Professional services and managed services are two powerful approaches for meeting government agencies’ most pressing mission needs. However, a lack of clarity around these two terms doesn't just prevent agencies from selecting the right solution; it can also hamper innovation, risk mitigation and efforts to apply technology to enhance citizen experiences.
On the most basic level, professional services provide project-based, detail-oriented, episodic services for business and technology needs. The goal is to help agencies address a specific challenge, such as enabling adoption of new technologies, or provide a solution, such as augmenting staff expertise in emerging technologies, within a defined timeline. While professional services are commonly procured for a dedicated project or output, their scope may range from initial planning and strategy design to deployment and continuous support.
Managed services, on the other hand, are defined by ongoing, long-term engagements that often provide a complete solution for delivering outcomes such as driving value, optimization or speed in automating components of an agency’s operations. Managed services could provide agencies with a more comprehensive way to tap into industry innovation while helping mitigate risk. In turn, citizens could benefit from advanced, more consumer-like services, and government agencies could benefit from increased security and resource optimization.
Along with innovative tools and time-tested processes, another key benefit of the managed services approach is providing capacity. When an agency purchases managed services, they are also buying infrastructure capacity and security solutions owned and operated by the managed services provider.
Additionally, managed services are an excellent way to pilot, test, trial and adopt new technologies more quickly as agencies don’t have to set up a full, in-house infrastructure.