SaaS vs Managed Service

Highlighting the Differences: SaaS vs Managed Service Solutions

Not long ago, if a company wanted software, they would contact the software vendor, request a shipment of CDs and license keys, install the program on their computers, and then begin using it.

Much has changed, though, with the introduction of the cloud and constantly altering business models. And, let’s be honest, it can be perplexing at times. This ambiguity is most seen in the distinction between (Software-as-a-Service) vs managed services.

In this article, we will break down their core features and how they both differ to help you decide which one is better for your business.

What is SaaS?

SaaS stands for “Software as a Service.” It’s a cloud computing model in which software applications are provided over the internet on a subscription basis. Instead of installing and maintaining software on individual computers or servers, users can access the software and its features through a web browser.

This means that the software is hosted and managed by a third-party provider, relieving users of the responsibilities of software maintenance, updates, security, and hardware infrastructure.

Popular examples of SaaS applications include customer relationship management (CRM) software like Salesforce, productivity tools like Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), project management tools like Asana, and communication platforms like Slack.

SaaS has gained popularity due to its various advantages, such as:


Users can access the software from anywhere with an internet connection, enabling remote work and collaboration.


SaaS eliminates the need for upfront investments in hardware and software licenses, as it is typically billed on a subscription basis.


SaaS applications can often be easily scaled up or down based on the user’s needs, without the need for major infrastructure changes.

Automatic Updates

The SaaS provider manages updates and patches, ensuring that users always have access to the latest features and security enhancements.

Reduced IT Overhead

Since the software is hosted and maintained by the provider, organizations don’t need to allocate resources for software management and support. 

Quick Deployment 

Users can start using the software quickly after subscribing, as there’s no need for time-consuming installation processes.


SaaS providers often use a multi-tenant architecture, where a single instance of the software serves multiple customers. This can lead to more efficient resource utilization and cost savings.

Overall, SaaS has revolutionized the way software is delivered and consumed, offering a more convenient and flexible approach for businesses and individuals to access and use software applications. 

Read more: Sailing the SaaS Seas: Exploring its Advantages and Disadvantages

What is a Managed Service Solution?

A managed service solution refers to a service model in which a third-party provider takes on the responsibility of managing and overseeing certain aspects of an organization’s IT infrastructure, applications, or operations. This outsourcing of management tasks allows businesses to focus on their core activities while relying on experts to handle specific technical or operational functions.

Managed service solutions can encompass a wide range of services and offerings, tailored to meet the specific needs of businesses. Some common examples include:

1. Managed IT Services: This involves outsourcing the management of an organization’s IT infrastructure, including servers, networks, storage, security, and more. The provider ensures the systems are properly maintained, updated, and monitored to ensure optimal performance and security.

2. Managed Security Services: Providers offer continuous monitoring, threat detection, incident response, and security management to safeguard an organization’s digital assets against cyber threats.

3. Managed Cloud Services: These services involve the management and optimization of cloud infrastructure, platforms, and applications. Providers help businesses migrate, deploy, and manage workloads in the cloud while ensuring cost efficiency and performance.

4. Managed Backup and Disaster Recovery: This service ensures that critical data is regularly backed up and can be restored in case of data loss or disasters. Providers design and implement backup strategies and recovery plans.

5. Managed Network Services: This involves outsourcing the management and maintenance of an organization’s network infrastructure, including routers, switches, firewalls, and connectivity.

6. Managed Application Services: Providers oversee the deployment, management, and maintenance of specific software applications, ensuring they operate smoothly and efficiently.

7. Managed Communications Services: This might involve managing communication tools and platforms like email, messaging, video conferencing, and VoIP services.

8. Managed Print Services: Providers handle the management of printing devices, supplies, maintenance, and optimization of printing workflows.

9. Managed Workplace Services: This service focuses on managing end-user devices like computers, laptops, and mobile devices, ensuring they are up-to-date, secure, and optimized for productivity.

The benefits of adopting managed service solutions include:

  • Access to specialized expertise and skills.
  • Cost savings through reduced need for in-house resources and infrastructure.
  • Enhanced security and compliance.
  • Proactive monitoring and maintenance, reducing downtime.
  • Scalability to adapt to changing business needs.

Ultimately, the goal of a managed service solution is to offload certain responsibilities to experts who can ensure that the outsourced functions are carried out efficiently and effectively, allowing businesses to focus on their core objectives.

Read more: Simplify and Scale: SaaS Membership Management

 SaaS vs Managed Service Comparison

Certainly, here’s a comparison between SaaS (Software as a Service) and Managed Service solutions across various aspects:

Nature of Service

SaaS: Provides access to software applications over the internet on a subscription basis.

Managed Service: Provides management and oversight of various IT functions or infrastructure elements.

Software Delivery

SaaS: Delivers software applications directly to users via the cloud, eliminating the need for local installation.

Managed Service: Involves the management of existing software applications, infrastructure, or platforms, which can be on-premises or in the cloud.


SaaS: The provider manages the software itself, including updates, maintenance, and security.

Managed Service: The provider manages specific IT functions, infrastructure, or applications, as defined in the service agreement.


SaaS: Offers limited customization options, with users generally using the software as provided by the provider.

Managed Service: Can be tailored to specific business needs, often allowing for more customization and flexibility.


SaaS: Requires minimal IT infrastructure on the user’s end; software is hosted by the provider.

Managed Service: This may involve the management of various infrastructure elements, including servers, networks, and hardware.


SaaS: Users have less control over software updates and maintenance, as these are managed by the provider.

Managed Service: Organizations retain more control over the managed functions, infrastructure, and applications.


SaaS: Typically offers scalability in terms of user licenses or usage tiers.

Managed Service: Can provide scalability in terms of resource allocation and support for growing business needs.

Deployment Time

SaaS: Quick deployment, as no local installation is required.

Managed Service: Deployment time can vary based on the complexity of the managed functions.

Cost Structure

SaaS: Often follows a subscription-based pricing model, which can be more predictable and aligned with usage.

Managed Service: Pricing structure can vary widely, depending on the scope of services and infrastructure managed.

Expertise Requirement

SaaS: Requires less technical expertise, as the provider manages the software.

Managed Service: Requires technical expertise in the managed areas, but businesses can rely on the provider’s expertise.


SaaS: Providers generally ensure software security, but data security may also depend on user practices.

Managed Service: Providers often offer specialized security measures for managed functions and infrastructure.

Vendor Lock-In

SaaS: This can lead to vendor lock-in due to reliance on specific software applications.

Managed Service: While vendor relationships exist, organizations often have more flexibility to switch providers if needed. 

Final Word

Ultimately, the choice between SaaS vs Managed Service depends on factors such as the organization’s needs, technical capabilities, desired level of control, and the specific functions or software being considered for outsourcing.

However, SaaS is the computing and data management of the future which gives you much more control and helps you derive more insights from your consumer data. This is further simplified with a subscription management system like SubscriptionFlow. Book a demo with us to find out more!