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The Difference Between Managed Services and Outsourcing

There are a variety of factors that contribute to the success of your Minneapolis business. And one of the most important is your IT infrastructure. It’s your technology that empowers your employees to work efficiently and collaborate as a team. To maintain your network’s performance, however, you need a solution that can keep it in top shape. Both managed services and outsourced IT can help you on this mission, but which is the better choice?

The Difference Between Managed Services and Outsourcing

Managed services and IT outsourcing are often used interchangeably. While these services share some similarities, they are not the same thing. So what’s the difference between managed services and outsourcing? The answer can be found in the definition of these terms.

  • Outsourced IT: Outsourcing covers a wide umbrella of IT tasks, from support to software implementation. Your provider can also be located anywhere in the world, just like a managed services provider. However, outsourcing tends to run on what’s known as a break/fix model, which responds to issues as they impact your operations.
  • Managed Services: Managed services are a more involved and personal type of service that focuses on management. Instead of receiving IT services when something goes wrong, your provider establishes a long-term relationship with your organization to deliver proactive solutions. As a result, these vendors can fix issues before they slow down or stop your operations. 

Essentially, the difference between managed services and outsourcing is proactive vs reactive services. But what does this mean in terms of what you get from each solution? To make it a little easier to understand, we’ve created a list of some of the main differentiators between managed services vs outsourcing.

Specialized Services

Outsourced IT provides a wide variety of services to handle your IT needs. However, these offerings are applied at a surface level, not taking into account the unique differences between your IT and the IT of their other clients. As a result, you get generalized solutions meant to serve a large swath of customers. 

Managed IT support from a Twin Cities managed services provider (MSP), on the other hand, takes a more specialized approach. MSPs like Blue Net work more closely with your organization to understand your IT specifically. Learning the ins and outs of your environment, they are able to deliver customized solutions that work in conjunction with your business goals.

Long-Term Solution

IT outsourcing is mostly done on a short-term basis when you need something done right then and there. This means that the vendor works to solve your problem, and as soon as they’re done, they move on to the next customer. There’s no closer relationship between you and them, which can affect their ability to provide long-lasting solutions.

The difference between managed services and outsourcing is you get a long-term partner with an MSP. Managed services work on an ongoing basis, so your provider is able to establish an ongoing relationship with your organization. This allows the provider’s technicians to familiarize themselves with your infrastructure. The better acquainted they are with your IT, the more capable they are of implementing solutions that last.

Better Consulting

IT consulting outsourcing is meant to provide you with helpful advice on how to optimize and align your systems to your business objectives. Due to their unfamiliarity with your company and its IT requirements, an outsourced IT provider’s consultants can only offer cookie cutter recommendations. Unfortunately, there are limits to how useful one-size-fits-all advice can be.

When you use managed services, the provider’s consultants understand the specific needs of your business. They can leverage this knowledge to offer personalized advice that can have a significant impact on your operations. With the right consultation, you have the power to make the kind of changes that lead to success.

Business Continuity

An understated but important difference between managed services and outsourcing is business continuity. Since outsourcing uses a reactive business model, you’re requesting services right when a problem occurs. This can lead to prolonged downtime or recurring breakdowns, and it can even increase your risk of falling victim to a cyberattack.

Natural disasters, hardware failure, employee mistakes, and other business-halting accidents are inevitable. An MSP helps you prepare for these scenarios with proactive services. Through offerings like regular maintenance and around-the-clock network monitoring, your MSP can catch issues before they bring your network down. As a result, your business can continue running smoothly without a problem.


Every year, cyberthreats grow in number and sophistication. In today’s business landscape, it’s never been more necessary for a company to have reliable cybersecurity solutions. Managed services are designed to meet all of your IT-related needs, including cybersecurity. Blue Net helps clients in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and surrounding areas defend their networks with monitoring, cybersecurity consulting, and security assessments. 

Outsourced IT can’t provide the same benefits as managed IT because it’s a one-and-done type of offering. At best, an outsourced IT provider can remove cyberthreats after the fact. This is far from ideal, as the longer a cyberthreat remains in your network, the more damage it can cause. Simply put, your business is safer with managed services.

Improve Your Business With Managed Services From Blue Net

If you want to increase the efficiency and productivity of your business, come to the leading MSP in the Twin Cities: Blue Net. We are dedicated to delivering the solutions your organization needs to overcome your IT challenges. Whether you want to migrate to the cloud or you just need daily helpdesk support, our team is always there for you.

Contact us today to learn more about the difference between managed services and outsourcing.

Blue Net

Blue Net

Blue Net is a Twin Cities managed service provider that can take charge of your technology. Blue Net is your strategic technology partner, delivering first-class, client-focused services and support. Our team stays on top of the latest technology and business trends to help companies meet and exceed their IT needs. We help you not only reach your business goals but redefine them.