The Definition of IT Service

An IT service is the design, implementation, maintenance, or optimization of any information technology component or system.

The term is most commonly used to refer to one of these subjects:

  1. A company that provides IT support or consulting. For instance, Complete Network can be referred to as an IT service.
  2. Any individual components of care that an IT provider delivers. For instance, helpdesk support or network design might each be referred to as an IT service.

That’s what “IT service” means at a high level. To unpack the full meaning of the term, let’s break things down further and delve into each of the two subjects noted above. First, we’ll outline the different models under which IT service is delivered through a company. Then we’ll review a list of common IT service offerings.

Ready to get more clarity on IT services? Let’s dive in.

What are common IT service models?

From a provider perspective, the term IT service usually refers to support delivered under one of the following four models.

Internal IT service

Internal IT service is delivered by a company’s own, in-house employees. The specifics of this model vary greatly across organizations; at mid-sized businesses, internal service may take the form of a one-person department, while at larger organizations, it may involve an entire team.

The benefit of internal IT service is that employees are on-site and are as familiar as possible with the workings of the organization.

The drawbacks of internal IT service are that it is far more costly, and it makes accessing a broad range of IT expertise difficult, since nobody is an expert in every aspect of IT and individual employees have specific skillsets.

Break-fix IT service

Traditionally, third-party IT services were delivered under a break-fix paradigm. Under this model, companies pay a provider for IT services when systems experience issues. The provider fixes problems and bills for service at an hourly rate.

The benefit of break-fix IT service is that companies don’t pay for anything if there are no issues.

The drawback is that IT becomes less predictable and more costly over time. Because break-fix is a reactive approach to technology support, there is little to no strategy involved in systems planning and issues are rarely addressed at a root-level. While there may be months with no issues, there will likely be unforeseen crises, especially for organizations with any sort of complexity to their systems.

This approach is only suitable for very small organizations.

Managed IT service

Managed IT services are third parties that provide comprehensive and proactive management of a business’s technology. They work on flat-rate, monthly engagements, where strategic and support services are delivered on an ongoing basis.

The benefits of managed IT service are cost-efficiency, predictability, and access to strategy. At a price point that’s far lower than an internal hire, managed IT services allow organizations to proactively address technology via a team of experts. This tends to result in more reliable systems.

The drawback of managed IT service is that it rarely includes a constant physical presence at your site (although there are engagements where this is provided). However, on-site support is usually available as needed.

Supplemental IT service

Supplemental IT service refers to service that’s delivered by a third-party to augment internal support. Typically, this is done to fill in gaps in expertise or augment existing capabilities.

The benefit of supplemental IT service is that it can provide the best of both internal service and outsourced service. Internal personnel are able to function in their sweet spots, while any needed capabilities can be supplemented by the provider.

The drawback is that this method often entails the highest total cost, since it involves both internal and outsourced service. This is a great option for larger organizations.

Wondering which model of IT service is right for you?

If you’re considering one of the IT service models listed above, get in touch with us. Our expert consultants can help you to clarify the best framework for your organization’s needs.

What are examples of IT services?

With the models of IT service defined, let’s move on to the second of our subjects: individual components of care. The following are common IT services (usually delivered via one of the four models listed above).

Helpdesk support

This IT service is support provided by a remote staff. Helpdesks are often available 24/7 to respond to requests and can handle a variety of needs, from password resets to complex issue resolution.

Onsite support

This IT service involves a technician or engineer visiting a site in person to perform proactive maintenance, optimization, or issue resolution.

vCIO consulting

vCIO stands for “virtual chief information officer.” vCIO consulting allows organizations to access premier strategy and expertise without an expensive internal hire. This service can play a vital role in technology planning and systems design.


Cybersecurity entails the protection of digital assets. It may involve antivirus deployment, network hardening, policy consulting, user training, and more – for example, at Complete Network, we also offer managed SIM and managed SOC services that provide next-level security.

Managed Backups

Managed backups involve the regular reproduction of critical data into secure storage so that, in the event of an issue, restoration can happen seamlessly.

Network monitoring

Network monitoring involves regular surveillance of organizational networks to ensure that performance is optimized, and risks are reduced.

Vendor management

Some providers offer vendor management as an IT service. Essentially, this means that the provider will handle communications with technology vendors such as ISPs and hardware and software distributors.

Wondering which IT services your business needs?

If you’re not sure which services would best suit your business, get in touch with us. Our expert consultants can help you to evaluate your needs.

Take the Next Step Toward Better IT service in Charlotte, NC, or Albany, NY

Hopefully, the information above has helped to clarify your understanding of IT services – both in reference to providers and individual components of care.

If you’re looking to take the next step in improving your business’s IT service, get in touch with us.

At Complete Network, we provide Albany, New York, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Bluffton, South Carolina businesses with game-changing IT support via managed services and supplemental support. To find out how we can help to completely upgrade your business’s IT, reach out and ask our friendly team a question at either 877-877-1840 or [email protected].

How To Supplement Your Internal IT Team.

In an ideal world, technology would be a consistent source of competitive advantage and benefit for small and midsized businesses. The reality is that many fail to realize that confidence.

Without the right resources and support, even a highly skilled technology team can become overwhelmed by the growing list of technology management duties. When important tasks get neglected, it creates ripple effects throughout an organization that damage productivity and efficiency.

The co-managed IT services model solves these problems by providing your existing IT team with all the support and resources they need to successfully plan, manage, and defend your network technology.

This guide covers:

  • • Aligning technology with business goals
  • • Reducing churn while preserving institutional knowledge
  • • Empowering your staff to maximize productivity
  • • Achieving the highest level of cybersecurity defense

Download it for free by filling out the form here.