Lately, we’ve seen an increase in mid-sized organizations looking at co-managed IT solutions. This makes sense given the recent strain on IT departments, coupled with business leaders who are now looking to reduce operating expenses and benefit from a predictable monthly spend.
IT (Information Technology) is an ever-evolving specialty that spans across many areas, such as infrastructure management, workstation and servers upgrades, help desk, networking, cybersecurity and specialized consulting – just to name a few.
A typical organizational IT footprint includes most, if not all, of these types of IT functions. However, sometimes the need to keep up with all of them can outgrow the capacity of the small group that is tasked to manage them all.
Anytime there are major changes to a business, such as unexpected growth or everyone in the country being asked to work remotely, it puts a huge strain on the IT department. Often a very small team is asked to do more than hours in the day allow!
In the current environment, most businesses do not have the cash flow to support multiple new hires in one department, but know their current staff is overworked.
This is where co-managed IT comes in!
What is Co-Managed IT?
Co-managed IT is a solution that helps organizations maximize their technology management efficiencies by combining their existing internal IT department with an outsourced IT partner.
There are many ways that your business can thrive with a Managed IT Partner. Let’s take a look at three different common scenarios:
- Low-level work: The IT Service Provider takes over the day-to-day tasks of the help desk using remote IT support tools to free up the internal IT team to work on higher level things such as patch management, asset management, keeping things up and running.
- Mid-level IT work: Perhaps your IT team are great at doing low-level work, and that’s how you want to keep things. The managed IT services partner can help with managing your servers, updating firewalls, switch configuration, etc. This is essentially outsourcing your System Engineer position.
- Senior-Level IT work: If your organization has a rock-solid IT team that can manage everything, including server and network management along with those pesky day-to-day issues, they probably don’t have much time for IT strategy. A service provider can offer virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) engagements to help fill in this gap, and help with strategic projects.
Co-managed IT allows your capable in-house IT staff to focus on the things they’re great at, while the Managed IT partner assists in the areas where your team is stretched too far.
Does Co-Managed IT Replace the Internal IT Department?
This varies from business to business, but from our perspective, an organization wins overall when they have a successful marriage of an internal IT team that is being supplemented by a managed IT partner.
In most cases, co-managed IT supplements your in-house IT team, it does NOT replace them.
From a business owner's perspective, co-managed IT is an absolute win in terms of cost and performance. The cost is far less than extra in-house IT staff, while the performance is so much higher than one more internal employee.
Outsourced IT help desk services bring a team of experts into your company. The expanded skill set and state of the art technology you add to your business will improve performance and efficiency across every department throughout the entire organization.
What are the Benefits of Co-Managed IT?
1. Faster Response Times – Is there anything more destructive to productivity than having to wait on an IT issue to be fixed? While it depends on the organization, 70:1 is the new minimum ratio for employees to help desk technicians. This means that the help desk technician needs to have absolutely nothing on his or her plate except troubleshooting the issues experienced by your employees. For most small to medium-sized businesses, this simply isn’t possible without outside help!
2. Less Downtime – One or two internal IT employees can only troubleshoot network connectivity or hardware failure issues so fast. With the additional assistance from a co-managed IT team, problems can be diagnosed and repaired with much less downtime.
3. Cloud Security – As the world of remote work continues to evolve, your need for cloud security does as well. Managed security services can ensure that every device used to connect to your network and access your data is secure. This also can be monitored and maintained remotely, taking yet another stressful piece of the IT puzzle away from your small internal team.
4. BDR Planning – Backup and disaster recovery are essential, and chances are they’re not getting the attention they need if your internal team is always putting out daily fires. You need a cohesive disaster recovery plan to ensure that your business can maintain operations in the event of a trying situation, such as a ransomware attack or natural disaster.
5. 24x7 Availability – Most businesses don’t realize how helpful it can be to have an IT team available 24x7. Having a team around after business hours to help with any emergencies is an obvious benefit for any organization, but the things like overnight software and firmware updates mean your employees never have to sit through an update process during the day, and your systems are always up to date with the latest security patches!
6. Easily Scalable – Most changes in your business mean adding additional employees, which means more hardware to manage! Thanks to virtualization through DaaS (Desktop as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service), your application licenses and security software can be easily managed and expanded by the outsourced IT team. With cloud-based telephony, you can even manage office phone numbers and setup softphones on employees’ mobile devices!
Co-managed IT doesn’t mean the end of your internal IT team. It means finally getting to realize the full potential of your employees, while removing some of the most stressful and repetitive tasks from their lives.
If you’ve noticed a recent downtrend in employee morale, or if IT issues seem to be on the rise, co-managed IT may be for you. Reach out to us if you want to explore the option of co-managed IT for your organization.