In-House vs. Managed IT Services: Pros and Cons for Your Business

Benjamin Leo Challinor


January 22, 2024

Navigating the world of IT services can be quite a challenge, especially when weighing in-house vs. managed IT services. While both these approaches essentially serve the same purpose - addressing your business's IT needs - they come with unique benefits. This often makes it tricky for businesses to decide which path to take.

Feeling a bit puzzled over which route is the best fit for your business? You're not alone. Many companies find themselves pondering the same question. Luckily, you've come to the right place.

This blog will cover the pros and cons of in-house vs. managed IT services and guide you toward the answer you're looking for.

What are in-house IT support services?

In-house IT services mean that a company uses its employees to manage all aspects of its technology needs. So when you choose this IT service, you will hire your tech employees.

This includes everything tech-related, from setting up and maintaining computer networks, ensuring cybersecurity, and managing software applications to troubleshooting technical problems. The team responsible for these tasks is known as the in-house IT team.

what are in-house IT services

Key features of in-house IT services

Since your in-house team is directly employed under you, you can easily communicate with them anytime. Having your IT team nearby offers other advantages, such as: 

Control and customisation

One of the biggest advantages of having an in-house IT team is control. Since the team is part of your company, you directly oversee all IT-related activities. 

This allows for immediate decision-making and customisation of IT solutions that align perfectly with your business's specific needs and culture. Your in-house team understands the ins and outs of your business, which helps in tailoring tech solutions that are the right fit.

Responsiveness and familiarity

Another important aspect of in-house IT services is their responsiveness. When a technical issue arises, your in-house team is right within your business, ready to tackle the problem. This can lead to faster response times compared to external service providers.

Additionally, as your in-house team is consistently involved in your day-to-day operations, they develop a deeper understanding of your business processes, which helps in efficient and effective problem-solving.

in-house features

Challenges of in-house support services

Given its advantages, you might easily choose in-house vs. managed IT services. However, maintaining an in-house IT team isn't without its challenges. It can be resource-intensive. 

You must invest in hiring skilled IT professionals, provide ongoing training to keep up with the latest tech advancements and handle all the hardware and software requirements. For startups and small businesses, managing an in-house IT department can be costly and complex.

in-house challenges

What are managed IT services?

Managed IT services, also called outsourced IT services, involve outsourcing your company's technology management and operations to an external provider, a managed service provider (MSP). 

This means that instead of having an in-house team handle your IT needs, you hire an outside company to manage various IT tasks. These tasks can range from monitoring and maintaining networks, managing cybersecurity, and handling data backup and recovery to providing technical support.

managed IT services

Role of managed service providers (MSP)

Managed service providers are companies you can hire to handle your IT operations, offering a practical alternative to an in-house IT team.

MSPs cover many IT tasks, from everyday tech support to managing complex cloud services. They are particularly useful in setting up and maintaining technology that can adapt and grow your business, like scalable cloud solutions.

An important part of working with an MSP is the service level agreement (SLA). This contract sets out what the MSP will do for your business and the standard you can expect from their services. It's like the MSP's promise of quality and reliability, ensuring they meet your business's specific IT needs.

Essentially, MSPs provide the expertise and advanced tech support to keep your IT running so you can focus on other aspects of your business.

role of MSPs

Key benefits from managed services vs in-house

In the debate of in-house vs. managed IT services, understanding the distinct features of managed services is crucial for businesses seeking optimal IT solutions. 

Expertise and advanced technology

Managed IT services provide access to a broad spectrum of IT expertise and the latest technological advancements. MSPs specialise in IT management and typically have a team of experts with diverse skills and experiences.

This means they can offer solutions that might be beyond the scope of an in-house team, such as advanced cybersecurity measures, cloud computing services, and cutting-edge tech solutions.

Cost-effectiveness and scalability

Opting for managed IT services can be more cost-effective, especially for small to medium-sized businesses. You usually pay a fixed monthly fee, which makes budgeting for IT expenses more predictable.

Plus, MSPs can scale their services to match your business's growth, providing more resources when needed and pulling back when you don't. This scalability is a significant advantage, particularly for businesses that experience fluctuating or seasonal demands.

Focus on core business

By outsourcing IT management, your company can focus on its core business activities without the distraction of handling complex IT issues. This can lead to increased productivity and efficiency, as your resources and time are not tied up in managing technology but focused on what your business does best.

managed IT services benefits

Considerations with managed IT services

A key consideration when opting for managed IT services is the level of dependence on your service provider. You'll rely on an external entity for critical IT functions, which can raise concerns about response times and data security.

Also, while MSPs work to align with your business needs, you might have less direct control over your IT operations compared to an in-house setup.

managed IT services considerations

Choosing in-house or managed IT service for your business

Choosing between in-house vs. outsourced IT services is critical for any business. Different scenarios might favour one approach over the other. Let's explore common business situations and identify which option - in-house or managed IT services – might best fit.

Small businesses needing IT security

For a small business focusing on enhancing its IT security, the decision between in-house vs. managed IT services hinges on factors like budget, expertise required, and the scale of IT infrastructure.

Small businesses often lack the resources to hire and maintain a specialised in-house IT team for advanced security needs. Managed IT services can offer a more cost-effective solution with access to a wide range of security expertise, making it a practical choice for small businesses.

In-house vs managed IT service winner: Managed IT service

Rapidly growing startup

A rapidly growing startup with ever-changing technology needs and scaling challenges requires a flexible and adaptable IT solution. While an in-house team offers direct control, startups might struggle with quickly scaling their IT infrastructure.

With their scalability and expertise in handling growing demands, managed IT services can be a more suitable option, allowing the startup to focus on its core business growth.

In-house vs managed IT service winner: Managed IT service

Large corporations with specific IT compliance requirements

The situation is different for a large corporation with specific IT compliance requirements. Such organisations often need a dedicated in-house IT team that deeply understands their unique operational environment and compliance requirements.

The direct control and customisation offered by an in-house team can be crucial in meeting specific regulatory standards, although it may be more resource-intensive.

In-house vs managed IT service winner: In-house

Each of these scenarios highlights how the choice between in-house vs. outsourced IT services can vary depending on a business's specific needs and circumstances.

The key is to assess your business's unique requirements, resources, and long-term goals to determine the best approach for your IT management.

In-house vs managed IT Service winner: In-house

Alt-tag. choosing between in-house vs. managed IT services

The importance of IT services for businesses today

IT services are very important for businesses now. Many companies are starting to use more cloud services and online technology services. In 2023, around 84% of companies want to spend more money on these cloud services​​.

By 2025, it's expected that most businesses, about 85%, will focus more on using cloud services. This means they will use the internet more for their work, like storing files online instead of on their computers. Also, creating apps for businesses is getting easier. 

It's predicted that by 2025, 70% of new app companies will use easy building methods, like low-code or no-code methods​​.

These numbers show that IT services are important for keeping up with new technology and helping businesses grow. 

Businesses need to think about how they manage their IT, whether they do it themselves or hire other companies to help so that they can stay competitive and up-to-date with technology.

importance of IT services

In-house vs. managed IT services: Time to make a choice!

In today's fast-paced tech world, staying visible in the market is crucial for companies. IT services are key because they make businesses more visible and keep them and their clients safe. This is why companies think hard about managing their IT themselves or using outside IT services.

This choice is even more important for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), where resources are often tighter. This is where Clyk comes in. We're a company that provides managed IT services, especially skilled in helping SMBs succeed online!

Our services at Clyk are designed to fit your business needs, and we're always here to help. What's more, we offer a free consultation to help you decide if partnering with us is the right move for your business.

Make Clyk your choice

Frequently asked questions

What is the main difference between in-house IT services and managed IT services? 

 In-house IT services refer to using your own employees to manage IT tasks, whereas managed IT services involve hiring an external provider. The main difference is that in-house services keep everything within the company, offering direct control, while managed services outsource IT tasks to specialists, potentially offering cost savings and access to broader expertise.

How do service levels compare in in-house vs. managed IT services? 

Service levels can vary significantly. In-house IT teams may offer customised solutions tailored to specific company needs, but managed IT services typically come with a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that guarantees certain performance standards. Managed services can often provide more consistent and predictable service levels due to their broader resource pool.

What are the cost implications of in-house integration vs. using managed services?

In-house integration often involves higher upfront costs due to hiring in-house IT staff, training, and infrastructure investments. Managed services may offer cost savings through scalable service models, where you pay for what you use. However, long-term costs depend on the specific needs and size of the business.

How does the security offered by managed IT services compare to in-house IT? 

Managed security services typically offer advanced security solutions due to their focus and expertise. They stay up-to-date with the latest security trends and threats. In-house IT can also provide strong security, but it often requires significant investment in expertise and technology to match the level of specialised managed security services.

When should a company consider hiring an in-house IT team vs. outsourcing to a managed IT service provider?

A company might hire an in-house IT team if they require tight integration with day-to-day operations and can justify the investment. Outsourcing to a managed IT service provider is often more suitable for companies looking for cost-effective, scalable solutions without the overhead of maintaining a full-time IT staff.

What types of businesses typically benefit more from in-house IT vs. managed IT services? 

Businesses with highly specialised IT needs or those requiring tight control over their IT may benefit more from in-house IT. Smaller businesses or those with more generalised IT needs may find managed IT services more cost-effective and less resource-intensive.