Is Co-managed IT Best for Your Business?

by | Feb 6, 2023

Co-managed IT is a service delivery model where an external IT provider works with a business’s internal IT team to manage and maintain its IT systems. As organizations look for ways to improve their IT systems while keeping costs down, 59% use managed services as part of their IT strategy. There are many types of managed IT services, so it’s important to carefully consider whether this model is the best fit for your business.

What Is Co-managed IT?

Co-managed IT is a partnership between a business and an external IT service provider. Both parties work together to manage the organization’s IT systems. The company retains overall responsibility for its IT systems but works closely with the IT service provider to ensure they are correctly configured, maintained, and secured.

What Are the Advantages of Co-managed IT?

There are several advantages of co-managed IT, including:

Increased efficiency: By working closely with an external IT service provider, businesses can ensure that their IT systems are properly configured, maintained, and secured. That can help to reduce downtime, improve performance, and prevent problems before they occur.

Access to expertise: Co-managed IT providers offer a team of experts with a wide range of skills and experience. That can be beneficial for businesses with limited internal IT resources, as they can access advanced IT services and expertise that they might not be able to afford otherwise.

Cost savings: A co-managed approach can be a cost-effective way for businesses to manage their IT systems. Properly deployed managed services can reduce IT costs by 25-45%, depending on industry, size, and approach.

Flexibility: Co-managed IT can offer a range of services that providers can customize to meet the specific needs of a business. That can help companies to be more agile and responsive to changing conditions.

Improved security: IT companies invest in security measures to protect their customers’ data. They can offer a range of security solutions, such as firewalls, intrusion detection, and data encryption. Those are easier to outsource than handle in-house.

Compliance: They can help businesses ensure compliance with various regulations such as HIPAA, SOC 2, and PCI-DSS. Regulated industries see the most benefit from IT compliance assistance.

What Are the Disadvantages of Co-managed IT?

There are different potential disadvantages of co-managed IT:

Lack of control: Some businesses may need more control over their IT systems when working with a co-managed IT provider. That can be particularly true if the provider manages and maintains key systems and processes.

Communication issues: Working with a co-managed IT provider requires effective communication. Problems that aren’t communicated can lead to confusion, delays, and increased costs.

Dependence on the provider: Businesses that rely heavily on co-managed IT services may become dependent on their provider for critical IT functions. If the provider experiences problems or goes out of business, it can cause significant disruptions to the company.

Limited flexibility: Co-managed IT providers offer a range of services that may not be as customizable as full outsourcing. That can limit how the business can react to changing technology needs.

Visibility: Some businesses may have limited visibility into the inner workings of their IT systems when working with a co-managed IT provider. That can make it difficult to understand changes’ impact or troubleshoot some problems.

It’s important to note that organizations can avoid these downsides by selecting a reputable provider, establishing clear communication and coordination methods, and setting realistic expectations. Since there are advantages too, it’s important to weigh those to consider the best IT service strategy.

When Is Co-managed IT Better Than Full IT Outsourcing?

While there are many reasons a business can benefit from full IT outsourcing, co-managed IT can still be a good choice. Some companies have unique workflows or specialized software that requires an in-house team. For others, technology might be a critical part of their business and requires frequent in-person help. An in-house IT technician can resolve anticipated issues quicker since there is no transit time to reach the service area.

Some businesses seeking co-managed IT may benefit more from fully outsourcing their IT services. If a company doesn’t need extra internal control, has issues that can be solved remotely, or wants to get the most IT support out of its budget, outsourcing is a good option. When unsure, an IT consultation is the quickest way to develop a business’s right IT management strategy.

What Size of Business Benefits Most from Co-managed IT Services?

With 46% of companies saving 25% or more on IT costs when using an MSP, co-managed IT services can benefit businesses of all sizes. However, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) see some of the greatest gains. These organizations need more resources and can struggle to maintain their IT systems. Co-managed IT can provide SMBs with the expertise and support they need without investing in expensive hardware or hiring more staff.

Yet, co-managed IT can also be beneficial for larger businesses. It allows them to augment their internal IT teams with extra expertise and support during periods it’s needed. They can also provide scalable support, so when extra IT services are required short-term, they can fill in any work gap that the in-house team can’t cover.

How Do You Pick a Good Co-managed IT Provider?

When selecting a co-managed IT provider, it’s essential to consider the following factors:

Reputation and experience: Look for a provider with a good industry reputation and a track record of successfully delivering co-managed IT services. That can be verified by checking their references and looking at their portfolio of work.

Services offered: Make sure that the provider has the services that your business needs. That includes support for specific technology stack and compliance requirements.

Communication and coordination: Look for an IT company with clear and effective communication. That will ensure that your business’s IT systems receive greater care.

Flexible Services: Find a flexible provider that can adapt to your business’s changing needs. That can help companies respond to market changes and take advantage of new opportunities.

Cost Effective: Compare the costs of different providers to ensure they’re cost-effective. However, keep in mind that the cheapest is not always the best. Reputation, experience, and service offerings are also important factors.

Cybersecurity: Check that they have strong security measures to protect your business’s IT systems and data. That includes data encryption, secure backups, and intrusion detection systems.

24/7 Helpdesk: Find out if the provider offers 24/7 helpdesk support. Consider what help options are needed, such as phone, chat, email, and online ticketing systems.

Ultimately, the best co-managed IT provider will be the one that best meets the specific needs of your business. It’s important to evaluate multiple providers and to carefully consider all the factors before making a final decision.

How Long Does It Take to Integrate a New Co-managed IT Provider?

The time it takes to integrate a new co-managed IT provider can vary depending on many factors. That can include the size and complexity of the business’s IT systems, the scope of services being given, and the level of coordination between the company and the provider. Due to those factors could take anywhere from a week to several months to fully integrate the new co-managed IT services.

The integration process may include the following steps:

1. Assessment: The provider will assess your business’s IT systems and processes. That helps them understand your current infrastructure, identify any areas of improvement, and map out the plan to integrate their services.

2. Planning: The provider and your business will work together to integrate the co-managed IT services. That will involve a setup strategy, identifying timelines, and outlining the services included.

3. Implementation: The provider will begin integrating their services with your business’s systems. That may include new software, system configurations, and staff training on new processes.

4. Testing: The provider will perform testing to ensure that everything is working as expected. Any issues discovered are solved as part of the process.

5. Live Services: Once the testing process is complete, the provider will go live with their services. Your business’s IT systems will now be co-managed by both your internal team and the provider.

ITonDemand: A Co-managed IT Provider You Can Trust

Co-managed IT is a unique service delivery model that can bring many benefits to businesses looking to improve their IT systems while keeping an in-house IT team. However, it’s essential to consider whether this model is the right fit for your business. Factors like IT complexity, the scale of services, IT goals, and budget can impact how effective it is.

When done correctly, co-managed IT can be a powerful tool for businesses to improve their IT systems and stay competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment. It is a great way to leverage the expertise of an external provider while keeping in-house control. It is crucial to weigh the pros and cons and decide if it is the right fit for your organization.

Interested in a consultation to see if co-managed IT services are right for your business? Get in touch with us via our contact form or call us at: +1 (800) 297-8293

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