Managed IT Services vs. Professional Services

Outsourcing IT services can help you make the most of limited resources, giving you access to top talent at a fraction of the cost. You may have heard of managed services, but what are professional services? When it comes to managed services vs. professional services, knowing the difference between them will help you find the right fit for your business.

Because most small and medium-sized businesses may not have the budget for an in-house IT department, many outsource their IT needs to a third-party company to save money and time. Rather than employing one or two IT staff members who do everything from onboarding new employees to watching for cybersecurity threats, they put their trust in a team of dedicated experts who will manage their IT needs for them.

Today we’ll go over managed services vs. professional services, including common examples and why you would use one over the other (or both).

What are Managed Services?

Managed services refer to the day-to-day running, maintenance and support of a company’s IT needs. A managed services provider (MSP) works directly with your company to create a service package customized to your unique needs and challenges. Because MSPs often operate as a subscription service, you only pay for what you need.

Here are some of the most widely used managed services. 

Remote IT Support

Managed IT services include routine maintenance, which can be easy to forget. However, by outsourcing your IT needs to a managed services provider, you can rest easy knowing that a dedicated IT team is taking care of things behind the scenes, including software updates and virus remediation.

24/7 Network Monitoring

Most MSPs are always available so that they can monitor your network 24/7 for any possible issues. Even a minor problem like a brief shutdown can become costly for your business, especially if you can’t continue your operations. Consistent network monitoring makes it easier for your business to respond to these issues efficiently and avoid them in the future.

Cybersecurity Maintenance

Another benefit of 24/7 monitoring is that MSPs can assess security risks and deploy solutions immediately. This dedicated attention maximizes your business’s efficiency so you can address issues before they impact your business and avoid costly downtime and data loss.

Read: Are You Following Cybersecurity Best Practices? 14 Ways to Find Out

Data Backup

Ransomware could cost victims a total of $265 billion by 2031. This estimate is based on the prediction that costs will increase 30% every year over the next ten years. MSPs can oversee regular backups and data recovery, typically through a third-party cloud storage solution, to protect critical corporate data from loss or unauthorized access. 

Additionally, backing up data to the cloud allows you to easily access your files from anywhere, an ideal solution for remote workers.


Managed services can also help you onboard new employees and set them up in the systems your company uses. Because managed service providers are usually available 24/7, they can oversee onboarding for new employees, such as setting up logins and installing any software.

For example, your MSP can assign roles based on a person’s job position by using role-based access control. Once the person leaves the company, their access is automatically revoked, so you don’t have to worry about a former employee having unauthorized access to sensitive files.

What are Professional Services?

With managed services vs. professional services, the latter offers more of an on-demand solution. On the other hand, professional services are typically project-based and address specific challenges, like expansion or hardware upgrades. 

This is particularly helpful for businesses that want to scale up their operations or need a dedicated project consultant who understands their industry and its needs and limitations.

Here are some typical professional services for businesses. 


Most professional services providers offer consulting services to find the best solutions for a business or technical challenge. Frequently, failed projects or other expensive losses result from an uninformed decision, but this can be prevented by working with a consultant who is familiar with your industry and the unique needs of your business.

Advanced Troubleshooting

Some small to medium-sized businesses prefer to have at least one in-house IT specialist on staff for their everyday IT needs. However, sometimes problems are too complicated for a small in-house team. In these cases, professional services can step in and help directly.


Even if it would drastically improve the workplace, implementing new hardware or software can be challenging to pull off. With lots of moving parts at hand, professional services can make the transition to new equipment or systems as seamless as possible for your employees.

Cloud Migration

Transferring your company’s entire system to the cloud is no minor feat. Unfortunately, for many businesses, this is a one-time undertaking that is often beyond the capabilities of a smaller organization.

Backing up your data to the cloud is a more affordable option than on-site storage. Cloud backups also offer easier scalability along with network and security improvements. 

Choose Helixstorm for Managed and Professional Services

Managed IT services or professional services: Which one is right for you?

At Helixstorm, we provide a sophisticated level of support, proactive maintenance and security that most companies can’t afford to provide in-house. So whether you need ongoing managed services or occasional professional services to meet short-term business goals, we’re here for you.

To learn more about our Three Lines of Defense and how Helixstorm can support your business’s IT needs, contact us today.