Difference Between Managed Services Model and Outsourcing

Ronan Short
January 13, 2023

If you want to improve your IT support services, you may have encountered the terms “managed services” and “outsourcing”. Businesses use these two common models to delegate IT tasks to external providers. But what is the difference between them? Which one is better for your business?

This blog post will explain the difference between the managed services model and outsourcing and how they can benefit your IT support needs. By the end of this post, you will have a clear understanding of the pros and cons of each model and how to choose the best one for your business.

What is Outsourcing?

Outsourcing is a model where you hire an external provider to perform specific IT tasks or projects for your business. For example, you may outsource your web development, network maintenance, or data backup to a third-party company. Outsourcing can help you save money, time, and resources by letting experts handle your IT needs.

Some of The Benefits Of Outsourcing Are:

Cost savings

You can reduce your labour and equipment expenses by outsourcing your IT tasks. You only pay for what you need when you need it.


You can easily scale up or down your IT needs according to your business demands. You can also choose from various providers and services that suit your budget and requirements.

Customer satisfaction

You can improve customer service by outsourcing IT support. You can focus on your core business activities while letting professionals handle your IT issues.

Risk reduction

You can minimise your IT risks by outsourcing your IT tasks. You can rely on experts with the latest industry knowledge and skills. You can also avoid the hassle of managing your own IT infrastructure.

Outsourcing Drawback 

Loss of control

You may lose some control over your IT processes and quality when outsourcing them. You may have to follow the provider’s standards and policies, which may not align with yours.

Communication issues

You may face communication challenges when outsourcing your IT tasks. You may have to deal with language barriers, cultural differences, or time zone differences. You may also have less visibility and feedback on the progress and performance of your IT projects.


You may depend on your outsourcing provider for your IT needs. You may have to rely on their availability and reliability. You may also have difficulty switching providers if you are unsatisfied with their service.

What is Managed Services?

Managed services is a model where you hire an external provider to manage and monitor your IT infrastructure continuously. For example, you may hire a managed service provider (MSP) to care for your servers, networks, devices, security, cloud services, and more. Managed services can help you optimise your IT performance and efficiency by letting experts oversee your IT operations.

Some of the benefits of managed services are


You can access specialised skill sets and expertise you may not have in-house. The MSP’s experience and knowledge in various IT domains can benefit you.


You can customise your IT solutions according to your unique needs and goals. You can work with the MSP to design and implement a strategy that suits your business vision.


You can get continuous support and maintenance for your IT infrastructure. You can enjoy proactive monitoring, troubleshooting, updating, and backup of your IT systems.


You can build a long-term relationship with your MSP based on trust and collaboration. You can share insights and feedback with the MSP to improve your IT outcomes.

However, managed services also have some drawbacks, such as


You may have to pay more for managed services than outsourcing. You may have to sign a contract with the MSP that commits you to a fixed monthly fee or a minimum service level agreement (SLA).


You may have to adjust your IT processes and culture to match the MSP’s standards and practices. You may have to adopt new tools and technologies that the MSP uses or recommends.


You may have to share some responsibility and accountability with the MSP for your IT needs. You may have to share some information and data with the MSP, which may raise some security and privacy concerns.

How to Choose Between Managed Services and Outsourcing?

As you can see, both managed services and outsourcing have their advantages and disadvantages. The best choice for your business depends on several factors, such as

Your IT budget

How much can you afford to spend on your IT support? Outsourcing may be cheaper in the short term, but managed services may offer more value in the long term.

Your IT needs

What kind of IT tasks or projects do you need help with? Outsourcing may be better for specific or one-time needs, but managed services may be better for ongoing or comprehensive needs.

Your IT goals

What are you trying to achieve with your IT support? Outsourcing may improve efficiency or productivity, but managed services may be better for enhancing your performance or security.

Your IT preferences

How much control or involvement do you want to have over your IT support? Outsourcing may be better for delegating your IT tasks or projects, but managed services may be better for collaborating or partnering with your IT provider.

To help you make the best decision, consult an experienced and reputable IT support services company like IT Support 4 U that can offer managed services and outsourcing solutions.

Why Choose IT Support 4 U?

IT Support 4 U is a leading IT support services company in Ireland that offers both managed services and outsourcing solutions. Our team of qualified and certified IT experts can handle any IT task or project for your business. We have long served businesses of all sizes and industries and won the Best Professional Service Award at the Wicklow Chamber Business Awards.

Some of the reasons why you should choose IT Support 4 U are:

  • Trusted by 100+ businesses around Dublin and Wicklow
  • Transparent pricing with no hidden fees or charges
  • One-stop shop for all your IT needs, from hardware support to cloud services
  • 24/7 support and maintenance for your IT infrastructure
  • Free initial audit of your IT infrastructure to recommend the best support plan for your business

Whether you need managed services or outsourcing, we can provide a customised and cost-effective solution that meets your IT needs and goals. We can help you improve your IT performance, efficiency, security, and customer satisfaction.

Partner with IT Support 4 U for Tailored IT Solutions

Choose IT Support 4 U for customised IT support services in Ireland, bridging the difference between managed services model and outsourcing to provide tailored solutions for your business. Contact us today to discuss how our team of experts can help you make an informed decision, optimise your IT infrastructure, and ensure seamless operation and security for your business.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between managed services model and outsourcing?

Managed services model is when you hire an external provider to continuously manage and monitor your entire IT infrastructure. Outsourcing is when you hire an external provider to perform specific IT tasks or projects for your business.

Which model is better for small businesses?

The choice between managed services and outsourcing depends on the specific needs of your business. Managed services may be a better fit for small businesses that require ongoing support and maintenance, while outsourcing can be ideal for those that have occasional or project-based IT needs.

Can I use both models simultaneously?

Yes, many businesses use a combination of managed services and outsourcing to meet their diverse IT requirements. For example, you might have a managed services provider handling your day-to-day IT needs while outsourcing a specific project or task to a specialist.

Can managed services help with regulatory compliance?

Yes, a reliable MSP can help your business maintain compliance with industry regulations by implementing necessary security measures, providing regular updates, and ensuring your IT infrastructure meets the required standards.

How do Managed Services differ from traditional IT Outsourcing in terms of service delivery?

Managed Services providers take a proactive approach, offering ongoing management and support to prevent issues before they occur. In contrast, traditional IT Outsourcing is typically reactive, addressing issues as they arise, and often doesn't involve the same level of comprehensive, continuous oversight.

Which model provides more scalability, Managed Services or Outsourcing?

Both models can provide scalability, but the Managed Services model can be more flexible, allowing a company to adjust the level of services based on their changing needs. Outsourcing projects are typically defined at the start, making mid-project scalability a contractual and potentially complex issue.

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*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.
Ronan Short
Founder @ IT Support 4U

Ronan Short, the founder of IT Support, is a trusted authority in the IT industry, passionate about providing top-tier tech support at IT Support. Dedicated to solving complex problems with simplified solutions, catering to all your SME IT needs with cost-effective solutions.