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What Are Managed IT Services? Meaning, Types, Benefits and Challenges

Hiring IT experts can be expensive and an inefficient transaction if IT isn’t part of your main operations. Even if your business isn’t focused on IT, you still have to interact with this technology. That’s where Managed IT services come in. 

Whether it’s to maintain an app for a restaurant menu or to protect a hedge fund from cyber attacks, IT companies provide solutions. Their services ensure you’re not left behind by technology. However, their services also come with challenges.

In this blog, we’ll reveal the services you can receive to manage your IT infrastructure. Then, we’ll explore these services’ benefits and challenges.

What Are IT Managed Services?

These are the services you outsource to allow a third party to implement, upgrade, and/or maintain your IT infrastructure. They have processes whereby they secure your data and help your business migrate between IT infrastructures. Additionally, they can assist your staff and customers if they have issues with your software.

Usually, the third-party company will provide these services remotely. They may send an IT expert for tasks that require in-person interactions, such as installing a server.

Furthermore, these services shift responsibility over your IT infrastructure from your business to the service provider. Together, you’ll agree on the extent of these responsibilities. Then, you’ll detail them in the service legal agreement and use that as a framework to establish where liability lies and how you’ll assess their performance.

The Types of Managed IT Services

When you entrust your IT infrastructure to third-party companies, they can provide a wide array of services. However, it’s important to note that not every IT company will offer the full spectrum of services. Let’s dive into the types of IT services.

1. Network infrastructure Monitoring services

This is a service whereby an IT company manages your infrastructure, including your servers and local networks. They monitor them and ensure they’re running smoothly. If not, they can repair it remotely or in person. Plus, they can upgrade them so that they run as efficiently.

2. Security Services

These companies offer firewalls and anti-malware software to protect your data. To minimise data loss, they can help you with backups and data recovery. Additionally, they can look for threats, test your defences, and respond to cyber-attacks.

3. Managed IT Support Services

Managed IT support services are an invaluable resource for businesses that rely on their own technology infrastructure. These services offer comprehensive support to both staff and customers who might encounter issues with your applications. They’ll help by troubleshooting, predicting issues, and fixing bugs in your system.

4. Cloud Services

These service providers facilitate your migration to cloud-based software and storage. Additionally, they can offer consulting services to prepare you for this change. Once you’re using their cloud services, they’ll monitor the platform.

5. Communication Services 

IT companies can consolidate your communication lines so that you have a unified hub that they can maintain. In particular, they can consolidate the following networks:

  • Telephone
  • Multimedia
  • Data Communication

6. Project-Based Services

These services can offer a specific solution for a project with a determined end. For instance, they could help your business upgrade its IT infrastructure.

The Benefits of Managed IT Services

Now that you know the different types of managed IT services many businesses opt to rely on, let’s take a look at the benefits they offer:

  • Reduced Upfront Cost: When you use these services, you’ll reduce the cost of hiring and keeping IT staff. In addition, you don’t have to buy most of the IT hardware and software. Instead, the service provider will already have it.
  • Supplemented Talent: Relying on these services ensures you have a wide pool of IT talent which can fill any lack of skills in your IT team.
  • Increased Security: Since these service providers are aware of the security issues in IT, they’ll be able to guide you in your risk management strategy. 
  • Predictable Spending: These services come with price lists and a contract that stipulates how much they will cost. With this information, you’re in a better position to estimate how much you’ll spend on it.
  • Improved Productivity: As your staff can focus on the core operations of your business, they’ll increase their productivity. In comparison, if some of your staff had to handle IT tasks when that’s not the main operation of your business, it would slow down your operations.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Since these third-party businesses are experts in their field, they’ll know how to comply with regulations. This lessens the risk that you’ll have legal issues related to the way you manage your IT infrastructure.
  • Increased Infrastructure Availability: Some service providers are constantly operational. Therefore, they can quickly resolve issues and keep your IT infrastructure running.

The Challenges of Managed IT Services

Before you select a service provider to help you with your IT infrastructure, you should consider the risks they pose:

Financial Loss

If the third-party IT company offers poor-quality service, you might experience delays, security issues, and errors that could affect your finances. However, you can mitigate that by continuously assessing their performance based on your agreement document. In addition, you can select a service provider whose main expertise is in the task you want them to complete. 

Communication Difficulties

Since the service provider is not part of your company, they might not understand your work culture, which could affect your communication. Moreover, knowledge about your existing IT infrastructure might be difficult to hand over since your staff may not have written and stored these details. This could make their work more difficult to complete.

To resolve this issue, you’ll need to establish clear lines of communication. You should ensure that you work with the service provider on your plan so they have a deep understanding of your goal. You should also ensure you keep records of all communication and relevant information so you can send it to them when they need clarification. 

Reduced Effectiveness for Large Companies

If you have a large business, a service provider may not have the staff required to manage all the services you require. You could split tasks between different service providers. However, hiring your own department might be more secure.


Outsourcing your IT management services can significantly enhance your company’s IT infrastructure, security, and communication systems. By opting for experts in each respective field, you’re not just ensuring high-quality service; you’re also investing in a more reliable system and gaining access to skilled professionals. However, it’s crucial to select a service provider that can scale its services to match your business’s growth and maintain open and clear communication lines. This careful selection ensures that your partnership with the service provider remains cost-effective and beneficial for your business.