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IT Consulting vs. IT Services: Understanding the Key Differences

IT consulting and IT services are two different elements of IT outsourcing, each offering a specific set of services. As a business, you will find that IT consulting and IT services are both highly beneficial to various parts of the company at certain times. To know when best to apply each service, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the differences between IT consulting vs IT services.

The IT consulting industry is expected to reach a market value of $82.44 billion by 2027, up from $57.02 billion in 2021. The IT services market is following suit with a year-on-year (YoY) growth of 7.04%.

Clearly, these are two thriving components of the IT industry and open a plethora of growth avenues for all manners of business. However, before you make your jump into the array of consulting services options that populate the market, it is important to know exactly where you are going and why.

To help you fundamentally assess and compare the value that your business can derive from IT consulting vs IT services, we have mapped out the key differences to help your organization make an informed decision.

IT Consulting: A Primer

IT consulting is the provision of advisory services designed to help clients formulate an effective IT roadmap for their business. It takes into account operational processes, company size, budget, and the capacity required to develop the most cost-effective and beneficial IT strategy for the business.

Operational sectors

IT consulting can be separated into two operational sectors: management consulting and technology consulting.

Management consulting examines how a business operates at the corporate level and delivers an IT strategy to fit the company’s business model.

It includes:

The technology side of consulting covers the following items:

IT Services: A Primer

IT services is the third-party provision of business and technical expertise to help support and optimize an organization’s IT systems. This is different from IT support, which is a term typically used to describe an in-house IT team. IT outsourcing services are usually split into three main categories: business process outsourcing, software support, and infrastructure (hardware and network support).

Operational sectors

Infrastructure support covers the following elements of an organization’s hardware and network system, including:

Business process outsourcing (BPO) includes a host of services that fit into either horizontal offerings that can be leveraged across specific industries or vertical offerings that demand specific industry process knowledge. These can then be further grouped under the following outsourcing categories:

Software deployment and support covers all aspects of IT software and how it’s supplied to the business, including:

IT Consulting vs. IT Services: What Are the Differences?

The difference between IT consulting and IT services is most apparent in terms of deliverables, i.e., the actual products received. While IT services are easily measurable via tangible services provided, IT consulting can be more difficult to evaluate in the short- to medium-term. The following lists demonstrate the key differences in deliverables between IT consulting and IT services:

IT consulting

IT services

Cost comparison

Here is a rundown of how IT consulting and IT services are broken down in terms of cost. Although the two sectors provide different services, it’s helpful to get an understanding of the various ways in which they are priced.

IT consulting

IT consultants typically charge between $80 and $150 per hour for their services, although this can vary a lot depending on region and quality. For enterprise-level IT consulting, rates can range between $300 and $800 per hour. The average cost of consulting on an IT project ranges from $50,000 to $1,000,000.

The hourly rate of an IT consultant may seem high compared to an employee’s hourly rate, but it’s usually more cost-effective. Unlike permanent employee pay that isn’t used efficiently, every cent spent on an IT consultant is fully utilized and accounted for. You not only get better service but often spend less in the long run than if you hire a permanent staff member.

To get a better idea of the cost of IT consulting in your area, contact Ubisec for a quote.

IT services

IT services usually operate on a base monthly rate, with additional hourly charges for certain services. For organizations that have an in-house IT support team, they may just use a break-fix service that charges between $50 to $150 per hour.

Smaller companies that have no permanent in-house IT support would usually hire the services of an MSP at a cost charged per device or user. This typically ranges between $50 to $400 per user or device, and $1,000 to $3,000 per server or $200 to $500 for cloud-based servers.


IT consultants typically work with corporate management to develop a long-term IT strategy that supports and promotes your business objectives. IT services, on the other hand, work with various departments across the company to solve immediate IT problems as they occur. Although the two sectors are different, they work in harmony to keep your IT operations on track and optimize your organization’s productivity.
Managed IT services are provided by a third-party company known as a managed services provider (MSP). Many businesses incorporate IT outsourcing via an MSP for their technical needs to receive expert service at a reduced cost. MSPs typically offer a range of IT support services, including help desk support, hardware provisioning, cloud services, cybersecurity, backups, disaster recovery, and more.
An IT consultant works with a client to develop an effective IT strategy for their business, covering everything from basic software to advanced cybersecurity protection. They also help to deliver IT in a way that fits in with the business’s operational model, and optimize it in a cost-effective manner.

Secure class-leading IT consulting services for your business

IT consulting is an outcome-driven business where the client buys time and expertise. In other words, it is an investment in the future. Go for top-tier IT consulting services and the investment will pay off in the long run.

Schedule an appointment to learn more or to receive a customized proposal.

Interested to know the average cost of co-managed or fully managed IT services? Try out our MSP price calculator and get an estimate.

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Over the last 15 years, Ubisec has become a leading IT solutions provider to SMB/SMEs in the Los Angeles and Orange Country regions of California.

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