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Managed Services vs. Outsourcing

06. 11. 2023

Your monthly dose of mainframe. In today's issue we discuss how various managed services can support an expert team in supercharging its' Mainframe efficiency, as well as take a comparison between Managed Services and Outsourcing.

Mainframes are still a critical part of the IT infrastructure for many large organizations. They are used to run mission-critical applications, such as those for financial transactions, customer service, and inventory management.

As a result, the decision of whether to outsource or manage mainframe services is an important one. There are pros and cons to both approaches, and the best option for a particular organization will depend on its specific needs and requirements. 

Understanding Outsourcing and Managed Services

⇒ Outsourcing is the process of contracting with an external provider to perform a specific task or service. In the case of mainframe services, this could involve the entire mainframe infrastructure, or just specific tasks such as operations, maintenance, or security

⇒ Managed services is a more comprehensive approach to outsourcing. A managed services provider (MSP) takes responsibility for the overall management of the mainframe infrastructure, including operations, maintenance, security, and upgrades.

The main difference between outsourcing and managed services is the level of involvement of the organization. With outsourcing, the organization retains responsibility for the overall management of the mainframe infrastructure, and the MSP is simply a contractor. With managed services, the MSP takes on a more active role in managing the infrastructure, and the organization can focus on its core business activities. 

Mainframe technology is here to stay, but but the conversation around mainframes must evolve. We see a threefold answer through empowering mainframe teams by in-place modernization, a managed service model and bringing up new generation of mainframers.

The Mechanics of Outsourcing 

Outsourcing usually involves transferring the complete mainframe infrastructure, including hardware, software, data, and personnel, to the provider. This provider then assumes responsibility for the entire management spectrum, from operations to upgrades. While outsourcing can be cost-efficient, benefiting from economies of scale and mainframe specialization, it might also curtail control over the infrastructure, potentially reducing flexibility and visibility. 

Operational Focus of Outsourcing Providers 

Outsourcing providers predominantly emphasize operations. Their expertise ensures smooth mainframe infrastructure management. However, their focus might not extend to generating new business value, concentrating more on fulfilling the organization’s existing needs. 

The Comprehensive Nature of Managed Services 

Managed services promise a broader spectrum of mainframe management. Beyond operational facets, they aid organizations in bolstering their IT prowess. MSPs identify and rectify improvement areas, leveraging their resources and expertise. 

Security and Compliance in Managed Services

Managed services providers are typically very focused on security and compliance. They have the expertise and resources to ensure that the mainframe infrastructure is secure and compliant with all applicable regulations. This can be a major advantage for organizations that are concerned about security and compliance.

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

Managed services providers can also help organizations to improve their disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities. They can help organizations to develop and implement disaster recovery plans, and they can provide the resources and expertise to recover from a disaster.

A Comparative Analysis: Outsourcing vs.
Managed Services

Managed Services
Focuses on operational aspects
of managing the infrastructure
Focuses on improving IT capabilities
and providing strategic advice
Can lead to a loss of control over
the infrastructure
Provides more visibility and
control over the infrastructure
Not as focused on security and
More focused on security and
Not as focused on disaster
recovery and business continuity
More focused on disaster recovery
and business continuity

CROZ Managed Services Overview

CROZ managed services provide a structured approach to managing the mainframe environment, encompassing infrastructure, processes, and personnel. They involve regular maintenance of the infrastructure and process optimization. They also facilitate the integration of experienced professionals into the existing team, aiming for a harmonious blend of expertise. CROZ managed services focus on the ceaseless generation of business and technical value, optimizing the existing IT framework to foster new business value. 

Security remains paramount with CROZ managed services. That encompasses: 

  • regular security patch applications for systems, subsystems, and products to ensure robustness 
  • promptly notifying users about impending certificate expirations 
  • the management of the PKI infrastructure on the mainframe, with a focus on timely certificate renewals. 

Additionally, CROZ MS offers support in maintaining a product inventory, ensuring that organizations remain compliant with their purchased licenses, especially during vendor audits. The service also recognizes the importance of adhering to established standards, such as ISO27001 for security and PCI for the banking sector. 


The decision of whether to outsource or manage mainframe services is a complex one. There is no single right answer, and the best option for a particular organization will depend on its specific needs and requirements. 

Organizations should carefully consider the factors discussed in this blog post before making a decision. They should also carefully evaluate potential outsourcing or managed services providers to ensure that they are getting the best possible value for their money. 

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