Co-Managed IT Support

What is Co-Managed IT Support?

What is Co-Managed IT Support?

For small and midsized businesses, balancing growth and investment is a constant struggle. You need to make strategic decisions about how and where you spend your money. Investments in information technology (IT) can be costly. Managed or co-managed IT support may be a great option to maximize your investment. 

When done right, co-managed IT support will save you time, money, and a whole lot of stress. It allows your staff to focus on the things they are good at and enjoy while delivering high-quality service to your customers. 

But what is managed or co-managed IT support? Managed IT services are when the managed services provider (MSP) fully takes care of the business’s technology. In this scenario, the MSP is the IT department. 

Co-managed IT support means the MSP becomes part of the client’s organization. In this scenario, a business has an IT department, but it is supplemented from the outside by a managed IT services firm. This means your MSP will work with you to oversee things such as managing vendors, handling daily help-desk requests, providing project planning, and guiding all other strategic directions for the organization’s information technology.

How Does Co-Managed IT Support Work?

Co-managed IT allows you to keep your staff while bringing in new people. These new people can help provide new perspectives or strategies your current IT department may not have. There are many ways to integrate an MSP into your co-managed IT support. In some cases, the MSP may take care of the network and security while the internal staff handles all the computer systems and user support. In other businesses, the MSP may simply provide help desk support while all other tasks are addressed internally.

Pros and Cons of Co-Managed IT Support

Co-managed IT support offers businesses the advantage of maintaining internal control over their technology while receiving support from a managed service provider (MSP). This approach provides additional resources for IT departments, serving as an escalation point and offering mentoring. With co-managed IT support, businesses retain control over internal staff and costs while still benefiting from external expertise and the built-in training and mentoring opportunities provided by the MSP.

What Are the Benefits of Co-Managed IT Support?

  • Flexibility: Co-managed IT support offers businesses the flexibility to maintain internal control over their technology infrastructure while still leveraging external expertise.
  • Resource augmentation: It provides additional resources and expertise to overstretched IT departments, helping them manage their workload more effectively.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Businesses can benefit from cost savings compared to fully managed IT services, as they only pay for the support they need while retaining control over internal staffing and costs.
  • Access to expertise: Co-managed IT support gives businesses access to specialized skills and knowledge from managed service providers (MSPs) when needed, without the need for full outsourcing.
  • Training and mentoring: MSPs often provide training and mentoring opportunities for internal IT staff, helping them enhance their skills and stay updated on the latest technologies and best practices.
  • Scalability: Co-managed IT support can easily scale up or down based on the changing needs of the business, providing flexibility to adapt to evolving requirements and growth.

What Are the Disadvantages of Co-Managed IT Support?

  • Potential conflict between teams: Conflict between in-house and external IT teams can lead to friction and feelings of threat.
  • Choosing the right MSP: Selecting the right IT partner is crucial and may require careful consideration of factors such as experience and adaptability.
  • MSP Availability: Provider availability outside of regular business hours may be limited, posing challenges during emergencies or after-hours IT issues.

Is Your Business Ready for Co-Managed IT Support?

When your business experiences accelerated growth, the technology workload can quickly increase to the point where you find the internal IT team overwhelmed, which quickly leads to drops in production across the business. 

Co-managed IT support is the perfect solution for a growing business. If your IT staff is feeling overwhelmed or if day-to-day tasks are keeping them from creating a long-term IT strategy and goals, then you’re probably ready for co-managed IT support. The best way to pinpoint the co-managed IT services you need is to see where your current IT is struggling.  

You may want to consider co-managed IT support in the following situations: 

  • You have a small IT team in a growing business with significant time constraints. 
  • Your current team doesn’t have the bandwidth to implement new IT projects. 
  • There is a knowledge gap between your employees and the demands of your business. 
  • The monitoring and management platforms you have aren’t meeting your needs.

When is Co-Managed IT Support Unnecessary?

If your company intends to completely outsource its IT department or only has one or two specific issues to address, co-managed IT services may not be necessary. Similarly, if your IT infrastructure is minimal or overly complex, managed IT services might be a more suitable option. Co-managed IT typically involves a partnership between your in-house IT team and an external service provider, making it less appropriate for businesses seeking full outsourcing or those with limited IT needs. Conversely, companies with minimal IT requirements or complex networks may find that managed IT services better align with their needs and objectives.

Finding the Right MSP for Co-Managed IT Support

Finding an MSP partner who is the right fit for your business will be worth the effort it takes! Before you start comparing providers, first make sure you’ve identified the roles and responsibilities of your internal team members. Then you’ll be able to spell out the roles and responsibilities you’re looking to fill with co-managed IT support. Once you start researching and comparing providers, you’ll want to ask about scenarios like after-hours support, vacation, and extra projects and be clear on how these scenarios are billed. Ensure you have clear processes for things like onboarding, reporting, and communication. 

Co-managed IT support offers small and midsized businesses a strategic approach to balancing growth and investment in information technology. By leveraging external expertise while maintaining internal control, businesses can maximize their IT investment, saving time, money, and stress. If your business is experiencing accelerated growth or struggling with IT workload management, co-managed IT support may be the ideal solution to enhance productivity and long-term IT strategy.

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