Managed Services Provider vs. Outsourcing for IT

What is the right choice for your organization?

Differences between an MSP and Outsourcing

Today, IT departments face more challenges than ever. Increasing rates of cybercrime create new vulnerabilities for IT teams, and potential infrastructure malfunctions strain IT departments, creating disruptions in business processes. Besides the ever-growing challenges, trends show that more and more organizations are transitioning to the cloud, creating the potential for more strain on IT departments.   

While outsourcing IT support could be a short-term solution to free up internal resources that may be stretched too thin, a Managed Services Provider takes a more holistic approach to your IT needs, providing long-term infrastructure management and consistent peace of mind that your software is running smoothly.   

Below, we’ll dive into the main differences between a Managed Services Provider (MSP) vs. Outsourcing for IT, and when it makes sense to use them.  

What’s the difference between a Managed Services Provider vs. Outsourcing?

Although Managed Services and outsourcing are often used interchangeably and offer similar services, they differ greatly in the flexibility and cost to your organization. Outsourcing firms typically offer specific services to companies, aiding in narrowly defined processes. While outsourcing your entire IT department or specific resources may make sense for your organization, this is generally a full-time equivalent position that requires 40 hours per week of commitment.   

Managed Services provides more flexibility and control, allowing your company to only pay for the estimated services and hours you need in any particular month This becomes one of the main benefits of an MSP over outsourcing, as it allows organizations to use only what they need rather than engaging a full-time resource like outsourcing. Compared to outsourcing, an MSP reduces costs for organizations while still giving them the peace of mind that their systems are covered.  

Along with stability comes the ability for IT teams to free up resources and allocate them to more valuable work. Once an MSP has taken over tasks that may have consumed IT staff, team members can shift to other initiatives that they may not have had the time or bandwidth for prior.   

For example, many companies look to supplement their current IT staff for ERP/HCM production support while internal staff concentrate on moving the organization to a SaaS/Cloud system. An MSP would monitor and support the current ERP/HCM system, relieving the stress of your staff that will likely face learning curves with the move to cloud. The push to the cloud is exciting, but it’s also stressful.  

Whether you’re moving your current on-prem application to Cloud infrastructure or converting your on-prem to a SaaS application in the Cloud, IT teams will face learning curves that require time to effectively adapt to the new processes and workloads. An MSP can guide your current staff through these learning curves and step in wherever your organization needs more support.  

Further, a Managed Service Provider works hand-in-hand with IT teams to ensure processes are running smoothly and unique business needs are being met. While outsourcing provides a short-term solution, a Managed Service Provider becomes part of your IT team, enhancing your existing software or system infrastructure consistently.  

Unlike outsourcing, the support of an MSP includes identifying potential opportunities within your existing systems. For example, the expertise of Managed Services can help IT teams uncover unknown existing issues in software applications that comprise overall performance, and then provide support to resolve these problems.   

Managed Services can also uncover opportunities by suggesting enhancements that can streamline your organization’s current processes. This could involve proposing solutions that your IT teams may not have already thought of, like the use of Artificial Intelligence to reduce repetitive tasks and increase efficiency, or suggestions to enhance cybersecurity practices. Learn more about the types of maintenance and support that Managed Services can provide by reading our blog post, What is Managed Services?  

Although outsourcing can act as a short term, break-fix solution, it won’t provide a comprehensive approach to your IT needs, especially If your organization is taking on the massive shift to the cloud.   

By using an Elire Managed Service contract, your organization will have the control to pay for the expertise you need, when you need it. Our services help you reduce costs while still gaining valuable knowledge and expertise to ensure your move to the Cloud is both successful and value-added.  

Elire Managed Services can guide your current staff on how the Cloud works with your current network and systems that are not moving to the Cloud, how to secure your Cloud systems and Cloud to on-prem interfaces, or simply how to choose the correct Cloud provider based on your needs. Once you are in the Cloud, Elire Managed Services will still be there to provide the expertise when you need it.   

To learn more about Elire’s Managed Services, visit our Managed Services Page and reach out to [email protected]


  • Summer Ericson

    Ms. Ericson serves as Elire's Marketing Associate, supporting Elire’s digital marketing efforts. Summer collaborates with the Elire Marketing Team to develop engaging and educational content that delivers value to the lifecycle of Elire partners and their applications.

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