The Differences Between Managed Services and Professional Services

Digital transformation has become necessary. Business owners must adapt to the changing technological landscape to thrive. Yet, many small businesses lack the resources or funding to keep up with every change.

Most of these businesses weigh the pros and cons of managed services vs. professional services . Both types of services can help you enhance your day-to-day IT tasks but they are fundamentally different.

If your small business is considering outsourcing your IT, choosing the right service for your needs is important. In this article, we will compare managed and professional services so you can decide which one is right for you.

What are Managed Services?

Managed services offer ongoing IT management on a long-term basis. A managed service provider (MSP) will build a relationship with your organization. Your MSP consultant will assess your goals and regularly check in to ensure they are being met.

A managed services solution is ideal for companies with an extensive, rapidly evolving IT infrastructure. Once your consultant understands your needs, they can anticipate them and advise you whenever changes occur.

Most managed services are scalable. An organization may hire an MSP for one function and expand their contract to cover more tasks at a later date. Usually, MSPs perform multiple IT tasks for each one of their clients.

The demand for MSPs is growing. 30% of American companies currently outsource at least one IT function. This trend is increasing as the MSP industry is expected to grow 13.4% annually between 2022 and 2030 .

This growing demand shows that small and medium-sized businesses benefit from managed services . There are many reasons why a company may hire managed services, including :

  • Network monitoring
  • Remote 24/7 IT support
  • Data backups
  • Network administration
  • Cybersecurity
Managed Services vs. Professional Services
Credit: Wavebreakmedia

What are Professional Services?

Professional services help businesses overcome specific challenges on a project-to-project basis. Typically, professional service contracts are short-term . However, they can scale up if your needs increase.

Professional service providers are thorough in their approach. However, they generally work on a one-time basis. Therefore, they are ideal for companies that have sufficient regular IT support and only need assistance with a specific project.

A professional service provider can help you at any point in your project’s process. They can assist with planning, project management, implementation, and post-project assessments.

Professional service providers are amazing project managers that help you effectively meet your deadlines. They can also lead change management tasks in the event of project changes. This way, your project can stay on course with minimal interruptions no matter what happens.

Some organizations that work with an MSP may also hire professional services. The MSP might provide additional professional services or the company may seek them elsewhere. A business may choose this route if their current MSP contract does not cover a project’s needs.

The most common reasons why businesses hire professional services include:

  • Business continuity planning
  • Hardware and software rollouts
  • Data migration
  • One-time cybersecurity threat assessments
  • Infrastructure upgrades

Managed Services vs. Professional Services

There is no “better or worse” option between managed IT services vs. professional services . Although, it is important to understand that one choice may be better than the other for a specific business requirement.

The following table provides a quick overview of the key differentiators between managed IT and professional services. You can also weigh the pros and cons of each service type.



Managed Services

Professional Services

Scope Managed services usually cover multiple business functions. Professional services are contained within a specific project.
Timeline MSPs provide support on an ongoing basis for the duration of their contract. Support from professional services ends when the project ends.
Responsibilities Your managed service provider will do all the work involved in whatever function you hired them to do. Professional service providers will help you with your project, but your team is responsible for your infrastructure.
Key Advantages
  • Consistent access to experts
  • Reduced overall IT costs
  • Improved productivity across your company
  • May fill skill gaps
  • Outsider insights into your business operations
  • Rapid response to technical issues or data breaches
  • Can anticipate future needs and recommend suitable upgrades
  • On-demand services may offer more versatility
  • Outsider insights into your project
  • Faster and more efficient project completions
  • Expert project management
  • More cost-effective for one-time needs
  • May fill skill gaps
  • Effective change management when project needs evolve
Possible Disadvantages
  • Scope of contract may be more than necessary
  • Possible lack of physical presence
  • You might be left with significant skill gaps if the MSP goes under
  • Repeated one-time costs may become more expensive than ongoing support
  • Without an ongoing relationship, they may not be able to anticipate your needs as well as an MSP
  • Support ends when your project ends


Do You Think You Need Both?

Managed IT services and professional services both have their benefits. It is common for a company to use both services to meet different needs.

For example, you may trust a managed cybersecurity provider to protect your network and hire professional services for a specific cloud migration project.

Executech offers premier managed IT and professional services. Our people-first approach to IT consulting means that we are focused on improving lives with productive technology. No matter which one of our services you pick, we will find a way to help you meet your business goals.

Contact us today to get started. If you are still trying to figure out what you need to improve, get a free IT assessment to find out.

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