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Managed Services vs Professional Services: Understanding the Difference

March 21, 2022
July 21, 2022
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Most small companies need to outsource their IT services. There may be a few designated IT employees, but most small to medium businesses simply do not have the budget for an entire IT department. This is where it’s important to know the difference between managed services vs. professional services.

Understanding the difference between the two service providers – and when you would need each type of provider – can help you know who to call when you need IT assistance that is above what your current IT staff can handle. 

What Are Managed IT Services? 

A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a company that businesses can call when they need certain IT services. There are usually some service level agreements or contracts that state the services provided, such as break-fix services provided on an as-needed basis and any particular conditions that are applicable. 

The types of services you receive under “managed services” are listed below.

  • Regular day-to-day maintenance: Your network and systems require regular updates and tune-ups to stay in shape and perform at their best. Your MSP can provide that for you on a weekly or monthly basis. This type of routine maintenance is important for the overall health of your network. 
  • Troubleshooting: Typically, your MSP will be on stand-by for issues that need troubleshooting. The level of troubleshooting they can provide depends on the service provider and your service level agreements.
  • Security: Managed security services include setting up strong security systems for your networks and servers to avoid breaches and malware attacks. Your MSP is also available when and if your system does experience a malicious attack or cyber threat. These security services are crucial for any sized company.
  • Monitoring: MSPs can monitor your systems and networks to try and detect any potential threats. They have technology that allows them to monitor your network 24/7 and become aware of any issues or any potential issues that could cause a threat in the future. 
  • Administration: When you need assistance with administrative tasks, like network operations or setting up a network from scratch, your MSP can help. If your network is cloud-based, MSPs can provide cloud services like checking on the health of your network.
  • Data backup: Your MSP can help you backup important data and avoid lost customer information, and more. Your data center is a crucial piece of your IT infrastructure. Keep it secured and backed up.

According to Kaseya, the top challenges companies seeking MSP face include maintaining remote workers, managing IT security, business continuity and disaster recovery.

These are a few of the most common IT managed services, but others may be included. Refer to your service level agreement or reach out to your MSP to find out what other managed services are included in your contract.

Learn about Quadbridge’s IT services:

 

What Are Professional Services? 

Professional services firms help information technology departments with less routine and more complex services. Services like installation, migration, deployment, and consulting. 

Whereas MSP providers are typically on standby and ready to help, professional service providers are on-demand and use billable hours for invoicing. 

Professional IT services include:

  • Consulting: Some companies don’t have a CIO or someone at the head of their IT department. In these cases, the companies may hire a professional service firm to do consulting for them. Consulting services include business continuity resolution, strategizing, or helping with major purchase decisions.
  • Cloud migration: A professional services IT company will help you migrate your current network over to a cloud-based infrastructure. 
  • Deployment of new hardware or software: When businesses adopt new software or hardware, they may need help with installation and getting their staff trained and able to use it. 
  • Advanced troubleshooting: For the most part, MSPs can provide troubleshooting issues. But when an issue is too advanced for your MSP team, you may need to hire a professional services provider to step in and troubleshoot for you. 


Typically, a business will hire a professional services provider when they need assistance with large-scale projects or one-off consulting help. 

When Would I Need Managed Services vs. Professional Services? 

If your business is experiencing specific challenges like security, administration, routine maintenance, or other similar services, you should hire a managed service provider (MSP) to help you with IT project management. 

When you need to have someone that is routinely available to perform miscellaneous IT services, an MSP is the better route to take. They are on standby for you and provide ongoing assistance for various IT tasks; contracts are typically months or years long. 

On the other hand, if you need consulting services, cloud migration, or major troubleshooting services, you may need to call a professional services company. Typically these are provided as a one-off and not as ongoing services. 

Get the Best of Both Professional and Managed IT Services with Quadbridge

Make both large and small IT decisions that are practical, efficient, and profitable with a Quadbridge partnership. Quadbridge has joined forces with DTM Systems and now is able to provide managed and professional services all over North America. Contact us today to get started.


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