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Casual vs Managed Support

Updated: May 12

man in business suit holding out hands to each side with words Casual on left and Managed on right

What do we mean "casual" or "managed"?

Here at Northrock, we have two different support options.

Casual is a pay-as-you-go model where we provide support as you request it. You call us in as much, or as little, as you deem necessary and our team of professionals help you with each and every request on an hourly fee structure.

Managed is where all your day-to-day IT support needs are covered (including unlimited support requests) via a predictable monthly cost.

Some IT providers don't provide casual support alone, they will have a specific set of services (managed antivirus, remote monitoring, etc., etc.) for a monthly cost, then provide labour on a pay-as-you go model. We discuss why we don't take this approach in our article - Why no middle ground?

Why Casual?

The primary reason to go casual is when the cost to go managed exceeds the value you would get from it.

Why Managed?

Managed Support can offer three valuable outcomes:

  1. Improved productivity.

  2. Decreased costs.

  3. Decreased risk.

There are many benefits to managed, but when looking at the bottom line, these are the outcomes that those benefits create.

Client Profile: Casual

Clients who are a good fit for Casual support tend to have some, or many, of the following attributes:

  • fewer than 10 PCs

  • usually have an in-house contact who handles day-to-day needs

  • few locally installed apps - mostly cloud-based or on vendor-provided hardware

  • low dependence on technology; can "get-by" without it

Client Profile: Managed

Clients who tend to succeed with Managed Support are more highly dependent on technology as a core component of their operations. Some characteristics include:

  • 10+ PCs (though smaller, highly-tech-dependent orgs can also find value on Managed)

  • on-premise server (though increasingly rare these days)

  • high dependency on systems being functional

  • compliance and/or data retention requirements

  • high value target for ransomware/hackers

  • a distributed workforce (including work-from-home)

  • technology-dependent workflows and processes

Why go Managed?

We don't want to convince people they should go managed when it's not a fit. However, sometimes organizations who might benefit from managed support don't consider it. Whether they're scared off by the price tag, have poor past experience with managed, or simply haven't considered the value it could bring.

The below chart highlights some of the benefits of Managed over Casual.

Chart highlighting differences between casual and managed

We link to deeper dives on these benefits in our article Managed IT Support for your Organization.


Northrock offers two options for service - fully Managed, or purely Casual. If your organization is small and your technology needs and dependance are limited, casual is the right fit for you.

If your organization depends highly on technology, has obligations to protect your data, and your workflows and processes could benefit from improved efficiency, then Managed is worth exploring (or revisiting).

Reach out for a no-obligation, discreet discussion if you would like to find out more about what Northrock's solutions can do for you.



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