Managed IT Services Explained: Key for Business Success

Relia Software

Relia Software

Duc Toan

Relia Software


Managed IT services involve fully or partially outsourcing the day-to-day management of your IT infrastructure to a qualified managed service provider (MSPs).

Managed IT Services Explained

Table of Contents

Feeling overwhelmed by the ever-growing demands of IT management for your business? Managed IT services might be your secret weapon. In simple terms, managed IT services are like having a 24/7 dedicated IT team monitoring your technology infrastructure.

In this blog, we will delve into the world of managed IT services from definition to the different types available, and practical tips for choosing the right provider for your business. Finally, ensure your technology is a powerful asset, not a burden.

>> Read more: The Comparison of Staff Augmentation VS Managed Services

What are Managed IT Services?

Managed IT services involve fully or partially outsourcing the day-to-day management of your IT infrastructure to a qualified service provider. Often based remotely, this provider (often called Managed Service Provider (MSP)) takes care of a wide range of IT tasks. By using managed IT services, you can free up your valuable time and resources to focus on running your core business.

A Brief History of Managed IT Services


  • With the rise of personal computers in workplaces, the need for IT support beyond basic installation increased.

  • The "break-fix" model was used in this era, where technicians were called in to address specific issues.

Late 1990s

  • Application Service Providers (ASPs) emerge, offering remote application management (early step towards proactive IT).

Early 2000s

  • Boom of managed IT services with comprehensive packages, including maintenance, monitoring, and security.

  • Fixed-fee service agreements increasingly replaced break-fix models, reducing costs and encouraging preventative maintenance.

Presence (2020s)

  • Managed services are mainstream, offering various models for navigating complex IT & security.

What are Managed IT Services?
What are Managed IT Services? (Source: Internet)

Benefits and Drawbacks of Managed IT Services


  • Increased Efficiency and Focus: Offloading IT management frees up internal IT staff and allows businesses to focus on core tasks.

  • Cost Savings: Managed services offer predictable costs with fixed monthly fees, potentially lower than hiring a full-time IT team.

  • Enhanced Expertise: MSPs have access to specialized skills and experience, ensuring best practices and leveraging the latest technology.

  • Improved Security: Managed IT services often include robust security solutions, proactive threat monitoring, and incident response expertise.

  • 24/7 Support: Many suppliers provide 24/7 monitoring and support, ensuring quick problem resolution and peace of mind.

  • Scalability: Services can be easily scaled up or down as business needs evolve, eliminating the need to invest in additional hardware or software upfront.

  • Access to New Technologies: MSPs stay updated on the latest technologies and can advise businesses on implementing them effectively.


  • Loss of Control: Businesses transfer some control over their IT infrastructure to the service provider. Choosing a trustworthy partner is crucial.

  • Vendor Lock-In: Switching providers can be complex if the service provider uses proprietary software or custom configurations. Careful contract negotiation is essential.

  • Hidden Costs: While overall costs may be lower, there might be additional charges for specific services not included in the base package.

  • Potential Communication Issues: Clear communication and a well-defined service level agreement are critical to avoid misunderstandings between the business and the provider.

  • Security Concerns: It's vital to ensure the provider has robust security practices and data protection measures in place.

Types of Managed IT Services

Managed IT services offer a wide range of solutions that meet urgent business needs. Here's are some common types:

  • Full-Service Management: This comprehensive model takes over complete responsibility for your IT infrastructure, including network management, security, server maintenance, hardware/software updates, and user support.

  • Co-Managed IT Services: This collaborative approach allows your internal IT team to work with the service provider. While leveraging MSP's expertise, you can still maintain some internal control over specific functions.

  • Security-Focused Services: Beyond basic firewalls and antivirus, these services protect your business with advanced threat detection, vulnerability management, incident response, and ongoing security monitoring.

  • Network Management Services: This may involve tasks such as monitoring networks, managing configurations, and optimizing traffic. MSPs enhance and upkeep your network infrastructure, guarantee seamless data flow, top-notch performance, and utmost security. 

  • Cloud Services Management: MSPs provide specialized services for managing and optimizing cloud-based resources like storage, applications, and infrastructure. This can include cloud cost optimisation, performance monitoring, and security management.

  • Helpdesk and User Support: This service provides a specialized helpdesk for your staff, offering technical assistance, troubleshooting, and resolving issues related to software, hardware, or network connectivity.

  • Data Backup and Disaster Recovery (DR): Data loss can be catastrophic. MSPs offer secure data backup solutions and comprehensive disaster recovery plans to ensure business continuity in case of unforeseen events.

  • Managed Printing Services (MPS): This service takes care of all aspects of your printing needs, including printer maintenance, toner or ink cartridge replacement, and print server management. This helps reduce costs and increase printer uptime.

  • Compliance Management: Certain industries have strict data privacy and security regulations. MSPs offer expertise in navigating compliance requirements like HIPAA or PCI DSS, helping businesses avoid hefty fines and reputational damage.

  • Managed Communication Services: This service streamlines your communication infrastructure. It includes managing phone systems, email servers, and collaboration tools, ensuring reliable communication channels for your business.

  • IT Assessment and Planning: You need to evaluate your current IT infrastructure and have a future plan? MSPs will help to identify gaps and weaknesses, and create a strategic IT roadmap for your business.

  • Office Relocation/Network Migration: Relocating your office or migrating to a new network can be complex. Providers will ensure a smooth transition and minimize downtime.

  • Technology Implementations: Looking to implement a new software system or cloud solution? MSPs can assist with project management, configuration, and user training to ensure a successful implementation.

Pricing Models of Managed IT Services

Managed IT service providers (MSPs) employ various pricing models. Here's a breakdown of common pricing structures:

Per-Device Pricing

Cost is based on the number of devices under the provider's management (e.g., desktops, laptops, servers, network devices).

  • Pros: Straightforward pricing for businesses with a predictable number of devices.

  • Cons: Doesn't account for device complexity or user support needs.

Per-User Pricing

Cost is based on the number of users who require IT support.

  • Pros: Scales well with business growth and reflects the level of user support required.

  • Cons: May not account for variations in user needs or device types.

Tiered Pricing

Offers different service packages with varying levels of support and features at different price points. Example Tiers: Basic (monitoring, patching), Standard (adds user support), Premium (comprehensive security and advanced services).

  • Pros: Allows businesses to choose a package that aligns with their specific needs and budget.

  • Cons: Carefully evaluate inclusions and exclusions within each tier to avoid hidden costs.

Fixed Monthly Fee

A single, all-inclusive price for a predetermined set of services.

  • Pros: Predictable budgeting and avoids surprises in your monthly IT bill.

  • Cons: Less flexibility for businesses with fluctuating IT needs. May not cover unexpected service requirements.

Popular Use Cases: Who Can Benefit from Managed IT Services?

Here are some specific use cases that highlight businesses who can benefit significantly from partnering with an MSP:

Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs)

  • Challenge: Limited internal IT resources and expertise.

  • Solution: MSPs offer a wide range of IT skills and ongoing support in a cost-effective way, eliminating the need for a dedicated in-house IT team.

  • Benefits: Improved security posture, proactive maintenance, increased uptime, and access to specialized skills for growth.

Businesses with Rapid Growth

  • Challenge: IT infrastructure needs to scale quickly to support expanding operations.

  • Solution: MSPs offer flexible service models that can be easily scaled up or down as your business grows, ensuring your IT infrastructure keeps pace.

  • Benefits: Reduced burden on internal IT staff, streamlined IT management, and access to the latest technologies to support growth.

Businesses with Complex IT Environments

  • Challenge: Managing a mix of on-premise and cloud-based solutions can be challenging.

  • Solution: MSPs have expertise in managing hybrid IT environments, ensuring optimal performance and security across your entire infrastructure.

  • Benefits: Improved infrastructure management, reduced complexity, and access to skilled professionals who can manage diverse technologies.

Businesses with Industry Regulations

  • Challenge: Strict data privacy and security regulations require specialized knowledge and adherence.

  • Solution: MSPs can provide expertise in navigating compliance regulations specific to your industry (e.g., HIPAA for healthcare).

  • Benefits: Reduced risk of compliance violations, improved data security posture, and ensure your IT infrastructure meets regulatory standards.

Businesses with Limited IT Budget

  • Challenge: Investing in a full-time IT team can be expensive.

  • Solution: Managed IT services offer a greater range of expertise at predictable monthly fees, maybe lower than hiring a specialised IT team.

  • Benefits: Improved cost-effectiveness, and the ability to free up resources for core business functions.

Businesses with Remote Workforces

  • Challenge: Managing IT needs for a geographically dispersed workforce can be complex.

  • Solution: MSPs have the tools and expertise to provide secure remote access, manage user devices, and offer efficient support for remote employees.

  • Benefits: Increased remote team cooperation and communication, data security, and IT administration.

businesses can benefit significantly from partnering with an MSP
Businesses can benefit significantly from partnering with an MSP. (Source: Internet)

How To Choose A Suitable Managed IT Service Provider?

Choosing the proper managed IT service provider (MSP) can boost corporate efficiency, security, and peace of mind. Choosing one from so many options might be challenging. This guide gives you some tips for choosing the right MSP.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Experience: Choose an MSP with a proven track record and experience serving your industry's businesses. Ask about their experience with similar-sized companies and their expertise in your specific technologies.

  • Certifications: Providers with industry-recognized certifications are committed to quality and expertise.

  • Service Offerings: Ensure the provider offers a full range of services that meet your business needs. Consider core services like network management, security, user assistance, and data backup or other specialized services.

  • Pricing Model: Pricing transparency is crucial. Learn about service packages and hidden fees (if any). Depending on your budget and demands, choose your suitable one amongst the aforementioned models.

  • References: Request references from previous clients and contact them directly to gain honest feedback on the provider's performance, responsiveness, and customer service.

  • Security Practices: Evaluate their security protocols, data protection measures, and disaster recovery plan. Ensure they prioritize data security and have a proven track record of client data protection.

  • Communication Style: Choose an open-communicating supplier. Assess their response time and preferred communication means (phone, email, etc).

Tips for Evaluating Potential Providers

  • Conduct Interviews: Interview shortlisted MSPs to discuss your needs and ask detailed questions. Assess their knowledge of your business, their proposed solutions, and problem-solving style.

  • Request Proposals (RFPs): Create a Request for Proposal (RFP) for your IT needs and budget. Compare shortlisted suppliers' service offerings, price structures, and solutions for your scenario.

  • Check Online Reviews: Find out what other companies thought of the MSPs by reading reviews on reputable websites.

My advice: Don't pick the first MSP you come across. Be patient, study, and find a provider you trust and who understands your business needs. A trustworthy MSP helps you grow and succeed with your IT infrastructure.

Brief Comparison: Managed IT Services VS Other Engagement Methods


Managed IT Services (MIS)

In-House IT Team

Break-Fix Model

IT Staff Augmentation

Offshore IT Outsourcing








Predictable Monthly Fees

High (Salaries, Benefits, Training)

Low (Pay per use)

Lower than In-House (Variable)

Potentially Lowest


Broad range of specialists

Limited by in-house staff

Reactive to problems

Targeted skills



Easy to scale up or down

Difficult and time-consuming


Flexible for temporary needs

May require lead time


Proactive monitoring and management

Depends on in-house team's expertise

Reactive security measures

Depends on your chosen provider

Requires strong security protocols


24/7 monitoring and support

Depends on team size and availability

Reactive support when issues arise

Varies depending on contract

Varies depending on provider and location


Can be customized to your needs

Highly customizable



May require some extra effort to work together

I have some recommendations for you:

  • Large, complex businesses: In-house team or Managed Services.
  • Small businesses with limited IT needs: Break-Fix (with caution) or Managed Services.
  • Need specific skills temporarily: IT Staff Augmentation.
  • Cost-sensitive projects: Consider Offshore IT Outsourcing (weigh risks carefully, prioritize experience & portfolio over location).

However, the aforementioned recommendations are just based on my own experience and basic criteria. It's crucial to evaluate your specific needs and priorities to make the best choice for your business.

>> Read more: 


In today's fast-paced digital world, business success requires a stable and secure IT infrastructure. Managed IT services can be your secret weapon, freeing you to focus on core operations while ensuring your technology operate smoothly. By partnering with a qualified MSP, you can access to an expertise pool with proactive maintenance, and robust security solutions, all at a predictable cost.

Don't let IT overwhelm you. Explore managed IT services and unlock the full potential of your technology to drive growth and achieve your business goals. For a free consultation to assess your IT needs, consider partnering with Relia Software, a top IT service provider with over 10 years of experience. We can support your business in a wide range of fields with a competitive price. Don't hestitate to contact us if you have any questions.

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