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What is the difference between IT support and managed services?

difference between its support and managed services
February 27, 2024

Discover the difference between IT support and managed services with our comprehensive guide. Information technology (IT) is essential to any modern business, as it enables communication, collaboration, productivity, and innovation. However, managing IT systems can be challenging, especially for small and medium-sized businesses that may not have the resources or expertise to manage complicated IT issues. This is where IT service providers come in, offering various solutions to help businesses with their IT needs.

This article will analyze the key difference between IT support and managed services and how to choose the best IT service model for your business.

IT Support

IT support, also known as break-fix support, is a type of IT service that provides technical assistance to businesses when they encounter IT problems. IT support typically covers a wide range of IT issues, such as hardware losses, software glitches, network outages, virus infections, data loss, and more. IT support is usually delivered on an ad-hoc basis, meaning that businesses only pay for the service when they need it, and the service provider only responds to the reported issue.

The main advantage of IT support is that it is flexible and cost-effective, as businesses only pay for what they use and do not have to commit to long-term contracts or monthly fees. However, the main drawback of IT support is that it is reactive, meaning that it only addresses the symptoms of IT problems, not the root causes. IT support does not prevent IT issues from happening, nor does it optimize the performance and security of IT systems.

Managed Services

Managed services, on the other hand, is a type of IT service that provides proactive and comprehensive management of IT systems for businesses. Managed services typically cover a specific set of IT functions, such as network management, cloud computing, backup and recovery, cybersecurity, and more. IT infrastructure-managed services are usually delivered on a subscription-based model, meaning that businesses pay a fixed monthly fee for the service, and the service provider takes full responsibility for the maintenance, monitoring, and management of the IT systems.

The main advantage of managed services is that they are proactive, meaning that they prevent IT issues from happening or detect and resolve them before they escalate. Managed services also optimize the performance and security of IT systems, ensuring that they are aligned with the business objectives and best practices. Managed services also provide consistent and reliable service delivery, as the service provider guarantees a certain level of service quality and availability.

Scope of Services Comparison

One of the key distinctions between IT support and managed services is their scope of services. IT support offers a broad and general scope of services, covering any IT issue that may arise, regardless of its nature, frequency, or severity. IT support does not discriminate between different types of IT problems and treats them all equally. However, this also means that IT support does not prioritize or specialize in any particular IT function and may not have the expertise or resources to handle complex or specialized IT issues.

Managed services, on the contrary, offer a specific scope of services, covering a certain set of IT functions that are agreed upon with the client. Managed services do not cover any IT issue that falls outside of their scope and may refer the client to other service providers or vendors for those issues. However, this also means that managed services focus and excel in the IT functions that they cover and have the expertise and resources to handle them effectively and efficiently.

Service Delivery Model Comparison

Another key difference between IT support and managed services is their service delivery model. IT support uses an ad-hoc service delivery model, meaning that the service is provided on demand, and the client only pays for it when using it. IT support does not require any upfront or recurring payments, and the client can terminate the service at any time.

Managed services use a subscription-based service delivery model, meaning that the service is provided on a continuous basis, and the client pays a fixed monthly fee for the service. Managed services require a contractual or formal agreement between the client and the service provider. The client may have to pay a penalty or fee for terminating the service.

Focus on Business Objectives

Another key difference between IT support and managed services is the focus on business objectives. IT support focuses on the technical aspects of IT issues and does not consider the business impact or value of the IT systems. IT support does not align its IT strategies with the business goals. Provide any advice or guidance on improving or optimizing the IT systems.

Managed services, on the other hand, focus on the business aspects of IT systems and consider the business impact and value of the IT systems. Remote Managed IT services align IT strategies with business goals. And provide advice and guidance on how to improve or optimize IT systems.

Scalability and Flexibility Comparison

Another key difference between IT support and managed services is the scalability and flexibility of the service. The IT support model is flexible, meaning that it can accommodate changes in the business’s IT needs. IT support can handle any increase or decrease in IT demand and can adjust the service accordingly. IT support can also adapt to any new or emerging IT technologies and provide support for them on an ad-hoc basis.

On the other hand, managed services are less flexible in that they can’t be turned on and off whenever they’re needed. There is continuous oversight with a managed services model to proactively stay in front of issues and new technology trends. Regular meetings with an assigned vCIO meant that IT becomes a more strategic part of the business. As a business grows, the managed services provider can help align technology needs to the business. Managed services may have limitations or restrictions on the IT demand. They may also charge extra fees or penalties for exceeding them.

How Do You Choose?

The choice between IT support and managed services depends on various factors, such as the size, industry, and budget of the business, the complexity and criticality of the IT systems, and the expectations and preferences of the client. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, and each business has to weigh the pros and cons of each service model to decide which one suits their needs and objectives better.

For businesses that possess complex IT needs or operate in sectors where IT is a critical component of their daily operations, managed services often emerge as the more fitting option. This preference is not merely about scale; it also reflects a strategic choice. Organizations that opt for managed services typically seek a consistent, secure, and reliable IT environment. These services are designed to proactively manage and maintain the IT infrastructure, aiming to preempt problems before they disrupt business activities. This model is particularly appealing for businesses that prioritize operational continuity and are willing to invest in a comprehensive IT management solution to ensure the smooth functioning and security of their core processes. It is also fitting for companies who want predictable costs and want to work within a budget, as managed services come with a recurring monthly cost for a comprehensive set of solutions.



How do I know if my business needs managed services?

Some signs that your business may benefit from managed services are:

  • You experience frequent IT issues that disrupt your operations or cause downtime.
  • You have limited or no in-house IT staff, or they are overwhelmed by the workload.
  • You want to improve your IT security and compliance posture.
  • You want to adopt new technologies or upgrade your existing systems.
  • You want to optimize your IT spending and reduce operational costs.

What are the challenges of managed services?

Some challenges that businesses may face when adopting managed services are:

  • Finding a reliable and trustworthy MSP that meets your needs and expectations.
  • Communicate effectively with the MSP and establish clear roles and responsibilities.
  • Managing the transition from traditional IT support to managed services smoothly and with minimal disruption.
  • Evaluating the performance and value of the MSP on a regular basis.

How do I pick the right MSP for my business?

Some aspects to consider when picking an MSP for your business are:

The MSP’s reputation, experience, and credentials in the industry.

The MSP’s service offerings, pricing, and contract terms.

The MSP’s technical capabilities, resources, and tools.

What are some examples of managed services?

Some examples of managed services are:

  • The MSP monitors and maintains your network infrastructure, such as routers, switches, firewalls, and wireless devices.
  • The MSP provides cybersecurity solutions, such as antivirus, firewall, encryption, backup, and recovery.
  • The MSP helps you migrate, manage, and optimize your cloud-based applications and data.
  • MSP ensures that your data is backed up and can be restored in case of a disaster.


IT support and managed services are two common types of IT services that offer different solutions to businesses with their IT needs. IT support is a reactive and ad-hoc service that provides technical assistance to businesses when they encounter IT problems. By understanding the difference between IT support and managed services, businesses can make an informed and strategic decision on how to leverage IT services for their success.

If you are looking for a reliable and professional IT service provider that can offer you both IT support and managed services, look no further than Uprite IT Services. Whether you need IT support for occasional IT issues or managed IT support services for ongoing IT management, Uprite IT Services can handle it all. Contact Uprite IT Services today and get a free consultation and quote for your IT needs. Uprite IT Services is your ultimate IT partner for success.

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