In today’s market, businesses are becoming more reliant on information technology to carry out their processes.
With new technologies emerging daily, it’s challenging for companies to maintain a competitive advantage in a landscape that’s continually evolving.
Understanding that there are high expectations to uphold, limited budgets to work with, and day-to-day business operations to fine-tune and maintain, it’s little wonder why organizations are looking into the benefits of managed services vs. professional services.
To discover more about the advantages of managed IT services and professional services, this article covers:
- What are Managed Services?
- What are Professional Services?
- Managed Services vs. Professional Services: The Differences
- How to Choose the Right IT Services For Your Needs
What are Managed IT Services?
Under a managed service model, IT is outsourced to a managed service provider (MSP) where some or all of an organization’s IT is managed by various role-specific IT experts. The element that dictates the level of service between an MSP and a company would be their service model.
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Generally, managed service providers offer a service level objective, which is typically influenced by an organization’s:
- Service length
Service level objectives, or SLOs, are an essential part of managed service objectives that specify the responsibilities between an organization and their managed service provider.
SLOs are deemed essential because they clearly define everything that needs to be known between both parties.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the characteristics of managed IT services.
|Characteristics of Managed Services|
|Security||Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) often lack the infrastructure, security, expertise, and responsiveness required to ironclad their business from cyber threats. |
With managed services, companies can operate with minimal disruptions and benefit from 24/7 IT support, faster IT issue remediations, and stronger security measures like:
|Onboarding||Onboarding new employees is time-consuming and resource-intensive. From procurement and creating new logins, installing software, to structuring onboard training databases, every step of onboarding is manageable with managed IT services.|
|Data Backup||Recouping lost data and rebuilding company resources in the case of data crashes significantly impacts an organization’s business. Protect your business with advanced solutions and regular data backups from managed security experts.|
|Troubleshooting||When companies use managed services they benefit from the ability to address IT issues on the fly rather than having to reprioritize existing IT tasks or cover additional resource expenses. Troubleshooting is offered via:|
|IT Administration||Managed services can create, optimize, and manage entire network infrastructures for organizations – enabling businesses to remain focused on core business functions while IT experts handle the operational side of their IT.|
|Daily Maintenance||In the rigors of IT asset management, it’s easy for software updates and system tune-ups to get pushed aside. With managed services, entities can stay up-to-date on software updates and system tune-ups to maintain productivity and efficiency levels.|
|Network Monitoring||Every minute of downtime is a minute your company isn’t making money. With managed services, your business can identify and remediate IT issues fast while maximizing uptime with 24/7 network monitoring.|
|Unified Communications||Connectivity is the pulse of any organization. With managed services, companies can unify communication channels such as:|
With improved collaboration established, organizations can start to benefit from elevated levels of productivity, efficiency, and agileness.
In addition to offloading some or all of an organization’s IT responsibilities, additional benefits of the managed services model would be:
- Service Improvements: More minds is better than one. With an MSP, organizations can leverage their IT pool to gap-fill specific skill sets. Additionally, businesses can improve their IT capabilities and benefit from improved customization options.
- Keeping Costs Low: Hiring an internal specialist can be time-consuming and expensive. With managed services, businesses can gain specialized knowledge of IT experts for a fraction of the cost. In an arena where IT talent is difficult to come across, managed service rates can be an extremely competitive option for small or fast-growing organizations.
- Narrow Business Focus: When your business has a MSP in its corner, you can rest assured knowing that your IT infrastructure, uptime, and data protection is handled and protected by industry experts.
- Benefit From Better Technologies: MSPs have access to better technologies in terms of hardware and software procurement than most companies could acquire independently. As a result, companies that partner with MSPs often experience improved productivity and efficiency compared to their independently operating counterparts.
- Experience Faster Responsiveness: With access to more IT support personnel, companies benefit from faster ticket response times, expedited IT issue remediations, and the ability to address other issues faster with more mastery than an in-house team.
For fast-paced organizations looking to overhaul their IT support and internal capabilities while offloading IT responsibilities to proven IT experts, managed services is the logical path forward when compared to traditional IT solutions.
However, how do managed services compare to professional services?
Managed Services vs. Professional Services: Which is Right for You?
What are Professional Services?
While managed IT services are always present, professional IT services are more on-demand services and solutions that are employed as one-off projects or short-term company changes.
The following use cases are situations where companies would consider using professional services:
- New IT Rollouts: Creating and successfully deploying new hardware and software rollouts.
- Business Continuity Planning: Preparing for worst-case scenarios and the unexpected with comprehensive data backup, business continuity, and cyber security implementation and consulting services.
- Digital Transformation Services: Streamlining cloud readiness testing and the execution of staged or full-service cloud migrations – in addition to technology virtualizations.
- Cyber Security Awareness Training: Elevating their first line of defense against cyber threats with comprehensive anti-phishing and cyber security awareness training from local IT experts.
- Planning, Design, and Implementation: Brainstorming, designing, creating, and implementing new information technologies often require IT expertise that exist outside a company’s existing skillset which is where professional services would come into play.
As a whole, professional services are more specific one-off service exchanges.
Additional instances where professional services are considered include:
|Characteristics of Professional Services|
|Deployment||Companies use professional services to keep their internal IT team focused on existing priorities and productivity flowing. Additionally, it’s beneficial to leverage IT experts who can deploy new hardware and software rollouts on the first try.|
|Consulting||Organizations often experience significant losses when lapses in IT strategy occur. With professional services, businesses discover the best solutions and steps forward with comprehensive insights from IT experts.|
|Cloud Migration||SMBs’ in-house IT teams are often not equipped to handle cloud migrations. For large enterprises, cloud migrations may lead to an overextension of internal resources. To ensure complete coverage, professional services are often used.|
|Advanced Troubleshooting||Not every IT problem can be solved in-house. In such cases, professional services may be used on an on-demand basis. It’s important to note that recurring IT problems may cause this service to become cost-prohibitive to businesses.|
Managed Services vs. Professional Services: The Differences
The most notable differences between managed services and professional services are the scope of work and service time required.
For managed services, this means benefitting from ongoing IT support without constraints, whereas with professional services, services are expected to end upon the completion of a business goal or specific project.
Additional core differences include::
|Managed Services vs Professional Services – (Key Differences)|
|Differentiator||Managed Services||Professional Services|
|Service Type||Comprehensive and scalable||Detail-oriented, one-off|
|Best Case Use||For one-off projects with deadlines||On-call access to IT firm support|
|Service Length||Designed for long-term use||Length of employed engagement|
|Responsibilities||No specific projects required||You are responsible to maintain your project and it’s IT needs|
Choosing the Right Services For Your Business’s Needs
Are you still struggling to decide between managed services vs. professional services for your business? The best way to find out which service model is best for you would be to identify what it is you need from an IT service.
While professional services may appear to be the more budget-friendly option, managed IT services typically include predictable billing estimates that can render better long-term cost savings.
Additionally, managed services are perfect for organizations seeking the following:
- Ongoing IT support
- Stronger security frameworks
- Smoother network connectivity
- Headache-free IT asset management
For businesses less concerned with IT management, professional services are often used for the completion of specific IT tasks, and then later rehired if needed again.
As a leading managed service provider in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, Fusion Computing offers managed and professional IT services that can help you reach every business goal while providing expert guidance and technology management services.
To learn more about whether your business needs managed or professional services, reach out to us today for more information, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.