Managed IT Services Provider vs. Cloud Service Provider
Managed IT Services

Difference & Benefits: Managed IT Services Provider vs. Cloud Service Provider

The IT industry is snowballing, and we are in the midst of a digital transformation. Many businesses must keep up with the latest technology trends to stay competitive in this ever-changing marketplace.

But many don’t have in-house IT staff to care for their network and other IT infrastructure needs and this is when they rely on outside help.

It can lead to confusion over what company you should use for your business — cloud solutions or managed IT services provider? Of course, both offer similar services, but there are some critical differences between them that you should consider before making a decision.

So in this blog, we’ll guide you through the services offered by both types of providers and choose the best one for you.

What is a Managed IT Service Provider (MSP)?

cloud service provider

A managed IT services provider (MSP) is an IT services company that provides technical services to its clients. These services can range from cloud hosting to cybersecurity and include data backup, security monitoring, and maintenance of networks. 

So, what’s the real value of IT managed service?

Well, the main advantage of outsourcing your IT needs to an MSP is that they deal with all the technical aspects of your business, so you don’t have to worry about them.

MSPs can provide both hardware and software solutions and offer these services on a subscription-based or pay-as-you-go basis. They support your network, servers, computers, and any other hardware devices in your business. In addition, the MSPs have the infrastructure to provide these services, which include managing data backups, security patches, monitoring, and maintenance.

What Can You Expect from a Managed Service Provider?

Many managed service providers focus on specific verticals while others provide a broad range of services across industries. Some common types of managed services include:

Network Diagnostics & Monitoring

Network diagnostics and monitoring ensure that networks are working properly and quickly alert them when there’s a problem with any aspect of their network connectivity. It’s also used to detect unauthorized access attempts or virus infections on your network and stop them before they cause harm.


Managed IT services providers can help with all aspects of cybersecurity, including incident response, risk management, compliance, and audit readiness. MSPs can offer cloud security platforms that provide enterprise-grade protection from cyber threats, malware, and ransomware attacks. The platforms also work to prevent data loss, ensure compliance, and much more.

24X7 User Support

There are various managed IT services you can avail of. While some handpick a few benefits, the best MSPs can provide a comprehensive solution that can typically replace an entire IT department.

And this is when the 24X7 support solutions come in. You’ll get round-the-clock access to the help desk to answer questions and extend support for any issue in your IT infrastructure. They can also troubleshoot issues with the network or computer systems instantly and help resume your work.

System Administration

Many MSPs take complete charge of your IT networks and server and run it as an in-house team does. They provide end-to-end solutions with admin access to client computers to troubleshoot problems or offer system upgrades. These solutions also include additional features such as network security monitoring, creating new modules, applications, and software, enabling integrations between multiple applications, and managing the day-to-day operational workloads. 

Maintenance of IT Infrastructure

Managed IT services providers offer regular maintenance plans for different types of hardware and software. They also provide ongoing support for your IT infrastructure to remain operational without downtime or disruption in business operations due to technical issues or outages caused by malware attacks, viruses, or other malicious attempts.

What is a Cloud Service Provider?

cloud service provider

Cloud Service Provider (CSP) is a company that provides cloud computing solutions. CSPs are IT service providers specializing in cloud solutions for their clients. They offer their clients different types of cloud products and services, including storage, data backup, disaster recovery, and other related services.

Many small businesses don’t have the resources or expertise to manage their IT infrastructure. They may have a limited budget, meaning they can’t afford the cost of hiring an in-house IT team. It is where IT consulting firms come into the picture with managed cloud solutions.

So this is when CSPs help companies manage their IT infrastructure by providing them with access to various software applications and hardware devices. These companies can then use these tools to perform multiple tasks related to their business operations. Through a multi-tenant model, the CSP consolidates and assigns computing resources based on the needs of multiple clients. 

Managed cloud services providers are responsible for designing, building, and maintaining the hardware and software that comprise the cloud computing environment. They also provide users access to these resources through their data centers or third-party data centers.

What are the Different Types of Cloud Service Provider?

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

SaaS is a type of cloud computing where applications are hosted remotely and accessed via the Internet. You can use this solution on a pay-per-use basis. SaaS providers use virtualization technology to enable users to access their applications from any device with an Internet connection. Some examples of SaaS include Salesforce, Google Apps, Office 365, and Concur.

  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

PaaS is another cloud computing model that allows customers to build their software applications on top of an existing platform. In this model, there are no restrictions on what can be done with these platforms while users are using them. Examples include Windows Azure, OpenShift, and AWS Elastic Beanstalk.

  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

IaaS allows customers to rent virtual server space from a provider and manage it themselves. It is a service where the provider offers the client virtual machines, storage, and networking resources. Examples include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Compute Engine.

What Can You Expect from a Cloud Service Provider?

Cloud computing is a type of computing that provides shared resources, software, and information to computers and other devices on demand. With this model, users can access a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) on demand, with minimal effort or interaction from global cloud computing service providers.

  • Cloud Computing Services

The cloud service provider helps to store your data on the servers or share it with other users across the globe. It’s a cost-effective way to access software applications and hardware infrastructure as a service, including storage, networks, software, virtualization, and more. 

  • Remote Data Backup Services

A data backup is essential for businesses that require continuity of services in case of emergencies like natural calamities or technical glitches. Cloud providers offer remote data backup solutions that allow you to store critical files and folders online so that you can access them from anywhere at any time.

  • Cloud Storage Services

Cloud storage refers to storing data remotely instead of on your computer hard drive or local server. Businesses use cloud storage services to store their critical files in an offsite location where they can be accessed anytime from anywhere without additional effort.

  • Cloud Computing Consulting Services

Many small businesses don’t have enough technical knowledge about cloud computing. This is when the consulting sessions can help navigate the world of cloud computing, integrate it with the existing IT infrastructure, and facilitate smooth migration.

  • Cloud Management Services

Cloud-managed service providers help with various aspects of cloud management — like setting up new spaces, creating templates, and integrations, and conducting regular security and maintenance. Such providers will ensure you don’t have to worry about backend operations and cloud management.

Similarities and Benefits of MSP and CSP

cloud service provider

A managed IT services provider is a company that offers support for the IT infrastructure of your business on an ongoing basis. It may include hardware, software, and networking equipment, as well as repairs if something breaks down. Cloud service providers offer similar services but also provide access to technology that can be stored in servers at their location or accessed remotely by a user.

The primary benefit of using an MSP is that it can provide various services, including support, maintenance, and upgrades. Many providers also take care of security measures, including network monitoring and antivirus software updates. They will help you choose what kind of hardware you need for your business based on your needs and budget requirements.

CSPs work with multiple companies at once so they can offer different types of services to different clients. For example, they may offer storage space, email accounts, management tools, or online databases. Cloud computing has broad capabilities and is accessible through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous client platforms.

Differences Between Managed IT Service Providers vs. Cloud Service Provider

Cloud Computing Services Providers - Layer One Networks

Managed IT services providers and cloud service providers are two different types of companies that offer similar services. While both provide IT support, they differ in how they provide it, what they offer and how much it costs. The following are major differences between these two types of service providers:

The Way They Provide the Service

Managed IT services providers offer more than just a few hours of help from an onsite technician. They offer a full range of services, including management, maintenance, and computer systems monitoring. They also provide remote support and assistance for your company’s employees.

Cloud service providers typically only offer their services through a cloud-based platform. You don’t need to hire staff or buy equipment — you simply subscribe to their service and pay them a monthly fee to use their software or hardware.

The Services Offered

Managed IT services providers usually offer more extensive services than cloud providers. Still, there is some overlap between the two companies offerings due to competition in this tech industry sector. 

For example, both service providers may offer backup storage space for your data if you have multiple computers that need backing up regularly throughout the week or month. However, global cloud service providers are restricted to your infrastructure’s cloud section and can’t extend the services to your on-premise storage. On the other hand, a managed IT services provider takes complete charge of your IT infrastructure. Also, a fully managed IT service provider is directly linked with your business needs, whereas CSPs can be linked to any type of business needs through their network infrastructure.

The Flexibility of the Services

Another difference between managed IT services providers and cloud service providers is that MSPs are more flexible than CSPs.  is because MSPs provide you with all types of flexibility regarding software upgrade and maintenance services at an affordable price — custom-made to fit your needs, infrastructure and budget. But CSPs are not as flexible as they provide a set of solutions to choose from.

How Can You Choose the Best IT Service Provider for Your Business?

The challenge you face when choosing between these two types of service providers is that they have similar names, but there are important fundamental differences between them. What’s more, most businesses will need both types of services at different times during their lifecycle, so it’s essential to understand how each one works and what they can offer you.

The choice between MSPs and CSPs is entirely dependent on the type of infrastructure you have as well as the capability of your in-house IT team.

For example, if you have a hybrid cloud with on-premise storage, then you’ll need the services of both MSPs and CSPs. Many MSPs provide cloud maintenance support, so you can choose such an extensive option from a single vendor who can manage it all.

On the other hand, if you have only on-premise storage and need additional security and disaster management support, then you can work with an MSP for those additional needs.

If you’re unsure about choosing between both, reach out to our experts offering managed IT services in Corpus Christi. We can help you make the right choice and handpick the required services to maintain a robust IT infrastructure.