Today, over half of all IT services have moved away from the old break-fix model and operate solely under the managed services model.
Clearly, more businesses are choosing to go with managed services providers (MSPs) for their IT management needs. However, businesses have a lot of options when it comes to outsourcing their IT needs.
Two of the most common are fully managed services and staff augmentation. So, what’s the difference between staff augmentation vs. managed services?
In this blog post, we will break down each outsourcing model and give you a clear idea of what each entails. We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of each so that you can make an informed decision about which route is best for your business.
What Are Managed IT Services?
Managed services are when a company outsources the day-to-day management and maintenance of its IT infrastructure to a third-party provider.
This includes tasks like:
- Network Monitoring & Maintenance
- Firewall Patching
- Problem & Treat Resolution
- Cybersecurity Systems & Implementation
- Disaster Recovery Planning & Data Backups
- And more
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The MSP takes on the responsibility for managing all aspects of your IT infrastructure, allowing you to focus on running your business and completing long term projects instead of wasting time trying to handle technical issues yourself or constantly dealing with staff turnover in your internal IT department.
What Is IT Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation involves bringing in outside staff to supplement an existing in-house team’s capabilities or fill gaps in certain areas. In terms of IT support, staff augmentation would involve hiring specialized employees on a temporary basis when needed for specific tasks or projects.
This can be a cost-effective solution with substantial cost savings for businesses that only need temporary staff support or have specific short-term needs that require certain specialized skills. However, staff augmentation does not provide the same all-encompassing management and maintenance as managed services do.
Now that we know what each type of service entails, here we’ll break down the pros and cons of each, with detailed descriptions to help you make a more informed decision.
Managed IT Services’ Pros
1. Proactive Approach to IT Management
MSPs monitor and manage your IT infrastructure 24/7, preventing and solving issues before they cause major disruptions in your business operations.
2. Improved Security
MSPs have the expertise and resources necessary to keep your network secure, protecting against cyber attacks and data breaches.
3. Predictable Budgeting
With managed services, you pay a flat monthly fee for all-inclusive IT management, making it easier to plan and budget accordingly.
4. Improved Productivity
Outsourcing the management of your IT lets you save time for you and your staff, allowing you both to focus on running and growing your business rather than dealing with technical issues or staff turnover in an internal IT department.
Managed IT Services Cons
1. Initial Cost
The flat monthly fee for managed services may have a higher upfront cost compared to staff augmentation, especially if you only have temporary or specific IT needs.
2. Loss of Control
While MSPs are experts in their field, ultimately they are in control of managing and maintaining your IT infrastructure rather than yourself or your staff.
3. Limited Customization
Full-time managed services providers typically offer standardized packages, with limited options for customization to meet specific business needs. (Not us, our clients customize services to their business’s needs.)
Staff Augmentation Pros
1. Cost-Effective Solution for Temporary or Specific Needs
Undergoing the streamlined hiring process for augmented staff on a temporary basis can be more financially feasible for businesses with limited or short-term IT support needs.
2. Access to Specialized Skills and Experience
Bringing in outside staff can bring specialized skills and experience to your team, improving efficiency and effectiveness.
3. Flexibility to Switch Staff as Needed
With the staff augmentation model, you have the flexibility to switch staff members or end their contract at any time if they aren’t meeting your needs or their skills are no longer necessary.
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Staff Augmentation Cons
1. Lack of 24/7 Monitoring and Management
Staff augmentation does not provide the same level of proactive, around-the-clock management and maintenance as managed services do.
2. Higher Staff Turnover and Training Costs
Hiring temporary staff on a regular basis can result in high staff turnover, leading to added time and cost for training new staff members.
3. Limited Resources and Expertise
Staff augmentation does not provide access to the same level of resources and expertise as managed services do, making it more difficult for your team to handle technical issues and maintain network security.
Managed IT Services vs. Staff Augmentation: Conclusion
Ultimately, the decision between staff augmentation and managed services depends on the specific needs and goals of your business.
Managed services may be a better option for businesses that want a more comprehensive, long-term solution for managing their IT infrastructure. Staff augmentation can be a cost-effective solution for businesses with limited or specific needs that require specialized skills on a temporary basis.
It’s important to carefully consider your company’s objectives and budget in order to make the best decision for your business.
Getting Help Making the Choice Between Staff Augmentation vs. Managed IT Services
Here at AT-NET, our years of experience servicing the IT needs of clients from all manner of industries has given us a unique perspective on determining the needs of our clients.
If you’re still not sure which type of service (managed IT services vs. staff augmentation) would be the best fit for your business’ IT needs, please schedule a free consultation with us today. We will work with you to determine the most ideal and value-added solution for your company.