What Is the Difference Between Professional and Managed Services?

As companies grow, they need to invest more in their IT departments. Traditionally, this was accomplished by hiring more IT professionals to increase capacity. However, today, other options exist. Managed IT services, for example, bring a third party into the mix. Just as you might hire out building maintenance, you can also outsource IT to a managed services provider. Is there a real difference between traditional, professional IT services, and managed services? There is, but it’s not what you might expect.

What Is the Difference Between Professional and Managed Services?

Managed IT Services Make Getting Professional IT Support Easy

Ultimately, the biggest difference between the classic approach to IT and the modern managed approach is that managed IT services make it much easier to handle your IT needs. Managed service providers bring together the same professionals that you would like to hire for yourself. Therefore, there’s no drop-off in quality when you choose managed services. You’re getting the very professional support that your company needs. However, managed services simplify everything.

Not only do managed services help your company save time, but they also help you save money. In addition, managed services can handle just about every task that your own IT department could. Consider some of the major differences between the traditional IT model and today’s forward-thinking managed services style of IT:

Pricing Differences

Businesses, especially small ones, need to keep their costs down in order to scale up. However, hiring professional IT staff implies a big hit to your budget. This is why many companies often have managers or tech-savvy employees pulling double duty, working on small IT tasks while taking care of their daily business. If you’ve found yourself fixing a printer instead of closing the next big sale, you need more IT support. But how can you afford it?

Pricing is where managed services stand out when compared to the traditional approach. Consider how the two models impact your company’s finances differently.

Traditional Professional IT

An IT professional costs more than the average employee, especially when they have specialized skills that your company needs. Even hires fresh out of college can command strong salaries in IT. The average salary for a relatively low IT position such as a desktop support analyst is over $75,000! And that’s before we even account for benefits and other expenses related to new hires.

More important positions demand even higher pay rates. Cybersecurity, for example, is something that should be a top priority in your company. Nevertheless, your average network security engineer is pulling in over $115,000 a year. High price tags like these lead companies to ignore cybersecurity, potentially leading to a breach that costs even more. What can you do if you cannot afford to hire professionals outright?  

Managed IT Simplifies Pricing

Instead of paying for expensive professionals to work full-time in your company, managed services deliver the same performance for a fraction of the price. With managed IT, you specify the services you need, and the managed services provider will give you a flat monthly rate for their support. This means you get all the predictability of a full-time salary without the massive expense. But how is it possible for a company to offer IT professionals at much lower rates?  

Your average IT worker at a private business does not have a full agenda every day of the week. If someone is wholly dedicated to tech support, there might even be days when nothing goes wrong and they have little to do, though, of course, there are also times when they’re run ragged and charging you overtime.

Managed service providers turn downtime into productivity by working with multiple companies. When your operations are running smoothly, our professionals are out handling others’ problems. When you have an emergency need, you don’t have to overwork one or two people: multiple professionals in managed services are able to fix it while still working reasonable hours. In the end, everyone wins.

7 technology shifts for 2024

Staffing Differences

The high cost of hiring professional IT workers aside, just attracting the right IT talent to your company can be a real problem. Not only do you have to carefully identify the skills that you need in your new hire, but you have to also go through the entire hiring process. Given today’s labor market, you might not even be able to find qualified professionals in your area. Each time you’re near capacity, you have to repeat this tedious process.

Managed service providers take this weight off your shoulders. You won’t have to worry about hiring IT professionals ever again since they’re already under the roof of your managed services provider. Consider some of the other challenges that companies face when hiring IT professionals and how managed services sidestep these issues.

Hiring IT Professionals Is a Challenge

A couple of decades ago, a single systems administrator and support technician could handle most of your IT needs. However, IT skillsets have become much more diversified in the past decade. Nowadays, you need an expert in cloud computing, a network administrator, data analyst, and IT security managers. You’ll also need a technician or two who can handle minor issues that pop up throughout the work week. Finding people with these specific sets of skills can be a challenge.

Competition for these IT professionals is fierce. Large organizations are often willing and able to open their wallets for qualified IT staff, leaving small businesses to struggle. Managed services, in contrast, flips the script.

Managed Services Give Your Company a Whole IT Department

Instead of looking for the ideal IT team piece by piece, you can get an entire IT department by switching to managed services. Managed service companies hire specialists in a variety of fields. That means you get your network administrator, cloud specialist, cybersecurity expert, and technicians, all with a single monthly payment. When you need support in a specific area, the right expert will go to work. This means your company has a fully staffed IT department at the ready.

It’s much easier for us to hire talented IT professionals. They love working in an environment where they’re entirely surrounded by their peers. Each addition to the team brings even more contacts to help us provide the best service possible to everyone who needs it. The end result is a well-rounded group of IT pros that can support your company across numerous areas.

Skills and Knowledge Differences

Another key difference between the traditional approach and managed services lies in the skills that each group brings to the table. Even if you were able to hire a whole IT department with individual specialists, you might not get the skills you actually need for your company to grow. Who will lead your IT department to make sure they continue to build the skills your company needs for the future?

We’re well aware of the latest trends in IT, and we make sure that our staff stays up to date. In addition, our diverse range of clients helps us provide even better service to you.

Professionals Tend to Lose Their Edge Without Direction

Many IT professionals settle into a specific role, master specific skills, and then they stagnate. Indeed, it’s one of the reasons that many companies have to let go of older IT staff. When IT professionals fail to keep up with the breakneck pace of technological advancement, they can quickly find themselves out of a job. You may be enticed by what appears to be a strong resume only to find your hires lack the skills you were looking for.

Furthermore, your hires might not have much experience in your particular industry. This means you may need to train them on specific skills or programs. Even workers with relevant experience need direction in order to keep their skills sharp. This means you need a forward-thinking CTO, which is yet another expense you might not be able to afford. Managed services solve this problem.

Managed Services Deliver the Latest Essential Skills

Since helping other companies is our business, we have to stay abreast of the latest developments. Our clients are looking into the future to plan their IT expenses, and we have to be ready to provide support for whatever they may need to implement. Our managed services are guided by directors that are constantly looking for ways to work with emerging technologies. Our professionals receive training and are pushed to develop skills in new areas.

In addition, because we work with such a wide variety of clients, our staff has experience in multiple industries. We can bring that experience to your business. Lessons learned from other sectors might lead to useful strategies for you too!

Managed IT Services Provide Everything That Professionals Can

From our perspective, there is no difference between professional IT services and our managed IT services. We hire professionals and hold ourselves to a professional standard. We deliver the level of quality that a company expects from its own internal IT department. But when you look at the difference in price, flexibility, and ease of access, the choice is clear. Managed services are different; they’re better.

Contact Cyber Command to schedule a technology strategy session so that we can customize a plan for your IT needs.