In a managed service arrangement, the managed service provider retains responsibility for the functionality of the IT service and equipment, and the customer typically pays a monthly fee for receipt of the service. There are many different types of managed IT service offerings, but the idea behind all of them is to transfer the burden of maintaining IT from the customer to a service provider. In an effective managed services relationship, a customer benefits from predictable pricing and the ability to focus on core business concerns rather than IT management chores.
The evolution of MSP started in the 1990s with the emergence of application service providers (ASPs) who helped pave the way for remote support for IT infrastructure. From the initial focus of remote monitoring and management of servers and networks, the scope of an MSP's services expanded to include mobile device management, managed security, remote firewall administration and security-as-a-service, and managed print services. Around 2005, Karl W. Palachuk, Amy Luby (Founder of Managed Service Provider Services Network acquired by High Street Technology Ventures), and Erick Simpson (Managed Services Provider University) were the first advocates and the pioneers of the managed services business model.
Managed services is the practice of outsourcing the responsibility for maintaining, and anticipating need for, a range of processes and functions in order to improve operations and cut expenses. It is an alternative to the break/fix or on-demand outsourcing model where the service provider performs on-demand services and bills the customer only for the work done.
In House—the process where an organization hires its own IT service providers and pays their salary, benefits, and further training, as well as the infrastructure they oversee. This is typically an extremely costly endeavor, and often businesses that try to procure in-house IT lack the capabilities to fully service their system as well as an inability to grow.