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Understanding Managed Services vs. Professional Services

Managed Services vs. Professional Services

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The managed services vs. professional services question is one that all fast-growing businesses face. Eventually, as you scale, it becomes impossible to tackle all your IT issues on an ad hoc basis (or at least impossible to do so efficiently and cost-effectively). That’s why the IT support market is growing so rapidly—set to pass $1.3 trillion.


“Choosing between managed services and professional services is about finding the right balance between ongoing support and project-based expertise to meet your organization’s IT needs effectively.” says James Bishop, Partner at Propel Technology.


Companies almost always eventually turn to external support to manage their IT needs in some capacity. After all, upwards of $427 per minute can be lost when IT issues aren’t addressed, making IT support a critical business decision that could deliver a massive ROI yield.

This leaves us with the two common options for businesses seeking outside assistance: managed services and professional services.

While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they represent distinct approaches to IT support. In this blog, we’ll explore the differences between managed services vs. professional services, their respective benefits, and how to determine which option is right for your organization.


Defining Managed Services and Professional Services

Managed Services: Managed services involve outsourcing the responsibility for maintaining, monitoring, and managing certain aspects of a company’s IT infrastructure to a third-party provider. This approach typically involves a proactive, subscription-based model, where the provider assumes ongoing responsibility for the client’s IT systems.


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Professional Services: Professional services, on the other hand, refer to project-based IT engagements where a provider delivers specific services or expertise for a defined scope of work. Unlike Managed Services, which focus on ongoing support and maintenance, Professional Services are typically more tailored to specific projects or initiatives.


Managed Services vs Professional Services: Key Differences


Scope of Engagement

Managed Services encompass ongoing support and maintenance of IT systems, including tasks like monitoring, patch management, and helpdesk support.

Professional Services are project-based and may involve activities such as system upgrades, migrations, or custom software development.


Payment Structure:

Managed Services are typically subscription-based, with clients paying a monthly fee for ongoing support and services.



Professional Services are often billed on a project basis, with clients paying for specific deliverables or milestones.


Proactive vs Reactive Approach:

Managed Services takes a proactive approach to IT support, focusing on preventing issues before they occur through continuous monitoring and maintenance.

Professional Services are more reactive in nature, addressing specific issues or projects as they arise.


Long-Term vs Short-Term Focus:

Managed Services are geared towards long-term relationships, with providers serving as strategic partners to help clients achieve their broader IT goals.

Professional Services tend to have a more short-term focus, addressing immediate needs or specific projects with defined timelines.


Benefits of Managed Services

Predictable Costs: With a fixed monthly fee, managed services provide predictable IT costs, making budgeting easier for businesses.

Proactive Maintenance: Managed Service providers proactively monitor and maintain IT systems, reducing the likelihood of downtime and costly disruptions.

Access to Expertise: Clients benefit from access to a team of skilled IT professionals without the need to hire and manage an in-house IT staff.


Learn more about managed IT services; check out these blogs:


Benefits of Professional Services

Specialized Expertise: Providers of professional services bring specialized skills and expertise to projects, ensuring high-quality deliverables and outcomes.

Scalability: Professional services can be more easily scaled up or down as needed, allowing businesses to adapt to changing requirements and priorities.


Choosing the Right Approach for Your Business

When deciding between Managed Services and Professional Services, it’s essential to consider your organization’s unique needs, objectives, and budgetary constraints.

Consider Managed Services if:

  • You require ongoing IT support and maintenance.
  • Predictable costs and proactive maintenance are a priority.
  • You prefer a long-term strategic partnership with your IT provider.

Consider Professional Services if:

  • You have specific projects or initiatives that require specialized expertise.
  • You prefer a more flexible, project-based approach to IT support.
  • Your project is more short-term, or you don’t anticipate needing further IT help as your business grows (quite rare)


Connecting With a Top Provider of Managed and Professional IT Services

Both service offerings provide valuable benefits for businesses seeking external IT support. By understanding the differences between these two approaches and evaluating your organization’s needs, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your goals and objectives.

Typically, the best way to maximize IT ROI is through fully managed services supplied by a leading team of expert IT professionals – like the team at Propel Technology.

We are dedicated to delivering exceptional managed IT services backed by our 57 years of collective industry expertise. We understand the importance of high-quality services and dependable customer support in today’s fast-paced business environment.


Managed Services vs. Professional Services


Managed Services

Professional Services

Scope of Engagement Ongoing support and maintenance Project-based services
Payment Structure Fixed Project-based billing
Approach Proactive Reactive
Focus Long-term Short-term


Managed Services and Professional Services


Avoid IT Managed Services Provider Challenges by Working With a Reliable Partner

For small and medium-sized businesses aiming for long-term sustainability, effectively overcoming IT managed services challenges is crucial. These challenges, if not addressed properly, can significantly hinder your company’s growth trajectory.

At Propel Technology, we are committed to offering exceptional managed IT services backed by our 57 years of collective industry expertise. We can totally relieve you of your IT burden or offer specialized services on an as-needed basis—all with a keen eye toward respecting your budgetary limitations.


Trustworthy Managed IT Services are Closer Than You Think


Find out how our experience and expertise can help you mitigate IT challenges. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, and propel your business forward.

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