Managed IT Support vs Professional Services. What do I really need?

In the ever-changing landscape of IT services, two terms often crop up — Managed Services and Professional Services. While they both aim to aid businesses in their technological needs, they differ significantly in their approach, scope, and execution. In this enlightening article, we aim to unravel the distinctions between managed and professional services, highlighting their unique advantages, potential use cases, and factors to consider when choosing between them. This guide seeks to provide you with a clear understanding of these service models to help you make informed decisions that best serve your organization’s IT needs.

Outsourcing IT services is a time-saving cost-effective way for a company to fulfill all IT-related functions. That’s why by 2026, the size of managed services market is expected to reach $274.2 billion.

Small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) that struggle with supporting a large in-house IT department choose to delegate some of the tasks to a third party.
 Today, companies have several outsourcing options. The two most common ways to do it are managed IT and professional IT services. Understanding the difference between the two can help you make the right choice.

 Managed Services vs Professional Services


The key difference between managed and IT professional services is their approach.

  • Managed IT services — continuous IT support that can vary based on the company’s needs.

  • Professional IT services — one-time support on a problem or project basis.

In short, when you hire a managed IT services firm, you get access to continuous assistance from a team of professionals. For example, they monitor your network, give IT consultations, provide system maintenance, and more. They also offer proactive advice related to your company’s needs.

 When you hire a professional IT service provider, you usually do it for a specific project. For example, you need a company do develop custom software for you, assist with cloud migration or help with designing a disaster recovery plan.

Managed IT service providers encompass the majority of services professional IT companies provide. However, when you have a highly specific project in mind and you need niche experts, you may choose to work with a professional IT company.


 Benefits of Managed IT Services


When choosing between managed services vs professional services, you need to understand what your requirements are. If you are looking to outsource your IT tasks because your IT department isn’t big enough to handle it, you can benefit from working with a managed IT service provider.

 The advantages of working with such a company include:
  • Continuous support — with a managed IT service provider, you will get continuous support for many aspects of your IT needs. This includes software and hardware selection, network maintenance, disaster recovery plan design, cybersecurity, cloud support, and more.

  • Flexibility — since managed IT providers take care of different types of professional IT services, they usually offer pricing flexibility. You can choose the most suitable package for the needs of your company.

  • Scalability — as your company scales, so does the managed IT service provider. If you grow and need more services, the company can accommodate your needs. If you have to scale down or experience budget cuts, you can reduce the number of services you need from the provider.

  • Proactive support — one of the key benefits of working with a managed IT service provider is proactive support. Specialists monitor all the latest IT-related developments in your industry to incorporate them when needed to provide a competitive edge. They can also offer valuable advice on how to adjust and optimize your IT strategy.

  • Reasonable pricing — you can work with a managed IT service provider for the fraction of the cost you’d pay for hiring internal experts with similar expertise. These specialists can work round the clock to meet your company’s needs. Meanwhile, you don’t have to worry about interviewing, onboarding, salaries, and benefits.


The only downside of working with a managed IT service company is the possible lack of expertise in niche subjects. For example, some companies don’t offer software development or cloud migration services.

 If you choose a managed IT service provider that doesn’t offer a certain service because you don’t need it right now, you could face problems when the company’s needs change. If that happens, you can either ask your managed IT provider to look for the necessary experts or hire a professional IT company.

Benefits of Professional IT Services


If you need specific services on a project basis, you can consider choosing a professional IT service provider. While SMBs struggle to maintain a large IT department, enterprises don’t have an issue with this. However, hiring an in-house expert every time you need a project done can be taxing for a large company as well.

By signing a contract with a professional IT service provider, you can get the services you need on a one-time basis. This is highly helpful when you are looking for cloud migration services or cybersecurity plan implementation. The benefits of working with such a company include:
  • Cost-efficiency — hiring a company on a one-time basis is much more cost-efficient than paying for continuous support or hiring extra team members.

  • Access to experts — professional IT service providers usually have a team of niche experts who can address your project timely.

  • Control — when you choose to work with a professional IT company on a project basis, you retain full control over your IT functions.

With numerous companies offering professional IT services, it may be hard to choose the right one. Take your time finding the best IT service provider for your company needs to ensure a fruitful partnership.


Professional Services vs Managed Services: Which One is Right for You?


Choosing between professional and managed IT services can be tough for a company. Both types of services are highly appealing and have similar cost- and time-saving benefits. To figure out what works for you, consider the following:

  • Larger companies with sizable IT departments can benefit from project-based professional services.

  • SMBs usually require managed IT services. However, they may use both.

Depending on the size of your company and its needs for IT function fulfillment, you can figure out which services to take advantage of.


The Takeaway


Today, a company of any size can have trouble taking care of all its IT needs internally. That’s why outsourcing IT has become a must-have. While many outsourcing options exist, businesses usually choose to work with managed IT service providers or professional IT service providers.


When choosing between the two, consider the size of your company, the extent of its needs, and the budget.

If you are looking for a managed IT or a professional IT service provider, consider using Compuwork.
portion of total synergy savings derived from IT consolidation

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