Managed IT Vs In-house Developer: What To Choose?

When it comes to software development, three of the topmost considerations are budget, quality, and time. But how do you build a product? Should you assemble an in-house development team or hire a managed services company? Which is the best approach to your software development needs?

Having the right development team is crucial to a business. Deciding whether to outsource software development or hire in-house developers is a strategic business decision with immense impact on your bottom line. Both approaches have equally compelling pros and cons that make the decision tough. Likewise, each project and business has its unique aspects and requirements that can affect your decision.

Here we’ll take a look at some crucial considerations when choosing between managed IT services and In-house developers. But before we dig deep into the details, let’s take a quick differentiation of these two software development approaches.

Managed IT Services vs. In-house Development

Managed IT services refer to the outsourcing of certain IT functions to an expert third-party provider, in this context, software development. The outsourced IT services may vary depending on the needs of the client. According to an IT developer at Jackson managed IT services company, outsourcing can be limited to certain aspects of software development or the entire process. This approach is cost-effective, fast, and reliable as the contracted party is already equipped with competent staff, technology, and expertise.

In-house development entails hiring a full software development team composed of engineers, front-end/back-end developers, QA testers, and UX designers. The team is under the full supervision of the company and typically works in a physical office but can also be remote. With this software development approach, the business embarks on the regular HR process of hiring IT professionals – from interviews to the on-boarding process to training. Likewise, the company also has to equip the development team with training, technology, and resources to build the software. As such, in-house development tends to be more expensive and time-consuming.

Important Questions to Ask

As you make this tough decision, some crucial questions can help you along the way.

·         Will software development be a regular or continuous part of your business, or is it just a one-time thing?

·         Do you know what skill set and qualifications to look for in building an organic software development team, or will you require guidance?

·         Does your company already have a development team? Are they capable of building and deploying the intended software, or do they need augmentation?

·         Will your budget manage to hire and maintaining in-house developers, or you need to minimize the costs?

·         Do you already have a dedicated employee managing development projects, or are you solely responsible for this?

Your responses to these guide questions will help you get a clear picture of your software development needs. It should also direct you towards deciding whether to assemble a development team or contract the work to an MSP.

Key Considerations When Choosing Between Outsourcing and In-house Development

The specific requirements and factors of your business are also essential in deciding to hire or contract your app development.

Personal Involvement

Organic software development teams often feel more committed to the goals of the company. Hence, they have a deeper sense of engagement and ownership in the outcome. This is crucial for long-term projects. With MSPs, you need to look for the right development team whose visions are genuinely aligned with your organization.

Business Knowledge

If you already have an in-house team, then building and capacitating them is a better approach. They are already knowledgeable about your business processes, culture, and needs. However, if your business requires more experienced and better-qualified developers, MSPs can provide you with technical assistance.


Unlike outsourced services, in-house developers are available at any time. This enables them to immediately address any problems as well as ensure ongoing development. On the other hand, Managed IT services typically work on a dedicated project in a certain number of hours. Their work is mostly output-based or in target milestones. Hence, it is important to choose a reliable contractor that will be easily accessible and available if the need arises.


With Managed IT services, you can expect fixed costs that are generally less expensive than hiring an in-house team. If you are launching new software on an ongoing or regular basis, building an organic team will be worth it. However, if it is just a short-term project, contracting is the best approach.


When building a development team from scratch, finding IT professionals with the right skill sets and experience in certain areas can be a challenge. Outsourced development agencies enable clients to choose from their pool of manpower based on their specific skill set. They are responsible for supplying the company with the right talent.

Which is Better?

Although Managed IT services seem to be the Holy Grail of software development, not all outsourced teams offer the same benefits. So, if you think that Managed IT services are the best approach in your case, be sure to do your homework and choose the right provider. Choosing the wrong provider might make the experience seem like a nightmare.

The decision of whether to hire in-house developers or use managed IT services is not a simple one. But the considerations discussed above can help you decide properly.