Managed IT Services Vs. IT Outsourcing: A Comparison

2 Mins read

Businesses are leaning more on technology to help them with various tasks including hiring, payroll, supply chain management, and a lot more. All these systems run on IT systems that need to be built and maintained. Businesses that need professional help and support to keep their IT infrastructure running usually have to choose between managed IT services and IT outsourcing. So, what is the difference between the two?

IT Outsourcing

IT outsourcing is where businesses hire third-party providers to handle various IT tasks without any supervision. Some tasks businesses outsource include software development and maintenance, data center management, and software application. These outsourced services usually require highly skilled individuals who have skills that are in short supply.

Hiring people with not only specialized skills but the skills you need at the time is a huge advantage of IT outsourcing. Many companies also find it cheaper to outsource smaller IT tasks than to hire experts to handle them.

Another advantage of IT outsourcing is its flexibility and scalability. As you know, business IT needs are always changing, and a business may need additional help from time to time. The IT outsourcing company can avail more technicians for a limited period.

Managed IT Services

Managed IT service providers partner with you and your business to provide various IT services and tools including cloud storage and support, business continuity services, cybersecurity, data backup and recovery, IT planning, and a lot more. While many managed IT services choose to handle all your IT needs by themselves, some of them will work with your in-house employees to offer specialized services.

One of the biggest differences between managed IT services and IT outsourcing is that managed IT services are proactive. When you partner for managed IT services, the service provider will monitor your whole IT infrastructure to patch any vulnerabilities they find and deal with potential problems before malicious actors can take advantage of them.

You also get advice on how to keep your IT infrastructure updated and running smoothly, how to improve operations and take advantage of new technologies that allow you to serve your customers better. In essence, managed IT services often become an extension of your business, working as dedicated IT departments for businesses that need their services.

Suggested Reading: How managed services can boost your business in 2021?

Disadvantages of Outsourcing and Managed Services

The biggest disadvantage of IT outsourcing is that most IT outsourcing companies do not do regular assessments or maintenance of your system. Instead, you have to call them for all instances where you have IT issues. This is a massive problem because, by the time the technicians start working on the problem, things might already be out of hand.

The main disadvantage of using IT managed services is that some providers offer substandard services or may not have the manpower, experience, and expertise to satisfy all the IT needs and demands of a growing business. However, both of these can be rectified by doing your due diligence to ensure the provider you end up with is the right one for your business.


While there may be a bit of confusion about IT outsourcing and managed IT services, their differences are in the types of services you get. IT outsourcing provides the services you need at the time, and managed IT services providers help round-the-clock to ensure your IT infrastructure performs optimally.

Read Next: “MSPs should wisely refuse clients seeking dangerous bargains on security.” – Amit Parbhucharan, General Manager -EMEA & Asia, Beachhead Solutions


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