Managed IT vs In-House: How To Choose The Right Tech Support

Running a modern business means becoming data-driven. But managing the maze of systems underpinning operations brings nonstop headaches for most companies. So when should organizations enlist outside managed IT services versus keeping technical support functions handled completely in-house? This guide examines primary advantages and downsides of both pathways to chart the ideal course for your needs.

Clarifying the Role of Managed Service Providers

In the managed services model, companies delegate aspects of infrastructure support like security or system maintenance to dedicated external experts available 24/7. This is structured through subscription-based contracts.

Common technology areas managed by service providers include:

  • Monitoring network performance to catch brewing issues early
  • Ongoing maintenance like patches, upgrades, optimizations
  • Incident response support assisting internal teams to diagnose issues
  • Security protections plus compliance policy guidance

The goal? Alleviate overstretched in-house IT crews from complexity overload to realign their focus on innovative projects driving overall business strategy rather than fighting daily fires. MSP partnerships provide built-in backup.

Weighing the Core Benefits of Managed Services

image showing benefits of managed services

Key managed IT services advantages include:

1. 24/7 Expert Oversight & Optimization

Round-the-clock system tracking by central Network Operations Centers (NOCs) catch problems faster than in-house staff alone typically can. Technicians stay on top of infrastructure even during off-hours.

2. Access to Cutting-Edge Enterprise-Grade Tools

Robust security platforms, advanced data backup solutions, and other emerging capabilities often exceed what resource-constrained IT teams can afford to roll out alone. Partner expertise assists applying these most efficiently.

3. Accelerating Strategic Technology Initiatives

Relieving overburdened internal groups from maintenance fire drills on managed functions lets them redirect efforts toward long-term initiatives tightly aligned with business goals. Extra bandwidth goes straight to the top priority.

Factors to Consider Around Potential Managed Services Downsides

Delegating technology oversight also comes with common caveats like:

  • Losing some direct control over system configurations
  • Potential short-term process disruptions transitioning between different providers
  • Vetting each partner’s staff training protocols and security levels

Selecting MSPs backed by proven methodologies minimizes risks while benefiting from their economies of scale. Require evidence of past customer success and longevity.

Unique In-House IT Crew Benefits

However, expanding internal IT staff also carries perks:

  • Custom-tailoring systems to specialized workplace needs
  • Applying policies attuned to company culture norms
  • Retaining operational insights between third-party vendor swaps

The ideal balance comes down to objectively assessing where existing resources fall short versus strategic goals requiring internal customization based on institutional knowledge. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer across every business.

Key Factors Impacting Managed Service Decisions

Choosing between managed and in-house IT support depends on aspects like:

1. Company Size and Direction

Larger entities often customize certain functions in-house while outsourcing specialized niches to MSPs. Small groups lacking security expertise utilize partners more extensively.

2. Current Team Skill Levels

Can today’s staff realistically maintain essential infrastructure as complexity soars exponentially across solutions? If not, which functions make sense becoming managed?

3. Leadership Preferences Around Oversight

Some cultures value retaining tight technological control while others welcome delegating undifferentiated work to partners so their team focuses on what really moves the needle for operations.

4. Comparing Budgeting Approaches

Salary, legacy system maintenance, and training costs tie directly to headcount. Managed subscriptions create smoother operating expenditures able to flexibly scale up/down.

Regularly reassessing business objectives, risk environments, and existing capabilities points toward ideal support balance.

Blending Both Through Hybrid Partnerships

Rather than treating managed services as an all-or-nothing decision, hybrid models strategically divide responsibilities to get the best of both worlds.

Common pathways include:

  • Frontlining help desk intake through MSPs before routing certain issues internally
  • Outtasking specialized niches like security operations centers
  • Handling routine maintenance via external experts while strategizing major initiatives in-house

Consciously mapping out technology divisions this way maximizes human capital all around.


While relying fully on MSPs or in-house staff carry unique advantages, deliberately blending both frameworks unlocks flexibility to sustain excellence amid business growth. Defining the right combination to meet current challenges…and the road ahead…enables strategic success.


If budgets are tight, which essential technology functions make most sense moving to a managed model?

Start by delegating specialized domains like security, data protection/disaster recovery, and performance monitoring for proactive insights. This cost-effectively equips growing teams.

What criteria should be used to evaluate potential managed IT partners thoroughly?

Require proven experience specifically within your industry, verify third-party audits of their facilities/security practices, get client references, check retention rates, and scrutinize SLA commitments closely pre-contract.

Picture of Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel is an engineer turned business owner of WPG Consulting. He is a techie enthusiast who believes in finding creative IT solutions to solve consumer problems.

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