The Difference Between Outsourcing and Managed IT Services

You’ll undoubtedly hear the terms “outsourcing” and “managed IT services” used interchangeably. It’s easy to assume that both terms mean the same thing; after all, they both offer external assistance to businesses and organizations.

While outsourcing and managed IT services both offer a surface-level similarity, the service provided differs substantially. Here’s an explanation of what they both offer and why an IT managed service provider is an ideal solution for businesses and organizations:

What Is Outsourcing?

In a nutshell, outsourcing is where planned, or existing business activities get delegated to a third-party organization. Your business may already outsource certain aspects of your processes, such as goods transportation or human resources.

When you outsource something, you ask an organization outside of your business to do something that your business could theoretically do. Outsourcing can make sense for many reasons. For example, your business could save money by not doing something itself.

Outsourcing can also save your business time and make it easier to achieve specific results. It’s worth noting that outsourcing only takes care of specific or narrowly-defined processes; it doesn’t manage broader strategies in your business.

Another point about outsourcing to keep in mind is you manage the work that gets outsourced. The outsourcing partner completes the tasks you set them, and they bill you for their services.

What Are Managed Services?

Managed services are where a business or organization hires a third-party company to provide a comprehensive support solution. Unlike outsourced providers, managed services providers offer a more integral service to their clients.

When you hire a managed service provider, you don’t give them a narrowly-defined process to manage. Instead, you have them take care of various aspects relating to a broader function and resolve problems as they occur, rather than expecting you to fix them.

Managed services providers offer a greater degree of foresight compared with outsourcing providers.

Businesses and organizations can rely on managed service providers to help them succeed and grow. Managed service providers effectively become an extension of the entities that hire them.

The services and solutions that a managed service provider will offer are long-lasting and evolve with their clients’ needs. In contrast, outsourcing providers only offer a static service to their customers.

Why a Managed IT Services Provider Makes Sense

Both outsourcing providers and managed service providers have their place and advantages. But, why does it make sense to work with a managed service provider for your IT needs?

A managed service provider can take care of all aspects of your business or organization’s IT requirements, from concept to real-time, 24/7 management.

In particular, small businesses will benefit from a managed IT services provider as they seldom have the resources, or in-house skills to manage their IT. Of course, a managed service provider is also a good choice for large companies and organizations.

A managed service provider can do the following:

  • Assess your IT needs and design a future-proof IT infrastructure;
  • Monitor your hardware and software solutions 24 hours a day, seven days a week;
  • Manage the provision of your cloud applications, including SaaS;
  • Ensure your business has an excellent level of cybersecurity protection in place;
  • Provide advice and support as your business grows, and its needs evolve.

When you work with a managed service provider that takes care of your IT, you can be sure they want you to succeed and grow. That’s why they only provide tailored solutions and take into account your future expansion plans.