Advantages of the Managed Services Model vs. Professional Services

Posted by Gary Utley on April 21, 2020

Advantages of the Managed Services Model vs. Professional ServicesWhat's the difference between a managed services model and a professional services model? If you're looking into help for IT, you may have seen both professional services and managed services. These are extremely similar, and there are times when you may need either, but they are not quite the same. Here's what you need to know about the advantages of managed services model and the managed services vs. professional services model.

What Are Managed Services?

A managed services model is a model under which IT is outsourced to a managing partner. A managing partner controls as much of the IT aspect of a business as the business itself desires, ranging from just handling backups, to handling everything for the business. The IT services are "managed" on behalf of the company, and the company is able to get all the benefits of having an internal IT department without any of the negatives.

Here are some of the benefits of a managed services model:

  • Reduced cost. A managed service is able to provide expert, specialized knowledge at a fraction of the cost of hiring a specialist internally. With an MSP, you pay only for the services that you need, rather than paying for someone who is going to be on call within your business. These rates can be extremely competitive, especially in areas where IT talent is rare.
  • Improved services. An MSP can provide a greater depth of services compared to an internal IT department, because they are knowledgeable about a wide array of technology. MSPs are frequently experts in solutions such as Azure, and so are consequently able to deliver services with more knowledge and customization than could otherwise be delivered.
  • Better technology. Due to the economies of scale, managed services are typically able to get better technologies both in terms of software and hardware than a company could acquire on its own.
  • Faster responsiveness. A managed services team may have many dozens or hundreds of people, rather than a company's internal IT team which could have only one or two. A managed services model means that there will be faster response times to trouble tickets and other issues, while an internal IT team may need to wait until someone is available.

Managed services have a lot of advantages over traditional IT solutions. But what about the professional services model?

What Are Professional Services?

Professional services are similar to managed services, except insofar as they are discrete services provided rather than an existing relationship. A managed services provider will begin working with your organization and continue working as a partner, becoming a valued part of the business and understanding your infrastructure and technology to constantly greater depths.

A professional services provider, on the other hand, usually comes in once for a discrete project and then leaves, even though you may work with them again in the future. An example might be a services provider who comes in once to recover data that has been lost, or a services provider that comes in for a specific project such as a deployment.

The services that are provided are very similar to that of a managed services provider, with the primary difference being that these services are not continuous but rather completed at the time. It's the difference between having someone on call when you encounter IT problems, or calling an expert.

Managed Services vs. Professional Services: What's the Difference?

MSPs are better for businesses than professional services in a number of ways. First, they are more stable. A company already knows what they are going to get with their managed services provider, whereas they will need to arrange for a professional service. This level of consistency will greatly improve the company's operations, and they will know that their managed services provider is going to be reliable and available when they call.

They will also acquire a more cost-effective service. Not only will MSPs make sure that expensive damage doesn't occur to begin with, but they won't be charging higher, one-off rates. Instead, they will be charging a predictable, low monthly amount that the company can budget for. 

There are, of course, times when a company might need a professional service. They might need a specialized expert service in a specific technology, and neither their internal IT team or their MSP may be able to help. But for the most part, an MSP bests a professional service, because an MSP is able to provide continuity of care. For more information about the differences, contact the experts at Red River.

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Topics: managed service provider