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Managed IT Services vs. In-House IT: Making the Right Choice for Your Business.

Jul 10, 2024

Your technology plays a pivotal role in the agility, growth and productivity of your business. Whether it's managing day-to-day operations, securing sensitive data, or supporting customer interactions, a robust IT infrastructure is essential.

However, many businesses face a common dilemma: should they manage their IT needs in-house or outsource to a managed IT services provider? In this blog, our Head of Managed Services, John Gillies, explores the pros and cons of each option to help you make the right choice for your business.

What is In-House IT

In-house IT refers to an internal IT team within your organisation that handles your technology needs. The team manages and maintains your IT infrastructure, resolves technical issues and ensures the company’s IT systems are secure and up-to-date.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of an in-house IT team:


Immediate Response: With an in-house team, you have direct access to IT support whenever you need it. This can lead to faster response times and quicker issue resolution.

Tailored Solutions: In-house IT teams have an intimate understanding of your business operations and can tailor solutions to meet your specific needs and requirements.

Control and Oversight: You have complete control and oversight over your IT infrastructure, allowing you to implement security measures and policies according to your standards.


High Costs: Building and maintaining an in-house IT department can be expensive. You'll need to budget for salaries, training, equipment, and ongoing maintenance costs.

Limited Expertise: In-house teams may have limited expertise in certain areas of technology, which could be a disadvantage when dealing with complex issues or emerging technologies.

Resource Constraints: Small and medium-sized businesses may struggle to afford the resources needed to build a comprehensive in-house IT department. While responses may be immediate, this is only during the teams working hours which may also be constrained by budgets.

Managed IT Support

Managed IT services involve outsourcing your IT needs to a third-party provider who takes care of everything from network monitoring to cybersecurity. These providers have a team of experts who remotely monitor, manage, and maintain your IT infrastructure, offering a comprehensive suite of services ranging from network management to cybersecurity.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of outsourced IT support:


Cost Effectiveness: Managed IT services typically operate on a subscription model, allowing you to pay a predictable monthly fee. This can be more cost-effective than hiring and maintaining an in-house team.

Access to Expertise: Managed IT service providers employ teams of experts with diverse skill sets, giving you access to a broad range of technical knowledge and experience. MSPs can also access the latest technologies to implement advanced solutions to enhance your operations.

Scalability and Flexibility: As your business grows or your IT needs change, managed IT services can easily scale up or down to accommodate your requirements.


Lack of Direct Control: Outsourcing IT services means relinquishing some control over your IT infrastructure. While you can still set guidelines and expectations, you may not have the same level of oversight as with an in-house team.

Dependency on Provider: Relying on a third-party provider means trusting them to deliver quality services and respond promptly to issues. If the provider experiences downtime or fails to meet expectations, it can impact your business operations.

How to make the right choice for you

When deciding between managed IT services and in-house IT, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The best choice for your business will depend on factors such as your budget, the complexity of your IT needs, and your long-term goals.

If you have the resources and expertise to build and maintain an in-house IT department, it can provide you with greater control and customisation. However, if you're looking to reduce costs, access specialised expertise, and enjoy greater flexibility, managed IT services may be the way to go.

You can also take a hybrid approach, using an in-house IT team while outsourcing specific IT tasks to MSPs. This hybrid approach can help businesses gain a competitive edge by taking advantage of an MSP's resources and expertise while still having direct control over their internal IT operations.

Ultimately, the key is to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each option and choose the solution that aligns best with your business objectives. Whether you decide to keep IT in-house or outsource it, investing in a reliable and efficient IT infrastructure is crucial for driving success in today's digital landscape.

Considerations when choosing a Managed Service Provider

When it comes to in-house vs. managed IT services, choosing the right  MSP is just as important. If you’re looking for an MSP to help you manage the IT side of your business, here are some features to consider:


A good MSP should offer customised solutions tailored to your business needs. They should be flexible enough to accommodate your requirements, regardless of your company's size or industry.

Proactive Support

Look for an MSP that offers proactive support, including ongoing monitoring, timely updates, and routine maintenance. This approach helps prevent potential IT issues before they arise, ensuring smooth and uninterrupted operations.


An experienced MSP should have a team of professionals with diverse skills and expertise, including network management, cybersecurity, cloud solutions, and more. This ensures that a knowledgeable team meets all your IT needs.

Security and Compliance

A good MSP should provide comprehensive cybersecurity solutions to safeguard your business against threats. Additionally, they should help ensure compliance with industry-specific regulations and standards.

Transparency and Communication

Your managed service provider should provide clear communication and regular reports, helping you stay informed about your IT performance and any potential issues.

SLAs and Response Time

Service level agreements (SLAs) outline the services the MSP provides and their responsibilities. Ensure that the MSP offers SLAs with clear response times and issue resolution expectations.

At SystemLabs, our user support solutions cater to your unique needs. From support for your users to server, network and firewall support, our team provides top-notch solutions to keep your systems running smoothly.


John Gillies

Head of Managed Services

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