Many growing businesses may face a significant challenge when it comes to IT. They may not have the expertise in-house to enable them to manage every eventuality and will often turn to experts in the field to help with everyday and unusual issues. Yet while outsourcing IT can save money and resources versus an in-house solution, it’s often difficult to know what type of service to procure. So, in this case, it comes down to managed services versus professional services, but what’s the difference?

What Are Managed Services?

Managed services are available when a business needs an expert organization to help organize its everyday business processes and operations. These experts can be available should a server go down or if a software operation is causing a conflict. They’ll schedule and perform any needed maintenance and be there when you need them.

These are some of the tasks a managed service can perform:

Taking Care of Issues

The team will be on standby when you need help with troubleshooting. You can get in touch with them through a chat mechanism, a phone call, and in some situations, an in-person visit. So if you are unable to log in or find that you cannot boot up some hardware, they are there.

Everyday Maintenance

To try and avoid issues, it’s essential to keep up with needed maintenance. This team will perform routine tasks like tune-ups or updates, which can be especially helpful when your day-to-day staff is overworked. Crucially, they’ll help you maintain productivity by updating software programs so they do not become outdated and by closing any other loopholes.


Unfortunately, hackers are targeting small to medium firms these days, and it may only be a matter of time before you suffer an attack. This is why you may need a managed service provider to bolster your defences. They can set up a strong security system across your network and can help you recover if you become an unfortunate victim.

Safety Backups

If your system crashes and you are unprepared, it could set you back a long way. Managed service providers would help recoup that lost information and ensure that you have a regular backup process in place.

Ongoing Monitoring

Managed service providers will monitor your system around the clock to look for problems. If necessary, they will alert you to a potential issue so you can take action to keep your business online.


What Are Professional Services?

As opposed to managed services, professional services are on-demand. You’ll turn to these companies for help when you have a one-off project to consider or have some new hardware or solution to roll out. This can be particularly attractive for a growing business whose IT needs fluctuate.

These are some of the tasks a professional service provider can supply:

Migrating to the Cloud

When a business reaches a certain point, it may be ready to complete a digital transformation and move to the cloud. This can be a huge task and certainly requires some professional help. So, professional service providers can take care of the entire process or simply assist in certain areas according to your needs.

General Consulting

You may want some ongoing advice if you want to avoid expensive IT mistakes that could translate into significant losses. Professional service providers can be your company’s consultants and provide expert support as and when needed.

Hardware or Software Deployment

As your business grows, you may need to bring in new software programs or add hardware elements to keep pace. If you do this in-house, you may have to tie up your staff as they climb a steep learning curve, but if you outsource to professional service providers, they can handle these rollouts.

High-Level Troubleshooting

You may have some IT staff as part of your in-house team, but sometimes, issues may arise that can leave them scratching their heads. When you have a professional service provider on hand, they can step in. You will have access to the highest level of experience but will only need to pay for it on demand.

Managed Services vs Professional Services: The Differences

A managed service provider will typically offer a high level of support on a regular basis. You will usually sign a contract with this company for an ongoing raft of services, and they’ll handle many aspects of your IT needs every day.

Professional service providers tend to step in and out as and when you need them. They may work on a project-by-project basis and will be available should you encounter a challenge or need to deal with an IT-related emergency.

You need to make a choice based on your business size, specific resources and available expertise. If your company is growing quickly and you know that you will be heavily reliant on tech expertise, then managed service providers may be the right solution. Otherwise, professional services can be available for your ad hoc needs.

Where Should You Turn for Help?

If you’re still unsure when it comes to the managed services versus professional services conundrum, reach out to Softlanding. We are an experienced IT company that provides both solutions and are also a Microsoft partner. We only deploy and implement Microsoft Solutions from Azure, Microsoft 365 and security and analytics.

When it comes to managed services versus professional services, get in touch with Softlanding for help today.

Written By:


Softlanding is a long-established IT services provider of transformation, professional services and managed IT services that helps organizations boost innovation and drive business value. We are a multi-award-winning Microsoft Gold Partner with 13 Gold Competencies and we use our experience and expertise to be a trusted advisor to our clients. Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, we have staff and offices in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary to serve clients across Canada.

More By This Author