The Managed IT Services market is booming. According to a report by market research and consulting firm MarketsandMarkets, the revenues of IT Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are expected to grow from $145.33 billion in 2016 to $242.45 billion by 2021.

But does that mean in-house IT departments are fading away? Not in the least, says an analysis published by CIO magazine. Their 2013 survey of 400 IT and business professionals found that only about 30% of companies were then using the services of an MSP. Although that percentage has certainly grown over the last several years, internal IT support remains fundamental to the operations of many enterprises.

What many companies have discovered is that IT support need not be an either/or proposition. They can maintain the internal IT departments that have served them so well in the past, while augmenting them with services a top-level MSP can provide more efficiently.

When might using an IT Managed Service Provider alongside your internal IT department make sense?

One area frequently cited is remote software support. When it comes to hardware, and sometimes to hands-on help desk support for unsophisticated users, many IT managers value having someone physically on site to provide immediate assistance as needed. But software is different. Such tasks as application configuration, trouble shooting, patch management, and data backup do not require an on-site presence. In fact, for companies with multiple locations, the remote support a good MSP can provide may be, by far, the most cost-effective solution.

Another area in which an MSP and a company’s in-house IT department can profitably work together is in covering staffing needs when vacations, illness, budget constraints, or other issues leave the internal team understaffed. Plus, by the nature of its business, a good MSP must ensure that its technical employees maintain a level of current industry expertise that an established internal IT department may not be able to match.

An MSP can relieve internal staff of the requirement to be on call round the clock. A fundamental part of the business model of most MSPs is that they offer 24/7 monitoring of their clients’ systems, allowing them to remotely detect and often correct problems before on-site staff need to be called in.

These are just a few of the ways an internal IT department can work with an IT Managed Service Provider to improve operations and lower costs. If you’d like to further explore how this type of cooperation might work for your company, please contact us.