Home Business What is the Difference Between Managed Services and Outsourcing – 2024 Guide

What is the Difference Between Managed Services and Outsourcing – 2024 Guide

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The phrases managed IT services and outsourcing are often utilized interchangeably, with many people wrongly thinking they are ‘technically’ the same thing. To this end, some individuals tend to believe that the term managed services is essentially a fancy phrase for outsourced IT support. Also, since both these services involve working with a 3rd party, this flawed perception is frequently underscored. Nevertheless, apart from a number of commonalities between them, managed IT services and outsourced IT support are fundamentally different. This is particularly the case when you take the necessary time to contrast the exact scope of work involved in both these sorts of technical support.

In the first place, outsourced IT support providers primarily focus on delivering services which adhere to narrowly-defined business functions based on a break-fix model. With this kind of technical support, the client gets to choose several services, which the 3rd party will meet to address limited business needs. On the other hand, managed IT services adhere more to a holistic model, and focus on delivering excellence in a wide variety of IT support and technology solutions.

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Managed services providers (MSPs) are known to specialize in providing exhaustive solutions within multiple technology specialties. These companies make it a point to have in their pay big teams of skilled and seasoned IT specialists who can effectively address wide ranging IT business needs. In its turn, this enables the client to seamlessly access an optimal user experience through the provision of consistent operational support and improvements for diverse business functions.

Despite of all this, it is noteworthy to mention at this juncture that both managed IT services and outsourced IT support effectually meet varying levels of business needs. So, in the long run, making a choice between the 2 depends on your business’ specific needs, its size, the scale of its operations and even the IT skillsets you can access through your onsite employees.  Depending on your exact requirements and preferences, you may be able to pick from either of these IT support packages, the one that suits them to the T. Well, with that fully understood, let us now take a much closer look at what managed IT-Support-Raleigh-NC and outsourcing are all about.

 What are outsourced IT services?

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Generally speaking, outsourcing in the conventional sense of the term, refers to delegating planned or preexisting business functions to a 3rd party. The exact work delegated might be carried out onsite or even remotely. The most prominent benefit of this given arrangement is the customer can realize substantial cuts on costs that would otherwise be expended on bills for equipment, technology and manpower. At the same time, outsourced IT support will permit you and your team to concentrate more on your core and mission-critical business operations.

However, the main downside of outsourcing, like it was earlier noted, is it is usually linked to narrowly-defined services and processes and doesn’t include broader business strategies. Ideally, in this arrangement, you may delegate some business activities to a 3rd party, and they simply do the bare minimum of what is required of them. Once this is accomplished, you will foot the bills for the services rendered, and that’s it. An outsourced IT provider goes to work by ‘mechanically’ churning out invoices, transcripts and manifest for the work you delegate to them. Nevertheless, they will not offer any insights on whether there is a better way to perform your business functions. As such, that won’t be what you pay them for, therefore, it will never be in their best interests to advice you on how you can grow as a business.

 What are managed IT services?

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in essence, MSPs are highly renowned for delivering a significantly more comprehensive type of technical support. This sort of IT support extends beyond what an outsourcing provider will be willing to tackle. In this arrangement, instead of merely meeting narrowly-defined tasks or duties, the managed IT services provider will take a more holistic approach to the solutions they offer. To which end, such IT firms will make it a point to help your organization much more strategically. One of the ways they do this is by taking over the management and maintenance of your company’s IT infrastructure, systems and networks.

They will as well be always at hand to furnish you with insights and valuable recommendations on the various improvements you could make on how you do business. In other words, MSPs tend to have a vested interest in your firm’s long-term success. One of the greatest dissimilarities between managed IT services and outsourcing is the level of foresight the former always exhibits. So, you can be sure they will go overboard to meet all your organization’s IT needs. Reputable MSPs truly wish for your success and growth. As such, they will always be willing to propose solutions that can improve the efficiency and productivity of your establishment to ensure you achieve growth and enhanced profitability. In most cases than not, such IT solutions tend to be highly effective, actionable and focus on long-term needs. This is a stark contrast from the stopgap solutions of outsourced technical support, which are simply expedient.

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To clearly expound on this concept, here is an illustration of how managed services work. Let us say you have invested in an ERP application to streamline your company’s core operations. However, you then find out you need specific features or even extensions before you can actually realize a good return on your investment. This state of affairs will cause your team to make use of a few features of your ERP software. When it comes to business functions, they might be forced to revert to manual techniques which the system was meant to eliminate.

In this scenario, your chosen MSP will take it upon themselves to determine the reasons why your team is having issues utilizing the ERP system as expected. Then, they will provide viable insights on both the instant and gradual improvements you could make to effectively align the implementation of your ERP application with the way you already carry out your business functions. They will also figure out if your existing IT infrastructure is undermining the performance of your team. Lastly, they might alert you of the need to improve or customize your ERP applications with add-ons or if you can integrate other business applications into it to get the most out of it.