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Managed Services vs Professional IT Services: Which Is Better?

Tech spending has grown to trillions of dollars among US companies. This is largely due to how much consumers expect customized and automated experiences. Even small businesses are starting to invest heavily in technology and alongside that, IT services.

As technology becomes more integral to your daily operations and you consider hiring IT professionals to help you manage ins and outs, you may wonder if managed services or professional services are the better way to go about getting support.

Below, we break down what managed and professional IT services look like. We also share what to keep in mind when investing in them and which may be better for your business.


What Are Managed Services?

When it comes to IT, managed services is a term used to describe a more traditional work arrangement between a company and an external IT team. This arrangement typically includes a contract that keeps IT professionals available for a specified period of time.

During that period, IT professionals will manage a business’s daily technology tasks. That would include general maintenance and occasional larger projects like ingratiating new software.

Note that managed service providers are still contractors. Consequently, companies don’t pay those teams benefits like they would a typical employee.

What Are Professional Services?

Professional services are case-by-case IT service providers. These teams (or sometimes single professionals) act as freelancers that negotiate a rate with you to complete a single project.

For example, say you needed a quick set of additional hands to help with a cloud migration. In that case, professional services would be an excellent option. They could tackle your job without expecting a commitment while managed services would.

Key Differences to Consider

Now that you know what professional and managed services are, let’s focus on key differences to keep in mind when picking one or the other. The primary factors we suggest focusing on when choosing include:


Since professional service providers work on a per-project basis and managed services expect larger contracts, the former is cheaper… At least in the short-term. When you break down how much managed IT services cost over time, you’re likely getting a better rate with that arrangement.


Managed services are the way to go if you’d like something that resembles and in-house IT team without having to pay benefits.

Professional service providers will only see you through a single project. They may also not be available when you want to hire them later due to other short-term commitments.

Only You Can Decide Between Professional and Managed Services

As you’ve come to discover, there’s no answer to whether professional services are better than managed services or the reverse. Each service offers a different experience that suits different businesses.

We hope our brief outline has brought clarity to how you might move forward with onboarding an IT team. Would you like more IT insight? If so, consider checking out additional technology content on our blog!

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