Northwest IT Company

Northwest IT Company has over 20+ years of Business IT Support and Business IT Solutions experience. We are a full service technology company. You get more bang for your dollar here as well.

What is the Difference Between Managed IT Services and Outsourcing?

Northwest IT Company, a full service technology company providing comprehensive, quality IT services in Oregon, Washington and Idaho


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As companies strive to engage more reliable and effective IT support strategies, there is growing interest in the concepts of IT outsourcing and managed IT services. While both are similar on the surface level and involve seeking third-party assistance to supplement or replace in-house IT teams, these services are unique from each other.

It’s important for business owners and managers to be able to distinguish between IT outsourcing and managed IT services so you can better pin down which form of IT assistance you need for your business. Let’s explore the differences and get a clear understanding of managed IT services versus outsourcing IT services:

What is IT Outsourcing?

In a nutshell, IT outsourcing is when small businesses, that do not have their own in-house IT teams, want to eliminate the operational costs of having an in-house department. Such businesses can simply hire a third-party IT service company and have them take care of all of their IT operations.

IT outsourcing involves hiring outside talent who will perform a range of IT-related tasks. This umbrella term covers managed IT services, in addition to other IT support and infrastructure operations such as:

  • Application and infrastructure support
  • Datacenter management
  • Infrastructure installation
  • Security and threat protection
  • Disaster recovery
  • Email management and setup
  • Technical support
  • Telecommunications

IT outsourcing operates on a break-fix model of IT support where the outsourced talent responds and reacts to issues that come up instead of procuring risk management strategies to help avoid problems in the future.

Since specific services are provided by remote professionals, businesses don’t have to worry about the cost of recruiting, hiring, training, and managing an in-house team.

Outsourced IT teams can also give businesses access to a larger talent pool, enabling them to engage the services of professionals with the specific skill sets they’re looking for, even in other regions of the country or world.

What are Managed IT Services?

In contrast to IT outsourcing are managed IT services. Unlike the break-fix, reactive approach of the former, managed IT services are more focused on IT infrastructure management and maintenance.

A business engages the services of a managed service provider (MSP) who acts as a consultant helping it improve and optimize its IT operations. In addition, they may also take on the following tasks, depending on the terms of the service level agreement they are bound by:

  • Assess and monitor network and security
  • Conduct infrastructure maintenance
  • Identify security risks and weaknesses
  • Improve IT operating and response speeds
  • Monitor network activity

By hiring a managed service provider, businesses can benefit from getting the advice of IT professionals with the skills and expertise needed to keep their infrastructure functioning optimally. Compared to IT outsourcing, managed IT services can help businesses reach their goals and get insights about their own IT operations that they can maximize for smarter decision-making.

Because managed IT services are more focused on the development and long-term infrastructure functionality and sustainability, their benefits are less immediate and less tangible than in IT outsourcing. However, this holistic approach helps businesses optimize their IT operations to reduce costs, improve security and efficiency, and streamline their systems in the long run.

Managed IT Services from Northwest IT Company

IT outsourcing and managed IT services are both viable options for businesses, reaping the benefits of cost-efficiency, improved productivity, and better overall IT operations. However, each one targets specific business needs. If you are looking to improve your IT systems and secure long-term efficiency and effectiveness, managed IT services are what you should be after.

Northwest IT Company provides comprehensive managed IT services, from 24/7 monitoring to infrastructure maintenance, and troubleshooting. We become your dedicated IT department in charge of all your technologies so that you can focus on the more crucial aspects of your business.

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