What is the difference between managed IT services and IT services?

By: completecare January 16, 2024 1:03 am

: 5 Minutes to Read What is the difference between managed IT services and IT services?

Did You Know?

Managed IT Services are based on a proactive approach. In this model, the service provider is continuously monitoring and managing your IT systems. This means they are actively looking for potential issues and addressing them before they become problems. The focus is on preventing issues rather than just fixing them.

On average, small businesses spend between $1,000 and $4,000 monthly on IT services. However, the cost is dramatically affected by the approach to IT.

In this post, we’ll discuss the differences between managed and traditional, in-house IT services. You’ll learn what separates them and which approach to IT is most efficient and keeps your network secure.  

What is Managed IT Services?

Managed IT services are when a company or organization chooses to outsource the management of its IT infrastructure to a vendor rather than handling it internally.  

What are Traditional IT Services?

When a company or organization handles its IT management through an internal IT department, we call this approach traditional IT services. The team controls the organization’s technological infrastructure through troubleshooting, updates, and maintenance.

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Key Differences between Managed and Traditional IT

The differences between managed and traditional or in-house IT services include the approach to management, scalability, cost, and scope of the services provided. We’ll discuss each key difference below.

Approach to IT Management

Outsourcing IT services to a vendor or third party is typically a more proactive approach. Usually, when a company is servicing its IT infrastructure in-house, the tasks are reactive. While this isn’t true if a company has a robust IT department, most small and medium-sized businesses lack in-house IT talent and advanced data management tools. Technology management is a pain point for most SMBs due to a lack of strategy, resulting in network downtime, security vulnerabilities, and operational inefficiencies.

Managed IT ensures a business’ network is going through the necessary, proactive maintenance to ensure stability. In addition, the approach allows the company to scale its network as it grows without adding to the internal IT department.


In most cases, outsourcing IT management to a third party is the most cost-effective option. Hiring an in-house team requires salaries, healthcare, increases in HR, and additional IT infrastructure. While this may not be the case for a small organization that only needs a small team, the gap in expertise and system costs like data management make in-house IT services more expensive.

Scope of Services

Hiring a specialized IT vendor also gives a company more services, tools, and knowledge. At a fraction of the cost, managed IT increases the scope of services provided. In-house IT teams typically only perform minimal network maintenance, while outsourcing gives the business access to cloud storage, data management, software development, and module creation.

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When to Choose Managed Services Over Traditional IT

Businesses usually get more bang for their buck from managed IT services. However, there are some advantages of controlling the network internally.

The Benefits of Managed IT Services

  • Cost-effective
  • Scalability
  • Proactive approach
  • Increased scope of services
  • Access to an experienced team
  • More flexibility

The Benefits of Traditional IT Services

  • Potentially more secure servers if they are in-house
  • Single IT infrastructure
  • Employees fit the company culture
  • Trained to accommodate specific needs
  • Quick support during business hours

Remember that these benefits are only experienced by a well-trained, experienced internal IT department. Most SMBs are reactive to IT and only perform the bare minimum to keep the network operational.

Wrapping Things Up

While every business has different needs, most companies will benefit from a proactive approach to IT. If you want to cut costs, access an experienced IT team, and secure your network, we highly recommend trying managed IT services. Once you take a managed approach, you’ll run into fewer problems, reduce opportunities for hackers to gain access to your system, and gain the expertise needed to grow your organization.


  • Small businesses generally spend between $1,000 and $4,000 per month on IT services.
  • Managed IT services involve outsourcing IT infrastructure management to a vendor, while traditional IT services rely on an internal IT department.
  • Managed IT services are often more proactive, focusing on maintenance and scalability, whereas traditional IT tends to be reactive.
  • Outsourcing IT is usually more cost-effective than maintaining an in-house team, especially considering the additional costs of salaries, healthcare, and IT infrastructure.
  • Managed IT services offer a broader scope, providing access to advanced tools and services like cloud storage and data management, which in-house teams may not offer.
  • Managed IT services are typically more flexible, scalable, and provide a proactive approach to IT management with a broader range of services.
  • Traditional IT services can offer more secure servers, a unified IT infrastructure, and quick support during business hours, but are generally only effective with a well-trained and experienced internal team.
  • Most small and medium-sized businesses benefit from a managed approach to IT, as it offers cost reduction, network security, and access to experienced IT professionals.
  • A managed IT approach can lead to fewer network problems, reduced risk of hacking, and provides the expertise needed for business growth.

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