What are the Differences Between IT Managed Services and Traditional IT Support?

How organizations handle IT support is rapidly evolving. As per recent statistics, 59% of businesses have transitioned their IT services from the traditional break-fix model to managed IT services. So what’s informing this shift?

Managed IT services are the new way of effectively and efficiently handling IT services in your business. However, compared to traditional IT support, these two models have stark differences in cost, skills and expertise, availability, and security.

So, which one should you settle for? Read on and learn how traditional IT support and managed IT services differ and which is best for your organization.

What are Managed IT Services?

Managed IT services is a model of IT support where the organization’s IT services and systems are outsourced managed services provider (MSP). Therefore, your internal team is relieved from some or all IT support and services responsibilities, leaving your managed services provider as your system’s proactive manager and monitor.

Managed IT services take a proactive approach to maintaining and monitoring an organization’s IT systems and infrastructure. This approach typically leads to peak stability and performance of your IT services.

A managed IT services provider performs round-the-clock remote monitoring and management (RMM) of the business’s servers, desktops, and other IT devices to ensure minimal interruption to the organization’s IT services.

RMM is typically performed using software that can provide valuable insights, such as the state of all hardware, operating systems, and software. For example, the managed services provider can monitor storage availability, CPU performance, security vulnerabilities, missing system updates, and more.

Most of these issues can be fixed remotely.

This software is operated by a competent team of IT specialists who provide remote and on-site support. They essentially act as an outsourced IT department, albeit you don’t have to pay benefits, wages, or other HR costs.

Scope of Work

Unlike traditional IT services, managed IT services handle a more extensive work scope. The most common areas a managed IT services provider may specialize in include:

  • Unlimited support in the form of remote or on-site support and a help desk
  • Strategic technology planning to help your organization develop an IT plan that aligns with its business requirements and promotes rapid growth
  • Cloud services or flexible, cost-effective, and scalable data storage and productivity solutions. The most common services include Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
  • Business continuity planning, which protects your data and allows your organization to experience minimal downtime after a catastrophic data loss
  • Storage services focused on backup services, data storage, and archiving
  • Managed IT security and a range of protective services such as web filtering, managed anti-malware, and mail protection
  • CIO services or reporting on system utilization, availability, data backups, security and threats, licensing, assets, capacity planning, and software inventory

What is Traditional IT Support?

Traditional IT support, also known as break-fix IT support, involves your organization enlisting the help of an IT professional or support company after something gets broken. Therefore, you only need the personnel during downtimes, leading most IT companies or professionals offering these services to charge premium hourly rates.

With this approach, some organizations may hire a tech-savvy full-time employee who occasionally deals with minor tech issues and leaves significant software and hardware issues to the external company or personnel.

A full-board in-house team may offer traditional IT support for more cash-loaded enterprises.

Since traditional IT support only responds to downtimes and other IT technical issues, the model is defined as reactive. When an issue arises, the user must notify the help desk and wait for the problem to be resolved.

The waiting period is often lengthy since most traditional IT support staff work only during standard business hours. Therefore, it results in lengthier downtimes that are often very expensive for businesses.

Moreover, since traditional IT support relies on the frequency of downtimes, some companies or professionals may fail to address the root cause of downtimes in your services and systems and only offer “band-aid” support. Of course, this will lead to another fault they’ll bill you later.

The Key Differences Between IT Managed Services and Traditional IT Support

There are four key differences between managed IT services and traditional IT support.

1. Cost

Cost is one of the most significant differences between traditional IT support and managed IT services. If outsourced, standard IT support charges premium hourly rates. In addition, since downtimes are hard to predict, budgeting with traditional IT support is more complex and often infeasible.

Moreover, some companies charge subscription fees, including services your organization may never need. If you opt for an in-house team, you must consider staff recruitment, training, and office space costs.

On the other hand, managed IT service providers often charge a fixed monthly fee for services tailored to your business’s unique needs. Therefore, it is more accessible to budget, you incur zero staff costs, and you get maximum value for your money by only using services that you need.

According to statistics, 46% of companies that use managed IT services save at least 25% annually in IT costs.

2. Availability

Managed IT services are proactive, meaning they’re available 24/7. Therefore, it is easier to prevent downtimes since the MSP actively monitors your IT systems and infrastructure.

On the other hand, traditional IT support is reactive and depends on the availability of the support staff. Therefore, your IT systems and infrastructure are more prone to downtimes with slow response times from the support team, who typically work during standard business hours.

3. Skills and Expertise

Despite its myriad of drawbacks, traditional IT support works for businesses that rely on something other than advanced, complex, and rapidly changing modern technology.

However, if you’re working with modern, fast-evolving systems such as cloud services and artificial intelligence (AI), managed IT services allow you to keep up with the technological needs of your business and industry by relying on a more skilled talent pool from the MSP.

4. Security

Cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly important topic in most organizations. Research shows that 68% of business leaders feel their enterprises are more at risk and need better defense mechanisms.

Managed IT services provide better cybersecurity by proactively monitoring systems against data breaches and cyberattacks. Traditional IT support can only react to an attack once it’s been successfully carried out on your organization’s IT systems and infrastructure.

Consider Managed IT Services for the Best IT Support and Services for Your Organization

Traditional break-fix IT support is becoming increasingly irrelevant in the modern enterprise world using fast-changing and complex technologies with heightened security needs. For the best cost, availability, skillset, and security your IT support and services can get, contact a trusted managed IT service provider and discuss the best package for your business’s needs.