Difference Managed IT Services And Traditional IT Support

What Are The Differences Between IT Managed Services And Traditional IT Support?

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by Amelia Scott — 1 month ago in Review 4 min. read
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Managed IT services is a fast-rising industry. According to statistics, the global managed IT services market was valued at $239.71 billion in 2021. The industry is expected to continue growing at a CAGR of 13.4% between 2022 and 2030.

This indicates that many businesses are shifting from traditional IT support to managed IT services that pack many more benefits.

So, what are these benefits? And how do modern managed IT services differ from traditional support? Let’s find out.

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What is Traditional IT Support?

Traditional IT support is also known as break-fix support. It is the earliest and one of the oldest forms of IT support offered to businesses or enterprises. By being a “break-fix” model, traditional IT support is reactive, meaning a problem has to arise before the support team addresses it.

If your IT services or infrastructure fail, the user must notify the IT support team through the help desk, who’ll then address the issue during standard working hours. This often means more extended downtimes, which is not ideal when your business depends heavily on its IT services and infrastructure.


Therefore, traditional IT support best serves small, medium, and large businesses with non-critical IT systems. These organizations can withstand prolonged downtimes, troubleshooting, and recovery since they don’t lose much money when their IT services fail.

Traditional IT support can also benefit businesses with a stable IT infrastructure that’s not growing in complexity or is not subject to frequent maintenance and upgrades.

You can also opt for traditional IT support if your applications don’t require regular training or specialized skill sets to maintain.

In-House Traditional IT Support VS Outsourced

An organization can choose to have traditional IT support either in-house or outsourced.

In-House Traditional IT Support

With in-house traditional IT support, the organization hires its support team, who enjoy regular staff perks. Some smaller businesses often opt for in-house support if the investment into an outsourced team is too expensive.

Medium to large businesses can also opt for an in-house team if they run customized systems and applications requiring specialized knowledge and skillsets.

The downside to having an in-house team is the expensive costs of training, upskilling, and other HR expenses. Your organization carries the full burden of paying salaries, benefits, and training full-time IT support employees.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a Computer Support Specialist earns a median base salary of $50,980 annually. Typically, these costs will balloon to $65,000 to $90,000 per employee.

Outsourced Traditional IT Support

Outsourced traditional IT support is the most cost-effective option for most enterprises going the traditional IT support route.

Most companies charge outsourced IT support by the hour. However, you can get hourly bundles or an annual subscription fee at subsidized rates.

Outsourced IT support services are typically sold as all-or-nothing. That means you must pay for all services included in the subscription, hourly bundles, or general fee, regardless of whether you use all of them or not.

That makes it not cost-effective and non-tailored for most businesses. However, most small to medium-sized businesses interested in traditional business IT support are advised to outsource the services since it’s often cheaper than paying a full-board in-house team.

Moreover, you don’t have to worry about salaries, benefits, training, or upskilling of the outsourced support team. These responsibilities fall on the outsourcing company, and you only receive skilled professionals for the IT support job.

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Managed IT Services

Managed IT services are information technology services provided by a third party to maintain and manage all or some of your IT systems and services. Its biggest differentiator from traditional IT support is that it’s “proactive.”

That means managed IT services detect and deal with bugs and faults before they result in expensive downtimes. Therefore, the managed IT services team is typically available 24/7, monitoring your systems, unlike traditional IT support, where you only get services during standard business hours and when downtime occurs.

Managed IT services come with all the expertise you need. The teams consist of highly qualified IT professionals, and the service packages include access to the latest software, such as antivirus and specific application updates.


Some providers also include sophisticated backup and recovery systems in their packages, plus a help desk, to ensure minimal interruptions to your business’s operations.

This structure makes managed IT services the best option for businesses that rely heavily on their IT systems and infrastructure and want to stay ahead of the tech development curve as the complex systems they use get regular updates.

Flexible Payment Model and Scaling

A significant advantage you get from managed IT services is a flexible, tailored payment model. Your organization only has to pay for the services it needs, typically charged at a monthly fixed rate with no hidden expenses.

Using managed IT services makes it easier to scale your business since you can add additional IT systems and solutions as you grow.

You don’t have to worry about training or upskilling, as with in-house traditional IT support. Therefore, you can redirect internal efforts to more strategic projects instead of IT monitoring and maintenance.

The relationship between your business and the managed IT services provider is governed by a contractual service-level agreement (SLA) that covers issue resolution and responsiveness. You can also agree on KPIs that’ll help you identify pain points in your IT systems and infrastructure that you may want to address in the future.


The Extended Scope of Managed IT Services

Managed IT services cover a more extensive scope beyond “proactive” IT support. Managed IT service providers will typically provide holistic support that includes:

  • Strategic technology planning that’ll help create an IT plan aligned with your business requirements and growth
  • Unlimited support in the form of remote support, on-site support, or a help desk
  • Business continuity planning that protects your data and allows your business to resume operations swiftly after a catastrophic data loss
  • Cloud services or other flexible, cost-effective, scalable solutions in data storage and productivity
  • Managed security services plus a range of other protective services such as web filtering, anti-malware, and mail protection
  • Storage services focusing on backup services, data storage, and archiving
  • Vendor management
  • CIO services and reporting on your IT systems and infrastructure
  • Cyber security tools and solutions that adapt to growing trends and threats
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Managed IT Services Are the Better Option

Despite the fact that traditional IT support serves a smaller subset of non-tech-dependent organizations, its narrower scope and “reactive” model make it insufficient for modern businesses. With 65% of organizations interacting with their customers digitally, it’s high time you seek the services of a managed IT services. This will help you stay ahead of the tech and business curve.


Amelia Scott

Amelia is a content manager of The Next Tech. She also includes the characteristics of her log in a fun way so readers will know what to expect from her work.

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