A managed IT services provider (MSP) is most often information technology (IT) services provider that manages and assumes responsibility for providing a defined set of services to its clients either proactively or as the MSP (not the client) determines that services are needed.[26][27] Most MSPs bill an upfront setup or transition fee and an ongoing flat or near-fixed monthly fee, which benefits clients by providing them with predictable IT support costs. Sometimes, MSPs act as facilitators who manage and procure staffing services on behalf of the client. In such context, they use an online application called vendor management system (VMS) for transparency and efficiency. A managed service provider is also useful in creating disaster recovery plans, similar to a corporation's. Managed Service Providers tend to prove most useful to small businesses with a limited IT budget.[28]

In the information technology area, the most common managed services appear to evolve around connectivity and bandwidth, network monitoring, security,[21] virtualization, and disaster recovery.[7] Beyond traditional application and infrastructure management, managed services may also include storage, desktop and communications, mobility, help desk, and technical support. In general, common managed services include the following applications.
Managed services and outsourcing works exactly the same. However managed IT services and traditional IT services are different. Pay attention to the words managed and tradition outsourcing given. It is basically obtaining services from a third party. There are different ways of observing one is traditional IT services the other one has managed IT services. So basically these two are different models through which IT services are outsourced.
At the outset of enterprise computing, information technology services and management was on a break/fix basis, meaning that computer systems were only managed by an expert when they did not work, necessitating a technician to fix it. This technician may also have been the person who built and/or installed the computer system, due to the proliferation of small IT shops that specialized in this small-scale client services at the time.