Making the Right Choice Between Managed IT Services vs. Staff Augmentation

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In today’s digital age, IT is the backbone of any thriving business. However, a staggering 64% of companies experience significant downtime due to IT disruptions, costing them an average of $5,600 per minute, according to Gartner.

“In an era where data is the new oil, businesses can’t afford to spill a drop. The right IT strategy is not just an option; it’s a necessity,” ~Dan Munk, CEO of Fencecore

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dissect the topic of staff augmentation vs. managed services to arm you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision for your business.


What is Staff Augmentation?

Staff augmentation is a strategy that allows you to add skilled external talent to your existing in-house team on a project-by-project basis.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Flexibility: Easily scale your team up or down
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Pay only for the skills you need
  • Control: Maintain oversight of your project


Ideal Scenarios for Staff Augmentation

  • Short-term projects
  • Specialized skill requirements
  • Budget constraints

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What are Managed IT Services?

Managed IT services involve outsourcing your entire IT operations to a third-party service provider.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Comprehensive Coverage: From network management to cybersecurity
  • Predictable Costs: Fixed monthly fees
  • Expertise: Access to a team of IT specialists

Ideal Scenarios for Managed IT Services:

  • Long-term IT strategy
  • Lack of in-house IT expertise
  • Need for 24/7 support


Staff Augmentation vs. Managed Services: Core Differences

Understanding the nuances between these two options is crucial for making an informed decision.



  • Staff Augmentation: Project-specific
  • Managed Services: Holistic IT management


  • Staff Augmentation: Variable, based on skillset
  • Managed Services: Fixed monthly fees


  • Staff Augmentation: High
  • Managed Services: Limited


  • Staff Augmentation: High
  • Managed Services: Low


In-Depth Comparison Guide Table:

Criteria Staff Augmentation Managed IT Services
Scope Project-specific, focused on individual tasks or projects Comprehensive, covers the entire IT infrastructure
Cost Structure Variable, based on the skillset and duration of the project Fixed monthly or annual fees
Control High, you manage the augmented staff directly Limited, the service provider manages the IT operations
Flexibility High, easy to scale up or down Low, usually requires a long-term contract
Skill Availability Specialized skills can be sourced as needed Broad range of skills, but may not be as specialized
Responsibility You are responsible for management and oversight Service provider takes full responsibility for IT management
Expertise Level As per your specific requirements General IT expertise, with some specialized services
Resource Allocation Resources are dedicated to your specific projects Resources may be shared across multiple clients
Risk Management You bear the risks related to project management Service provider assumes risks related to IT operations
Compliance and Security You are responsible unless specified otherwise Usually included in the service, with compliance certificates
Long-term Viability Ideal for short-term, specific projects Suited for long-term, ongoing IT needs
Exit Strategy Easier to disengage, as it’s project-based May involve complex contract terminations


Key Considerations for Making Your Decision

It’s estimated that 57% of businesses already outsource at least one IT need to MSPs–and that number is increasing steadily. So how do you decide which direction go in? To choose between managed services vs. staff augmentation, consider the following:

  1. Assess Your Current IT Needs: Do you need specialized skills or a full-service IT department?
  2. Long-term vs. Short-term Objectives: Is this a one-off project or part of a larger strategy?
  3. Budget Constraints: Can you afford a long-term commitment or do you need more financial flexibility?
  4. Skillset Requirements: Do you need niche skills that are hard to find?


Become a subject matter expert on managed IT services with these resources:

Common Misconceptions

  • Myth 1: Managed services are always more expensive
  • Myth 2: Staff augmentation means less control

Staff Augmentation vs Managed Services


Make the Choice Between Managed IT Services vs. Staff Augmentation with Fencecore as Your Dedicated IT Partner

You’ve navigated the complexities of these two options, and now it’s time to make your choice.

Reach out to Fencecore for a free consultation.

Together, we’ll diagnose your IT needs and guide you toward the best solution for your business.