Managed IT Services vs. In-House IT: A Detailed Comparison

In today’s market, organizations rely heavily on technology to streamline operations, enhance productivity, and stay competitive. The quality of IT management plays a key role in security and success, leaving organizations with an important decision: Managed IT services or in-house IT?

Both options offer distinct advantages and drawbacks, which can make choosing a challenge. In this comprehensive comparison, we'll explore the features, pros, and cons of the two models, and help you understand which one is the best fit for you.  


Table of Contents

  1. What are managed IT services?
  2. What are the benefits of managed IT services?
  3. What are the drawbacks of managed IT services?
  4. What is in-house IT?
  5. What are the benefits of in-house IT?
  6. What are the drawbacks of in-house IT?
  7. Choosing between managed IT services and in-house IT
  8. The bottom line


What are managed IT services?

Managed IT services is the outsourcing of the management and maintenance of a company’s IT infrastructure to a third-party provider. These providers, known as Managed Service Providers (MSPs), offer a range of IT services and solutions from network monitoring and maintenance, to regular updates and helpdesk-style support. They proactively manage your IT infrastructure, ensuring everything operates efficiently and securely, and your business runs smoothly. 


What are the benefits of managed IT services?

The right MSP offers deep expertise, and enhanced security and IT performance—typically at a lower cost  than an in-house IT team. And because they take a proactive approach, organizations that work with MSPs may have fewer IT issues. Some additional benefits include:


Cost Effectiveness

Managed IT services are almost always less expensive than maintaining an in-house IT team.  MSPs typically operate on a subscription or pay-as-you-go model, offering predictable monthly expenses without the overhead costs associated with an internal department. By outsourcing your IT needs to an MSP, you eliminate the need to hire and train IT staff, invest in ever-changing hardware and software, and manage ongoing IT-related expenses. 


Expertise and specialization

MSPs employ skilled professionals with expertise in various IT domains, giving you access to a wide range of knowledge and up-to-the-minute expertise. Because MSPs tend to be more proactive than in-house IT teams, they’ll make sure your technology is always up to date and that it's working for your business. 


Scalability and flexibility 

Managed IT is an adaptable service, which can quickly scale up or down to accommodate changing business needs. You get optimal performance and efficiency without the constraints of traditional staffing. This flexibility is especially valuable when you’re starting out, or going through periods of rapid growth or change.


Continuous, proactive support

Many MSPs offer 24/7 monitoring and proactive maintenance, which means they can identify and address potential issues before they escalate. This minimizes downtime and keeps your business on track. If issues do arise, it’s no problem—agile MSPs can help right away.  


Enhanced security 

MSPs are experts in security measures like threat detection, intrusion prevention, and data encryption. Because most offer continuous monitoring, your sensitive data is safe and you’re protected against potential threats. In the unlikely event of a security incident, an MSP can respond quickly.


What are the drawbacks of managed IT services?

While the popularity of managed services is on the rise, MSPs may not be the right for all businesses. Some potential challenges include:

Reliance on external providers

Relying on third-party vendors for critical IT functions means you relinquish some control over your infrastructure and IT processes. If your business requires a high degree of customization or has strict compliance requirements, an in-house team might make more sense. 

It’s worth noting that most MSPs offer customized solutions and can generally address even the most complex requirements.


Security concerns

Some organizations may feel uncomfortable ceding control of their security to an external vendor. While an in-house team doesn’t offer 100% security, knowing everything is managed by your own employees can provide some peace of mind. 


Communication and responsiveness

While MSPs strive to respond in a timely fashion, communication issues and differing priorities may lead to delays. This can be especially frustrating if your needs are urgent. Look for MSPs who manage all their calls in house and offer a guaranteed response time, which ensures a prompt reply.


Vendor lock-in

Managed IT provider not working out? Switching between MSPs can be cumbersome and disruptive, especially if you need to adjust to new technologies or workflows. 


What is in-house IT?

In-house IT is an internal team of IT professionals, employed by your organization. They monitor the IT needs of your business, deal with day-to-day issues, and maintain your network. Depending on the size of your organization, in-house IT support could be one technician or an entire department. With this approach, you retain full control and ownership over IT operations, and can tailor everything to meet your specific requirements and objectives.


What are the benefits of in-house IT?

An in-house team offers more control than an outsourced MSP, and because they’re a dedicated resource, they’re always available to respond and offer support. Some of the other benefits of in-house IT include:


Unmatched customization

In-house IT services enable a high level of customization, allowing you to tailor your IT environment precisely. With an in-house team, it’s also easier to integrate proprietary technologies and specialized applications.


Total control over security

An in-house IT team gives you complete control of your IT infrastructure and security. You can design your security strategies with a clear understanding of your unique risks and needs. Many organizations feel safer knowing their IT’s managed by their own employees. 


Familiarity with systems 

In-house IT departments deeply understand your organization's system and workflows, particularly if they’ve been with you for a long time. IT staff can leverage this knowledge to work more efficiently and minimize disruptions. This familiarity also fosters clear communication and potentially faster problem solving. 


Dedicated support

In-house IT staff are on site and readily available to offer support, whether with day-to-day issues or emergencies. While in-house teams get busy just like managed service providers, they may be able to respond faster.


What are the drawbacks of in-house IT?

Managing your IT in house is a major undertaking for any business. Let’s examine some of the challenges of trying to do it yourself.


High costs

Maintaining an in-house IT department can be expensive. You’re responsible for salaries, benefits, training, software licensing fees and more, which can strain budgets and resources.  In-house IT can be especially costly for small and medium-sized businesses.


Limited expertise

In-house IT teams may lack the breadth of expertise and resources that MSPs can offer,  particularly in areas like cybersecurity, cloud computing, or emerging technologies. Specialized tasks may require external expertise.


Scalability challenges

IT evolves quickly and an in-house team may not be equipped to adjust as fast as your business needs. Updating users, devices, storage, and network bandwidth on a regular basis is demanding and requires scalable solutions, which are more typically offered by MSPs.


Less time to focus on your business

In-house IT departments are responsible for the ongoing maintenance, upgrades, and troubleshooting of hardware, software, and infrastructure. This takes up valuable time and resources that could go towards your core business activities. 


Choosing between managed IT services and in-house IT

Deciding who you should trust with your company’s technology is no small decision. Before you choose an IT model, it's important to understand some key considerations:



It goes without saying, but everyone’s budgets are different. Consider the cost of each IT model and if the overhead associated with an in-house team is absolutely necessary.


Business goals

Your IT must align with your business goals and help you plan and prepare for the future. Go with a model that supports your short, mid, and long-term objectives.


Day-to-day needs

Take a look at your daily operational requirements. How much customization do you need? Are you limited by your in-house team? Do you need an upgrade or a complete revamp? This will give you a good indication of your IT needs and help you choose the model that works best for you.


Security and compliance requirements

Regardless of your industry, you need an IT model that effectively protects your data and offers robust backup and recovery services. Some industries like finance or healthcare have strict compliance requirements that may require some customization. Opt for an IT model that’s suited to your industry regulations. 


Integration and continuity

Downtime and disruptions can have far-reaching consequences for your business. Consider which model is most easily integrated into your IT system and is best equipped to ensure continuity. 


The bottom line

Ultimately, the optimal approach depends on your unique needs and priorities. For most organizations, managed IT services offer a comprehensive, flexible IT model without the cost and complexity of maintaining an in-house IT department. 

An MSP, Like VXIT, can be your entire IT department, offering 24/7 monitoring, on-demand technical support, security, backup and disaster recovery, cloud services, network architecture, software and hardware management, and more. Many MSPs also offer strategic IT planning, ensuring your technology works for your business and helps you reach your goals. 

Additionally, MSPs are a smart option for highly regulated sectors. A great MSP will have no trouble setting your technology so it meets your industry-specific regulations and compliance requirements. In-house IT isn’t the only option, even if you’re in law, medicine, or finance. 

If you want seamless management of your IT infrastructure and you don’t have the resources for an in-house IT team, VXIT might just be the perfect solution.

Ready to get started? Contact VXIT today at 561-623-8642 or