing companies, CPSU makes it possible to determine whether services are being delivered with increased efficiency. 

Although how CPSU is calculated varies by organization, it ultimately encompasses the monthly recurring operating expenses (OPEX) directly associated with IT services delivered to internal workers, including employees and contingent workers.  

Examples include:

  • Annual software Maintenance and Support (M&S) or monthly subscriptions for desktop productivity applications your Help Desk supports, such as Microsoft Office or Google Apps
  • Depreciation expense for IT support tools, including IT ticketing systems, remote support tools, mobile device management, compute fleet management and password management
  • Headcount cost associated with resolving monthly support tickets, including Helpdesk and Desktop support as well as the teams that handle tier 2 user support escalations

Understanding Cost Per Supported User can be invaluable for companies that need to meet increased support demand while driving cost efficiency.

One of the biggest challenges IT managers at growing companies face is making a solid case to get the funding they need to scale support and operations services. By using CPSU, IT managers now can effectively articulate the cost required to support each new employee while demonstrating how they are effectively managing growth, as well as, track how IT investments will become more efficient over time by calculating how CPSU will diminish over time as the company grows.

An Astreya customer was outsourcing to manage scaling their IT services, specifically their user-facing support, and was struggling to quantify its IT costs. The company quickly realized that SLAs were only giving them a partial picture of the services, making it difficult to truly gauge the quality and value of a provider’s service delivery. By using CPSU as a KPI for the managed service provider, along with implementing an outsourced Help Desk model built around world-class SLAs and deep sentiment analysis, the company was able to ensure their outsourced user support consistently delivered quality support.

Even as the company experienced recurring employee growth rates of more than 50 percent over six quarters, they were able to maintain:

  • More than 90 percent of users rating their help desk experiences as “Exceptional”
  • Demonstrate economies of scale with a 3 percent reduction in CPSU over 16 consecutive quarters 
  • A Help Desk resolution rate of more than 70 percent for global user support

If your company requires scalable high-quality user support that can achieve more than 70 percent resolution with a reduction in CPSU quarter over quarter, Astreya can help. Our Managed Service Desk acts as an extension of your organization, designed to deliver quality customer experiences that go beyond CSAT surveys.