The global managed IT services market is expected to exceed $300 billion USD by 2027, and its growth has been steady so far. Clearly, more and more businesses are choosing to rely on managed service providers (MSPs) to handle their IT needs.
But is it necessarily the best option for your business to opt for a fully managed IT service option? While many companies do this, many other businesses (who already have an element of in-house IT expertise) sometimes choose to simply augment their existing IT staff with help from an MSP.
The tricky thing is how to know which option is right for you. Managed service vs. staff augmentation for your company becomes the million-dollar question.
Well, in this blog we’re going to help you answer that question for yourself by breaking down all the main differences between staff augmentation vs. managed services, as well as explaining the main advantages and disadvantages of both managed services and staff augmentation.
What Are Managed IT Services?
In managed IT services, the MSP provides the full range of IT support and management for a company. The MSP acts as your company’s IT department, handling everything from setting up and maintaining hardware and software to cybersecurity and data backups.
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Often, managed service providers offer 24/7 support for their clients, which can be especially helpful for companies with global operations, long-term projects, no in-house team or those that cannot afford any downtime on their systems.
What Is IT Staff Augmentation
Staff augmentation is when a company brings in additional outside expertise to supplement its existing in-house staff members.
This could include hiring temporary employees or contracting freelancers on an as-needed basis. In terms of managed IT services, it would mean bringing in external help for specific tasks or projects rather than outsourcing the entire management and support of your company’s technology.
The advantage of the latter choice is that the business doesn’t have to undergo a full hiring process, which allows them to save time in the short term.
One of the main benefits of staff augmentation is that it allows for a more customizable approach to IT support, as companies can bring in external help only for the specific projects or tasks they need assistance with.
Managed Services vs. Staff Augmentation: The Pros and Cons of Each
When it comes to comparing the difference between staff augmentation and managed services, there are several important distinctions of which to be aware.
Here we break down the primary pros and cons of each choice:
The Pros of Managed Services
With managed services, you’re able to outsource the management of your company’s technology to a team of professionals who are experts in their field and can provide full-time support. This allows for greater reliability and peace of mind that your IT systems are always being managed effectively.
2. Cost Predictability
Managed service providers typically offer monthly flat fees or service packages, rather than charging by the hour like in staff augmentation. This can increase your cost savings and make budgeting and forecasting easier as there is less uncertainty about your IT costs.
3. Enhanced Security
Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, and managed service providers are able to stay on top of these developments and ensure that all necessary measures are being taken to keep your company’s information secure.
4. Improved Productivity
When managed services handle all the day-to-day maintenance and management of your company’s technology, it frees up your in-house staff and project managers to focus on more strategic tasks that can drive growth for your business.
The Cons of Managed Services
1. Loss of Control
Outsourcing the management of your IT systems means you may have less direct control over decision-making and operations. While some business owners/operators are generally fine with this, some may not be as they are uncomfortable relinquishing that much control.
2. Limited Customization
With managed services, you often have to choose from predetermined packages or plans that may not be able to fully meet all of your specific needs and requirements.
3. Higher Cost
The cost predictability aspect of managed services can also be a downside as the monthly fees can often be higher than what it would cost to bring in external staff augmentation on an as-needed basis.
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The Pros of Staff Augmentation
With staff augmentation, you’re able to bring in external help for specific tasks or projects, allowing for a more tailored approach to meeting your IT needs.
Hiring temporary employees or freelancers on an as-needed basis can often be more cost-effective compared to managed services flat fee structure.
3. Direct Control
Bringing in external staff allows for a more hands-on approach and gives you greater control over decision-making and operations.
The Cons of Staff Augmentation
1. Less Reliability
Depending on the specific staff members you bring in, they may not have the same level of expertise or availability as a managed service provider that specializes in IT management and support.
2. More Time-Consuming
Finding and hiring external staff for specific tasks or projects can require more time and effort on your part compared to just outsourcing the management of your technology to managed services.
3. Unpredictable Costs
Hiring staff on an as-needed basis can make it harder to predict and budget for your company’s IT costs.
Making the Choice Between the Staff Augmentation vs. Managed Services Model
Now that you’ve got a good idea of what each choice offers in terms of benefits and disadvantages, you might feel that you’re properly informed enough to make a decision.
But, regardless of whether you’re now sure or not sure, contacting us for a free consultation is still the best next move you can make.
By engaging with us in a team-based discussion, we can better identify your specific IT needs as a business to determine if you’d benefit more from a fully managed option or a staff augmentation model.