Understanding the Difference Between Managed vs Outsourced IT Services

managed vs outsourced it services

In today’s digital age, businesses rely heavily on technology to operate efficiently and effectively. As a result, the demand for IT services has increased significantly in recent years. But not all companies have the resources or expertise to manage their IT needs in-house. This is where managed and outsourced IT service providers come into the picture.

Is using managed IT services the same as outsourcing your IT needs to an external company? The two phrases are so similar, and are often used interchangeably, which is why in this article we delve into the question of Managed vs Outsourced IT Services, the difference between them, and the value that each can add to your business operations. Let’s get started.

What Are Managed IT Services?

When most businesses talk about Managed IT services, they are referring to hiring an IT provider to take over the management and maintenance of all of their technology. The services that Manged Service Providers (MSPs) offer are typically proactive in nature, meaning that the provider takes a proactive approach towards managing and maintaining your company’s IT infrastructure, your software and your support.

An MSP is a trusted and reliable technology partner that you can turn to for strategic planning, to help you implement new technologies that are going to help your business to grow, and to manage and maintain your existing infrastructure, including hardware, software, your network systems, your data, your cloud services, your cybersecurity, and so much more.

Managed Services tend to be all-encompassing solutions that allow your business to focus on its core competencies while leaving the IT aspects of your operations to a team of experts.

What Are Outsourced IT Services?

Outsourced IT services involve contracting out specific IT functions or projects to an external provider on an as-needed basis. Unlike managed services, outsourcing is a reactive approach where the provider is only called upon when needed.

Outsourcing typically involves a specific service or project, such as software development, data analytics, IT support, or cybersecurity. This allows companies to have access to specialised skills and expertise as and when they need them, without incurring the costs associated with hiring an in-house team or having a monthly retainer in place.

What Are The Differences Between Managed vs Outsourced Services

While managed vs outsourced IT services are two terms that are easily confused, there are some core differentiators between the two. Understanding the difference between managed and outsourced IT services can help you to choose the right IT provider for your business, ensuring that you get the IT services that you need to help you reach your goals.

• Resources 

With managed IT services, your MSP is responsible for providing all necessary resources to support your IT needs. This includes hardware, software, and skilled personnel who are available on an ongoing basis.
When it comes to IT outsourcing, you only pay for the specific service or project that you need. This limits your provider’s access to your data and infrastructure, and reduces the resources that the provider will be offering to your business.
For example, if you approached an MSP for your cybersecurity solutions, you could expect that they would work with you to analyse your systems, see where vulnerabilities may lie, come up with a plan for enhancing the security of your existing systems and implementing new security technologies to increase your business’ protection. If you approached an IT outsourcing provider, on the other hand, you would already have an idea of the cybersecurity solution that you wanted to implement, and would just want them to put it in place in an efficient and effective way.

• Approach

Managed services are more proactive in nature, with the MSP constantly monitoring and managing your IT systems and addressing any issues that may arise. Outsourcing, on the other hand, is more reactive, with providers being brought in as needed to tackle specific tasks or projects.
A managed service approach means that you can have peace of mind knowing that your IT infrastructure is always being taken care of by professionals. This allows you to focus on growing your business without having to worry about technology-related issues. On the other hand, outsourcing offers a more task-based approach, with providers only stepping in when needed. Businesses who already have full IT teams on staff, but who need extra resources or experts in a particular field to assist with a project may find more value in outsourcing specific tasks to a provider, rather than needing an MSP to manage their systems round-the-clock.

• Long-Term Value

The value of managed IT services and outsourced IT services can be appreciated over the long term based on the specific needs of your business. Managed IT services deliver consistent, ongoing support and proactive maintenance of your IT infrastructure. This approach can significantly reduce the risk of costly downtime or data loss, thereby enhancing the long-term value and stability of your business. Outsourced IT services, while they may not offer the same level of continual oversight, can be valuable in their flexibility. They can provide expert help on specific projects or during peak times, helping to optimise your resources and keep your operations running smoothly, which in turn can add value to your business in the long term.

• Pricing

When it comes to pricing, managed IT services often operate under a subscription-based model, offering a regular, predictable cost for businesses. This allows for effective budgeting and ensures that you are covered for all eventualities. Outsourced IT services, on the other hand, usually work on a project-by-project basis, and costs can vary depending on the complexity and duration of the project. This can be cost-effective for businesses who only need occasional or very specific IT support. However, it’s worth noting that unexpected IT issues can lead to unplanned expenses for companies purely relying on outsourced IT services.
Both models have their merits and choosing between them ultimately comes down to the specific requirements, budget constraints, and long-term goals of your business. It’s important to carefully consider the resources, approach, long-term value and pricing when making a decision on whether to invest in managed or outsourced IT services.

Is SOLID A Managed IT Services Provider Or An IT Outsourcing Provider?

At Solid Systems, we are a technology partner that offers both managed and outsourced IT services. Our team of experts can provide ongoing, proactive support to help manage and maintain your IT infrastructure. This allows you to focus on growing your business while we handle the technology side of things.

Additionally, we also offer outsourced IT services for specific projects or as an extension of your existing IT team during peak times. We understand that every business is unique and has different needs, which is why we provide tailored solutions that fit your specific requirements.

As a leader in the IT industry, Solid Systems is committed to helping businesses of all sizes leverage technology to grow and thrive. With over two decades of experience and a strong focus on a human approach to technology, we are dedicated to providing reliable and cost-effective managed and outsourced IT services. Whether you need ongoing support or assistance with a specific project, we have the resources and expertise to help you achieve your goals.

Whether you’re looking for a technology partner to manage your IT full-time, or want a provider to implement a specific technology within your business, Solid Systems is here for to meet your unique business needs. Schedule a free consult today, and let’s get to know your business, your needs, your goals and your humans better.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between IT services and managed services?

Managed IT services involve a full-time, ongoing partnership with a technology provider to oversee, maintain, and improve a company’s IT infrastructure. On the other hand, outsourced IT services typically involve task-specific work or temporary assistance during peak times, where external IT professionals are brought in to supplement an existing IT team or handle a specific project.

What are managed IT outsourcing services?

Managed IT outsourcing services can take several forms, depending on the specific needs of the business. Here are three examples:

  1. IT support: This is one of the most common forms of managed IT outsourcing. In this scenario, an external provider takes over the operation of the IT helpdesk, providing troubleshooting and assistance to employees.
  2. Network management: Another key area often outsourced is the management of a company’s network infrastructure. This includes monitoring network performance, conducting regular maintenance, and handling any issues that arise, to ensure consistent and reliable network connectivity for the business.
  3. Cybersecurity: With the ever-increasing threat of cyber attacks, many businesses choose to outsource their cybersecurity needs to specialists. These providers will monitor systems for potential threats, handle security breaches, and ensure compliance with relevant regulations.
Why would a company outsource their IT support?

Companies might opt to outsource their IT support for a variety of reasons. Outsourcing can offer access to a broader range of expertise, save on costs associated with hiring and training an in-house team, provide flexibility to scale services as needed, allow internal teams to focus on core business activities rather than IT issues, and ensure 24/7 support availability, providing peace of mind in the event of unexpected technical issues.

Daniel Avinir

Daniel Avinir

Head of Client Success at Solid Systems | Virtual CIO I have a love and passion for people, their minds, technology, and nature.I believe in empowering people to work in increasingly flexible and productive ways, helping them unlock the collaboration potential and leading the cultural & technological change of our time.

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