How Can a Co-Managed IT Environment Benefit Your In-House IT Staff
A co-managed IT partnership is not a new idea. It has just become much more prevalent among mid-sized businesses and it’s being discussed more often. With higher demands being placed on IT departments, and the need to reduce costs while increasing expense visibility, this shift in the IT industry makes perfect sense.
But first, what is a co-managed IT environment? Co-managed IT services is an IT support model that combines an existing internal IT department with an outsourced managed services provider to help maximize IT efficiencies and management within an organization.
When you look at standard IT functions needed in a mid-sized business, there’s a variety of skillsets that are required. General helpdesk and network infrastructure support, cybersecurity, and backup are a just a few of those categories. Not to mention, you’ll need to have time and knowledge to create strategic plans and roadmaps to help move your business forward in an ever-changing world.
Unfortunately, many mid-sized businesses do not have the capital required to employ a staff with all of the necessary skills. Typically, you may find an IT Director that can create fantastic roadmaps, but maybe doesn’t have time to support desktops. Or you may have an individual that’s really great at network infrastructure support but struggles with the strategic plans.
That’s where you’ll find that a co-managed IT scenario would bring value to your team.
Here are a few examples of different ways co-managed IT can be setup.
- Helpdesk Support – Many IT departments choose to use their MSP to handle the day-to-day support related directly to end users. This frees up the internal IT resources to handle big picture projects and infrastructure management.
- Infrastructure Support – If you do not have a senior level system engineer on staff, your MSP can handle your servers, firewalls and switch management and support. This leaves the internal IT staff to handle the end user support.
- VCIO or CISO – Maybe you have enough IT staff members to adequately take care of helpdesk, infrastructure and general project work, but you’re lacking in the strategic plan or security area. An experienced MSP can help to develop an IT strategy or bring those high dollar security plans to a more reachable goal.
So, let’s talk about the benefits of the different co-managed scenarios.
- Quicker Response Time and Less Downtime – There’s nothing worse than not being able to get into your email and then placing a ticket and waiting hours for a response. With an MSP, you not only get one person but a whole team, which increases your availability of resources to keep your business up and running.
- Access to a Broader Knowledge Base – At a good MSP, you’ll find different levels of expertise from level 1 to level 3 to VCIOs. They also inherently have more knowledge just because they support a variety of customers and have seen different scenarios through their customer bases. They are then able to bring that knowledge to help support your in-house IT department.
- Availability of Tools that May be Otherwise Expensive – A lot of security tools, RMMs, BDR solutions come with a price tag and typically put mid-size businesses in a bind. They are in need of these solutions but don’t have enterprise dollars to spend. An MSP can get volume licensing to offer these solutions to their customers at more affordable prices.
- Scalability - The great thing about working with a good MSP is that they are able to adjust your contract to fit your needs on an ongoing basis. If you need more computers because your employee count increased, your device count will increase that month in accordance with the agreed upon scope of service and contract terms. If your counts are reduced, your cost will also reduce.
I’m sure your main question is, does this Co-Managed environment eventually replace my internal IT department? THE ANSWER IS NO. Your internal IT department is valuable. They have knowledge and rapport of the organization that they’ve been able to gain over time. As an MSP, we’re here to support those individuals that support your business. A Co-managed IT situation is a win-win, as many times the cost of supplementing with an MSP is much lower than hiring an individual and the output is much higher as the MSP brings a full team of resources and expertise with them. It also gives your IT staff the peace of mind that they can go home at night, go on vacation or have a weekend off, with another team in their corner.
If you’re thinking your IT department would benefit from a co-managed IT relationship or just have questions, reach out to Invicta Partners to start a conversation! Call us at 423-664-8700 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.