Managed Services Vs Traditional IT Support

Managed Services Vs Traditional IT Support

The purpose of this blog post is to give you an idea of the differences between managed services and traditional IT support. If you are unsure on what is managed services, then please check out this blog post here explaining what is managed services.

If you are sure what managed services are, then read on!

Reactive or proactive

The biggest difference between the two is how the support company typically reacts to the need for support.

Traditional IT Support gives you access to a team of experts who are ready to solve your IT woes. This is typically a reactive support model where the customer would contact the IT support company when something goes wrong, or is not working as expected.

To be fair, there are often some proactive elements in place that will alert the IT Support company such as an alert for a failed backup or the fact that a server has gone down. However, these are normally picked up at the time the event happens or if overnight not responded to until the following morning.

The fix though is reactive in that it is not until it has happened that the IT support company will then attempt to resolve or fix the issue.


Managed Services operate quite differently. A managed service provider is continually and proactively monitoring and making changes to your IT systems to ensure that things do not go wrong in the first place.

There are intelligent systems in place that enable the help desk staff to start working on fixes behind the scenes and ensure you remain productive without ever knowing there could have been a problem in the first place.

Managed Services will also have in place dedicated resources (we call this our ‘Net Admin Team’) that are continually working on improving and streamlining your systems to ensure maximum performance enabling productivity.

The Net Admin team are working on improving your system and not picking up on known problems. The result of course is less problems and less cost.

This is the huge difference between the two types of IT support – Managed Services have dedicated resources for performance and reliability and do not just for responding to problems as they occur.


Pricing for traditional IT Support varies and comes in different flavours. Some negotiate an annual fee for unlimited access to a help desk. These are often then renegotiated each year based on how many calls were previously logged with the support desk.

Some pre-pay for block hours and draw down on them as and when the customer needs them. This offers a low cost entry in IT support and access to a help desk only when you really need it. This model can suit much smaller companies who do not rely on their IT systems being operational in order to do business.
Managed Services pricing is very different. It involves a transparent and fixed monthly fee for only the equipment and devices you have at any time. So if your company unexpectedly downsizes and you lose 5 members of staff who were using PCs there will be direct effect on your costs. You truly only ever pay for what you use in any given month.

In a Managed Service model, help desk tickets are created on your behalf automatically and the same Service level agreement (SLA) response times are applicable (15 mins for business limiting).

It is in the interests of the Managed Service Provider to keep ticket numbers down and response times fast due to the fixed pricing model, keeping your systems working for longer and more efficiently.

On our support PLUS packages we will even include the hardware (servers, workstations and notebooks) that are less than 5 years old in the price, delivering true peace of mind, whatever happens.


So which type of support is right for my business?

The answer is really quite straight forward.

How much does your business rely on your IT systems being operational?

Another way of looking at it is to ask how much money would your business lose if your systems were down for 1 day or even 2 or 3 days?

If your company really does require your IT systems to be up and running in order to serve your clients, then a Managed Service Provider may just be a better choice.

This is even more so if you require 24/7 365 support.

Another reason is that you like to control your costs and know you have that peace of mind support whatever happens.

Smaller companies

However, if you are a smaller company that does not really have a budget for IT support then a pay as go model with pre-paid models will suit your budget and your needs much better.

You may sit somewhere in between and would just like access to a help desk 9-5 Monday to Friday and are happy with the reactive nature due to the fact that your business is not wholly reliant on your IT systems. In this case you may prefer a traditional break and fix support company of which there are many.

So whatever your company size and IT support requirements we hope that this has proven to be a useful guide to understanding the key differences between Managed Services and Traditional IT Support.

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