What are Managed IT Services? | ConnectWise (2023)

What are managed IT services? They’re the key to helping your clients grow and scale their businesses.

More specifically, however, they’re information technology tasks handled by a third-party vendor. Small to medium businesses can leverage these services on a subscription basis to elevate their companies to the same level as the industry giants in their field at a fraction of the cost.

From computers and phones to networks and passwords,many tech systems keepsmall-medium businesses (SMBs)running andtheirdata safe. But many SMBs don’t have the time,talent, or money to handle these systems in-house.

That’s where managed IT services come in.

Benefits of managed IT services

The biggest corporations in the world make IT a priority. They can build out first-class internal IT teams because they pull in the appropriate revenue to do so. As a result, SMBs are faced with the challenge of finding a solution to fill that gap and level the playing field. When put in this position, smart business owners leverage managed IT services.

Here is just a quick rundown of what leveraging third-party IT experts can do for you.

Reduce IT spending

With the help of MSPs, SMBs can reap the benefits of IT support at a much lower cost compared to creating a comparable internal team. Small to medium business owners can pay for the services they need when they need them through a subscription-based model, allowing them to scale as needed.

Contracting managed IT services out to an MSP also makes internal budgeting and expense tracking easier. Organizations can forecast their monthly, quarterly, and yearly expenditure on IT since the costs of MSP subscription packages are generally fixed and consistent. This frees SMBs to focus on more mission-critical tasks like business development or marketing.

Leverage expert knowledge

Another benefit of managed IT is the breadth of expertise MSPs can bring to your organization. These professionals possess in-depth expertise on things like effective cybersecurity policies, industry compliance, and knowledge from real-world experience.

An MSP’s intricate cybersecurity and regulatory compliance knowledge are invaluable tools for mitigating a client’s risk. As the go-to experts in charge of a company’s managed IT support, MSPs are always up-to-date on the latest information, technologies, and processes that will keep your infrastructure working efficiently and successfully well into the future.

(Video) Managed Services Solutions | What is Managed IT Services?

For some business sectors, like finance, healthcare, and education, regulatory compliance is mandatory. Strict regulations that govern data management, storage, and overall cybersecurity in these industries require the expertise and experience that a managed IT company can provide.

MSPs regularly work with standards such as PCI compliance and should be able to advise an organization on the parameters and regulations for their industry. Additionally, MSPs can offer a wealth of experience compared to other previous cybersecurity management services with multiple client accounts that in-house teams would not have.

Dependable service

Not only do your clients experience the skills of an MSP, but they also benefit from your resources. Finding the skilled talent to build an internal IT team can be bad enough. Most business owners also forget that IT operations are resource-intensive as well.

Partnering with a third-party MSP can make services more dependable and reduce interruptions. Furthermore, vendor-client SLAs clarify what’s to be expected and when to expect it, making both IT services and utility services (electricity, internet, etc.) reliable.

Clients also receive the added benefit of a dedicated IT professional. Internal IT teams may have to balance the workload of several different responsibilities. Hiring an MSP means clients receive your sole focus on the health, maintenance, and performance of their IT system. Fewer distractions mean you can provide them the first-class service they deserve around the clock.

More definitions for managed IT services

Agent—Asmall program MSPs use to gather information remotely about the status of machines and devices. Once installed, MSPs can manage systems, update programs, and resolve issuesfaster.Agents are integral to providing clients with a framework for their entire IT estate.

Backup and disaster recovery (BDR)—A combination of data backup and disaster recovery solutions that works cohesively to ensure an organization's critical business functions will continue to operate despite serious incidents or disasters and will be recovered to an operational state within a reasonably short period.

Break/fix—An older, reactive style for delivering IT services and repairs to organizations in a fee-for-service framework. Essentially, a client contacts a break/fix technician to request upgrades, maintenance, or resolve issues after they’ve already occurred. In the break/fix model, technicians bill customers on a “per service” basis after completing the work.

Fully managed IT services—Services coupled with aNetwork Operations Centerto monitor systems proactively, resolve issues and perform work with a level of expertise and efficiency unparalleled to other solutions.

Help desk—A service that provides information and technical support to end-users. Some MSPs white label their help desk services to create a smoother client experience.

(Video) Managed IT Services for Business - IT Support Explained

Information technology (IT)—An enterprise solution for storing, transmitting, creating, and using data through computing devices,networks,and telecommunications.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)—An MSP offering for SMBs. It includesvirtualized hardware over a cloud computing environment, such as server space, network connections, IP addresses, load balancers, and other computer infrastructurethat allowclientstobuild their own platforms.

Internet of Things(IoT)—The emergent network of tangible objects and products that contain software, sensors, and connectivity to theinternetorprivate networks and can exchange information based on standards set forth by theInternational Telecommunication Union's Global Standards Initiative.

In-houseIT managed services—When an organization hires its own IT service providers and pays their salary, benefits, further training, and the network infrastructure they monitor. This is typically acostly endeavor. Businesses that try to procure in-house ITmanaged servicesoftenlack the capabilities to service their system entirely. Choosing to build out a full, internal IT team can hinder an organization’s overall business management and affect the business’s ability to grow and scale.

IT channel—An industry-exclusive marketplace where VARs, MSPs, and OEMs provide platforms, products,and services to end-users by partnering with hardware and software vendors.

Labor arbitrage—The phenomenon of decreasing end costs by utilizing the abundant labor forces, education, and training of untapped global workforces.

Managed IT services—IT tasks and processes fulfilled by a third-party organization rather than an internal IT team.

Managed service provider (MSP)—An IT professional (or IT organization) that offers managed IT solutions for various SMBs. Their core focus is supporting customer IT needs. A managed service provider, however, differs slightly from an MSSP (see below), and it’s essential to make that distinction. MSSPs also include a cybersecurity focus. An MSP+ may add basic cybersecurity to their services, but the offerings aren’t as robust as MSSP offerings.

Managed service and security provider (MSSP)—AnIT professional (or IT organization) that offers managed IT services for a variety of SMBs. MSSPs meet the same IT needs as MSPs, butwith the addition of cybersecurity services like firewalls, endpoint protection, email filtering, and more. MSSPs provide 24/7 protection to combat security breaches and other cybersecurity issues.Click here to read moreabout the difference between MSP, MSP+, and MSSP.

Mobile device management (MDM)—A security platform used to monitor, manage, and secure employees' mobile devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.) deployed across multiple mobile service providers and operating systems in an organization.MDM is a vital tool in helping MSPs stop social engineering attacks on their clients and preventing human error’s impact on network safety and cybersecurity.

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Remote monitoring and management (RMM)—A centralized platform that uses a collection of services and tools to monitor, manage and deploy solutions to servers and endpoint devices utilizing agent software installed on endpoint systems.

Service-level agreement (SLA)—A contract between a vendor and a client that specifies what the vendor will deliver in what timeframe and the criteria for measuring vendor success.

Small-and medium-sized business (SMB)—On average, a company or organization with 100 or fewer employees is considered small; 100-999 employees are medium-sized. IT channel partners often seek SMB organizations as clients.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)—Sometimes referred to as “software on demand,” SaaS platforms license or distribute software to various customers on a “pay-as-you-go” subscription basis. SaaS software applications are centrally hosted by their provider and accessed by end-users via a cloud-based interface.

Value-added reseller (VAR)—An organization that adds services or features to a product and then resells it as a new product or solution.

Ultimately, there are a variety of components to what a managed service provider is and does. As a business owner, you’ll need to fill the roles of a network operations center (NOC), a security operations center (SOC), a help desk, and more.

With so many roles to fill, choosing an MSP can feel overwhelming. Most small to medium business owners opt for integrated IT services – a convenient platform that provides all of these packages into one.

ConnectWise offers easy-to-understand packages for this service, and we’re always happy to assist, even if you have general questions. Feel free to drop us a line any time!

History of managed IT services

At the outset of enterprise computing, information technology services and managementwereon a break/fix basis. A technician would come out to fix managed computer systems only after they stopped working. Often, this technician was the same person who built or installed the computer system.

From this point, computer manufacturing continued to grow to the point where large corporations like IBM, Microsoft, and Apple took over. The small IT dealer was left to focus less on manufacturing and more on break/fix IT services. This method of maintenance was time-consuming, labor-intensive, costly,and reactive. It left little room for the technician to grow their business or take on new clients without massive investments in labor and infrastructure.

(Video) How To Sell Managed Services (Part 1)

The number of computers in the overall marketplace would continue to increase exponentially year after year. The gap between techniciansand thenumberof computers they could reasonably service grew wider and wider. As a result, managed IT services emerged inthe early 2000sto meet this need, representing a massive shift from the traditional break/fix model.

This new, proactive approach to IT was heralded for attempting to conduct proactive maintenance, upgrades, system monitoring,and issue resolution on a routine basis – to preventproblems before they start. Automationincreasedinternet capabilities,and cloud computing allowedremotemonitoring and issue resolution, enabling more efficient processes and a consolidation of resources.

Efficiency, consolidated resources,and client satisfaction – coupled with fixed rates, the ability to offer greater service offerings,andthe abilitytotake onmoreclientele – led tomanaged ITbecoming the industry-standard approach to managing computer systems large and small for SMBs.

Managed IT services tools for MSPs

MSPs have come a long way from the early days of managed IT services. Now, these experts have a range of IT expertise and tools to resolve issues efficiently.MSPs can provide“white glove” service to more clients than ever before using these modern and ever-evolving processes, tools, and software.

For example,professional services automation (PSA) softwareis built for MSPs to organize their operations. Everything from project management and help desk services to reporting and billing all happens in one place, helping MSPs save time and do more for their customers.

Other tools help MSPs provide managed IT services 24/7/365. As defined above,RMM and BDR tools can work togetherto identify and fix issues before clients are even aware. Client data remains safe and secure, and many problems are handled remotely. In the end, these tools allow MSPs to keep client costs down while providing better service, allowing clients to operate their businesses – and live their lives – with peace of mind.

The managed IT services model

MSP services are typically offered at a flat,recurring rate in tiered levels. As service levels increase, clients receive greater automation and management per their specified service level agreement.Customers or end-users only pay for the services they requireand can increase or decrease their service tier based on business needs and demand.

End users pay foroff-site services, such as remote monitoring and management, help desk solutions, backup and disaster recovery, and more. While some business owners and managers may see these services as additional expenses, these services should actually be considered essential operating expenses to maintain core business functionality.

IT managed services enable customersto run their businesses more smoothly and efficiently than otherwise possible. Additionally, they offer SaaS-based solutions at a price that in-house options can’t beat.

Contrary to what you might think, managed IT services do not necessarily make internal IT professionals obsolete. For the enduser, an IT professional can act as an endpoint liaison that manages the relationship, provides feedback,and analyzes the reports provided by the MSP. Because theMSP is completing most of the routine work, the IT professional is capable of greater efficiencyandtheflexibility to tacklemore extensive, complex projects they would otherwise not have the time or capacity to handle.Since MSPs allow SMBs to free up these workforce resources, MSPs become a valuable resource to businesses at any size and during any stage of their growth.

(Video) What Is Managed Services?

Mastering managed IT services

Managed IT services are constantly in-demand. Understanding the industry's framework, history, and terminology is essential to providing clients with the service they deserve. The space can be competitive, but it’s nothing to be intimidated by. Partnering with the right MSP vendor can make all the difference.

ConnectWise can offer you a full suite of MSP software platforms and tools. Let our team of experts help you handle everything from your remote management and monitoring to your professional services automation.

We’re here to see you succeed in this industry, so feel free to reach out to us any time and leverage our years of expertise to elevate your MSP business. You can also leverage the knowledge of your peers – fellow experts within the MSP industry.


What is meant by managed services in IT? ›

Managed IT services are tasks handled by a third party, frequently in the context of business information technology services. The managed services model is a way to offload general tasks to an expert in order to reduce costs, improve service quality, or free internal teams to do work that's specific to their business.

What are managed services examples? ›

Examples of managed services include application and infrastructure management to provide connectivity, network monitoring, security, virtualization, and disaster recovery. In addition, managed services may also include storage, desktop and communications, mobility, help desk, and technical support.

What services are included in an IT MSP? ›

A managed service provider (MSP) delivers services, such as network, application, infrastructure and security, via ongoing and regular support and active administration on customers' premises, in their MSP's data center (hosting), or in a third-party data center.

What is a managed service in ITIL? ›

A managed IT service is an information technology (IT) task provided by a third-party contractor and delivered to a customer.

Is AWS an MSP? ›

The AWS Managed Service Provider (MSP) program validates AWS Partners with a proven track record and experience, providing end-to-end AWS solutions to customers at any stage of the cloud journey, including planning and design, building and migration, operations and support, and automation and optimization.

What is the difference between SaaS and managed service? ›

Managed services are different. While SaaS provides companies with software that they can use over the cloud (with all of the attendant benefits), managed services go a step further and often offer additional support by taking care of both networking and hardware requirements.

What are the most common managed services? ›

From a high level, common services include managed networks, network security, managed print services, and more. Services under these larger categories could consist of firewall solutions, data backups, reporting and data analytics, and more.

Is Office 365 a managed service? ›

Office 365 managed services help maintain the sustainable operation of Office 365 solutions. The managed services cover user help desk, administration of the Office 365 ecosystem, Office 365 implementation or evolution, including customization, integration and migration.

Is Azure a managed service? ›

Azure Managed Services Overview

Through Azure Managed Services, one can make their business brought to the cloud and seamlessly perform various operations to enhance the business core values. It provides multiple functions that organizations can opt for according to their business needs.

Is Microsoft a MSP? ›

The Azure Expert Managed Service Provider (MSP) program is a new global initiative from Microsoft to highlight and promote only the most capable partners. Helping companies identify the top partners to work with.

Is Google an MSP? ›

For you, with you—managing the Google Cloud experience

As a Google Cloud Managed Service Provider (MSP), we can work with you at every step in the cloud journey—from determining your vision, strategy, and first steps to providing ongoing maintenance, enhancement, and support of your extended Google Cloud ecosystem.

What do IT managed services companies do? ›

What Does Managed IT Services Mean? Managed services is ongoing support provided by an IT service provider, for a fixed monthly fee. It involves proactive monitoring and maintenance along with priority support and user and device management, to keep IT systems operating at peak performance.

What is difference between ITSM and ITIL? ›

The most basic answer is that ITSM is the actual practice, or professional discipline, of managing IT operations as a service, while ITIL is a set of best practices that provide guidance for ITSM—but that just covers the basics.

Why do you need managed IT services? ›

Managed IT services benefits allow you to stay focused on expanding your business' core competencies, while a managed services vendor can help you with day-to-day tasks of more time consuming and complex projects such as: Data center solutions. Cloud computing. Disaster recovery planning.

Is ServiceNow a managed service? ›

ServiceNow managed services cover consulting and technical activities related to the platform, including advisory, implementation, and support. Since 2010, ScienceSoft offers end-to-end ServiceNow managed services to maintain the efficiency and relevance of your ServiceNow solution.

Is Accenture a MSP? ›

Comprehensive, fully managed security in the cloud. Accenture's Managed Security service offerings can help your organization achieve operational resilience in the AWS cloud.

Is Salesforce a MSP? ›

Unconventional yet the most important benefits of hiring a Salesforce Managed Services Provider(MSP) Salesforce is undoubtedly the most powerful and versatile technology used by businesses today.

Is Cisco a MSP? ›

Cisco offers MSPs a comprehensive and integrated portfolio of fast-to-deploy, easy- to-manage, quickly scalable, and secure solutions that: Help get MSPs out of the vendor management business and put time back in their day to focus on growing their practices.

Does AWS have managed services? ›

AWS Managed Services (AMS) helps you adopt AWS at scale and operate more efficiently and securely. We leverage standard AWS services and offer guidance and execution of operational best practices with specialized automations, skills, and experience that are contextual to your environment and applications.

Is managed services the same as outsourcing? ›

Managed services might help with large internal projects or offer new strategies to help you develop a powerful, secure IT approach. In comparison, outsourcing handles more specific, one-time tasks like fixing problems as they appear.

Is AWS S3 an AWS managed service? ›

AWS provides many different "managed services" like S3 (data storage), EC2 (compute), etc. From the AWS perspective, they are managing the underlying physical equipment and architecture.

What industries need managed IT services? ›

  • Healthcare.
  • Industrial & Manufacturing.
  • Country Clubs.
  • Small & Medium-Sized Business.
  • Skilled Trades Sector.

How do you choose a managed IT services provider? ›

10 Things to Look for in a Managed Services Provider
  1. Availability.
  2. Fast Service and Response Time.
  3. Annual IT Budget Planning.
  4. Disaster Recovery Planning.
  5. Third-Party Vendor Partnerships.
  6. Local On-Site Maintenance and Support.
  7. Daily Backups and Cloud Services.
  8. Security Testing & Monitoring.
10 May 2022

Are managed IT services worth IT? ›

Managed IT services are one of the most cost-effective ways to maintain your IT environment if you're a small or medium-sized business. Here are some examples of how working with a managed IT services provider (MSP) makes the most of the money you spend on technology: Managed IT services fees are predictable.

What is the difference between cloud and managed services? ›

At the most basic level, the main difference is that MSPs manage technology and infrastructure that you own while CSPs offer access to technology and infrastructure that they own. Whether you choose an MSP or CSP depends on your current capabilities, your plans for growth, and of course, your specific business needs.

What is managed services in Microsoft? ›

A managed services provider supports your Microsoft Azure systems and applications, or helps you extend your capabilities. An MSP provides knowledgeable insights to help you determine what you need, designs your ideal cloud solution, manages your migration, and then provides ongoing management and optimization support.

Is Cisco a managed service provider? ›

Cisco's Managed Services also provides expertise in managing data center technologies. Our managed services offer for the data center helps you increase the operational efficiency of your data center and create a more efficient infrastructure for your users.

What is managed services AWS? ›

AWS Managed Services is a set of services and tools that automate infrastructure management tasks for Amazon Web Services (AWS) deployments. The service is aimed at large enterprises that want a simplified way to migrate on-premises workloads to the public cloud and then manage those workloads after migration.

Is IBM a managed service provider? ›

IBM®Managed Security Services can augment your security program with tailored services, including threat, cloud, infrastructure, data, identity and response management.

Is Oracle a managed service provider? ›

Oracle Managed IaaS Service: Complete 24/7 lifecycle management including provisioning, management, patching, backups, maintenance, and access control for all guest VMs and associated operating systems.

What is the best MSP software? ›

The Best MSP Software of 2022
  • Pulseway: Best for Real-Time Ticketing.
  • Atera: Best for Scripting.
  • ManageEngine: Best for Endpoint Management.
  • Addigy: Best for Apple Devices.
  • Auvik: Best for Mapping.
  • LogicMonitor: Best for Legacy Tools.
  • Kaseya: Best One-Stop Shop.
  • ConnectWise: Best for Disaster Recovery.
12 Oct 2022

What is MSP and how does IT work? ›

MSP is price fixed by Government of India to protect the producer - farmers - against excessive fall in price during bumper production years. The minimum support prices are a guarantee price for their produce from the Government.

What is the difference between MSI and MSP? ›

Most Windows patches are sent as . MSP files. This extension is also used for Microsoft Paint bitmap files. MSI files install computer code, whereas EXE files can be any file that runs on a Windows computer.

Why do companies use MSPs? ›

MSPs adapt to the ever-changing needs of the client and provide the necessary service. They value their clients by giving them the IT services that their business requires. MSPs have a staff of IT experts ready to help you any time of the day. This removes downtime and increases productivity.

Is MSP a project management tool? ›

Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) is a methodology that comprises a set of principles and processes for use when managing a programme. A programme is made up of a specific set of projects identified by an organisation that together will deliver some defined objective, or set of objectives, for the organisation.

What are some common MSP tools and platforms used? ›

Essential MSP Tools for Growth
  • General Tools.
  • Professional Services Automation (PSA) Tools.
  • Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) Tools.
  • Patch Management Automation Tools.

What is the purpose of IT services? ›

IT services refers to the application of business and technical expertise to enable organizations in the creation, management and optimization of or access to information and business processes.

What makes a good MSP? ›

An MSP's focus should be on making their offerings the best of the best. For example, some MSPs may work at offering the strongest network maintenance to the various industries surrounding them. Once MSPs have become masters of their technology they can apply it to many verticals.

What are the 4 P's of ITSM? ›

The 4 Ps of Service Design

People. Products. Partners. Processes.

What is replacing ITIL? ›

DevOps can replace ITIL

Because while IT departments may move away from ITIL training and process silos, they still need to do some aspects of service management. Operations.

What are the 5 stages of ITIL? ›

To recap, there are five main stages of ITIL: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operations, and Continual Service Improvement.

Is splunk a managed service? ›

A paradigm change for Splunk Managed Services

The end result for Splunk customers is a managed service offering that is purpose-built to enable organizations to maximize their investments in Splunk, while also dramatically reducing costs associated with operating the platform.

Is ServiceNow an ITIL tool? ›

ServiceNow, the industry's leading ITSM platform, was built using ITIL best practices. That means that when you choose ServiceNow to implement ITSM, you're automatically injecting ITIL best practices into your operations.

Is Salesforce a managed service provider? ›

Salesforce Managed Services is a flexible, scalable, and economic solution to maintain and realize your investment — without the need to hire additional full-time, dedicated employees.

What are managed services in Accenture? ›

Accenture provides the full spectrum of infrastructure managed services including managing, hosting, migrating and evolving your infrastructure on-premises and in the cloud.
  • Cloud & data center. ...
  • Network. ...
  • Digital workplace. ...
  • Database platforms. ...
  • Security. ...
  • Service management.

What does managed service mean in AWS? ›

AWS Managed Services (AMS) helps you adopt AWS at scale and operate more efficiently and securely. We leverage standard AWS services and offer guidance and execution of operational best practices with specialized automations, skills, and experience that are contextual to your environment and applications.

Is TCS a managed service provider? ›

TCS provides round-the-clock, high-quality Managed Services for Contact Center and Unified Communications environments, covering the entire technology stack, including hardware, software, third party components, and applications.

What are the benefits of managed IT? ›

The benefits of managed IT services include cost-savings, round-the-clock IT services and support and reduced strain on your in-house IT staff to become experts in the myriad applications your organization uses on a daily basis.

What are the benefits of an MSP? ›

MSP: 5 major Benefits of a Managed Service Provider
  • Cost saving and easier Budgeting.
  • Access to the Experts.
  • Proactive Support and Quick Response time.
  • Ready infrastructure.
  • Better Business Focus.

Is Amazon S3 a managed service? ›

AWS provides many different "managed services" like S3 (data storage), EC2 (compute), etc. From the AWS perspective, they are managing the underlying physical equipment and architecture.

Is lambda a managed service? ›

AWS Lambda is a fully managed service that takes care of all the infrastructure for you.


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