Business Leaders Guide to Co-Managed IT Support

How to secure the professional-grade IT support you need without a large and costly in-house IT department.

Every single day, CEOs and their executive teams are faced with tough choices when it comes to financial resources.

One of those investments is in your IT team. Whether big or small, there is no business today that can operate without advanced technical support.

However, how much should you invest? How big should your team be?

IT investments are difficult to estimate, because an exact ROI is not always easy to figure out.

Yet you know that you cannot afford to lag behind in IT. There is not a single department that does not significantly rely on IT to get their work done.

No one can function without advanced technology!

Perhaps even more importantly, if you have NOT properly invested in certain areas such as cyber-protection and backup technologies, you may be one attack away from having serious, long-lasting and costly ramifications.

This is where Co-Managed IT Services from Ntiva can help!

The 5 Warning Signs Your IT Team is Underwater

The rising complexity of IT systems and the overwhelming sophistication of cyber threats has left many IT departments unprepared.

NO ONE likes to go to the CEO and constantly ask for more money or help, and most managers are very reluctant to admit that they don’t have it all covered or that they are lagging behind.

Most IT teams rush from fire to fire with very little time for strategic initiatives, and often lack the specialized expertise to keep up with growing demands.

Sign of an Overwhelmed IT Team

 

Here are five warning signs that your IT team may be underwater.

1Your IT leaders and staff are routinely working nights and weekends to catch up. Ultimately, this will lead to exhaustion and burnout – which means expensive and disruptive turnover.

2Projects are not being completed on time or correctly. Don’t jump to the conclusion that you have the “wrong people” in place. It’s highly likely you have smart, dedicated people – they’re just pushed to the limits.

3Vacation and sick time have become an inside joke. More times than not, we hear from dedicated IT staff that they feel it is impossible to take time off. They are very much aware they are responsible for the safety and stability of the entire company network.

4There has been no time to roll out preventative maintenance and proactive security measures. Often the first things to fall off the plate are the most important. When projects are backing up and there are multiple fires to put out, its hard to get ahead of server maintenance, patching, security awareness training, testing backup plans, documenting disaster recovery…and other routine but critical tasks.

5No one on the team is a cybersecurity expert. The complexity of how to protect an organization against cyber crime along with compliance with new data privacy laws is growing exponentially. This requires specialized knowledge, expertise and systems with constant monitoring and attention. You cannot afford to skimp in this area!

How Leaders Are Solving Their IT Resource Dilemma

First, let’s get something straight. Co-managed IT services are NOT meant to replace your entire IT department, nor are they meant to occasionally step in for one-time projects.

Co-managed IT services are a platform for a lasting and on-going partnership, offering a customized set of services, tools and education to fill in the gaps.

In the typical co-managed IT model, you manage part of your IT function in-house with your own IT team, and you partner with a managed service provider (MSP) such as Ntiva, to manage the rest.

Co-managed IT allows your capable in-house IT staff to focus on the things they’re great at, while the MSP helps in areas where your team is stretched too thin or where you simply can’t deliver the level of support that you would like to on your own.

Here are 5 reasons why CEOs are moving to a co-managed approach.

1Employee retention. We do not replace your staff, we make them better. By filling gaps, giving them access to best-in-class tools and freeing them up to do their best work, they become FAR more productive for you – and less likely to leave.

2Cost efficiencies. We don’t have to tell you how hard it is to find, hire and retain top IT talent. With co-managed IT, you don’t have to take on the cost, overhead and risk of a huge IT department. We never take vacations or sick leave – you will NEVER be left short-staffed.

3Reduced risk. We offer 24/7 cyber security services, including tools and services that are far beyond the reach of the average business. Our team of cyber experts work with your team to provide the proactive, round the clock protection that is crucial on today’s environment.

4Access to expertise. No one IT person can know it all or do it all. Because you are a co-managed IT client, your team will have access to a deep bench of expertise to get advice and to help decide which technologies are best for your company.

5Access to automation tools. These are tools that most could not reasonably afford to bring in-house, but that can help your team prioritize and resolve employee problems faster and in general, make your IT department far more effective and efficient.

 

Three Common Scenarios for Co-Managed IT Support

Scenario 1

Scenario #1

Your senior IT team is great at high level strategic projects, but employees are complaining about response times and routine tasks sometimes get dropped.

Consider outsourcing all the day-to-day tasks, such as help desk, troubleshooting, patch management, asset management, data backup and maintenance, and anything else that is simply not getting done, and let your senior folks work on the complex projects.

Scenario 2

Scenario #2

Your small IT team is great at help desk and end user support, but doesn’t have the expertise in advanced cyber protection, server maintenance, new technologies, etc.

A co-managed IT partnership can provide complete management of your network infrastructure, including provisioning servers, updating firewalls, and configuring switches, as well as sophisticated security services, cloud migration plans and more.

Scenario 3

Scenario #3

You are in high growth mode and need help scaling up IT staff quickly, but are having trouble finding, hiring and retaining the right talent.

Flexible co-managed IT support resources can be brought in to help you get through this phase, as well as continue to fill in any gaps that you may have as you move forward.

 

Is Co-Managed IT Support a Good Fit for You?

Is Co-Managed IT Support a Good Fit?Co-managed IT is perfect for your organization if you fit this profile:

  1. Your IT team is swamped … or is anticipated to be.
  2. You’re growing your business and need to remove repetitive tasks from your IT staff so they can focus on more important initiatives.
  3. You lack the budget to increase your IT team headcount.
  4. You’re worried that your company is not fully protected against cyber-attacks and don’t have the in-house talent to address this.
  5. You have a full-time IT manager who can be your point person with your co-managed IT provider.

Co-managed IT is also a good fit if you need any of the following kinds of support but lack the staff, budget, resources, or expertise to provide it:

  • Routine Support: Password resets, slow computers, problems printing, Wi-Fi issues, and other common support requests that drain your help desk resources (and IT budget)
  • Large Initiatives: Cloud migrations, data center moves, major application upgrades, and other large projects that require extra IT resources
  • On-Demand Expertise: Access to experienced engineers and other IT professionals who already have the credentials, experience, and expertise that your organization lacks
  • Proactive Security Support: Audits, critical alert triage, IP vulnerability scans, network monitoring and 24/7 alerts and remediation.

When is Co-Managed IT Support NOT A Good Fit?

There are a lot of benefits to co-managed IT, but it’s not a good fit for everyone. Here’s a short list of people this will not work for.

1When your IT lead views us an adversary, not an ally. It happens. We are not looking to remove resources, we are looking to add value to existing resources. Still, some IT managers are fearful and have been know to sabotage the relationship.

2When there are no in-house IT resources at all. There needs to be an IT -savvy leader in the company who we can collaborate with, and who knows how the company operates, all the critical applications and is technically astute. If you do not have this, you need to consider a 100% outsourced Managed IT Services model.

3When the IT lead or team are fearful of change. Our primary goal is to support you and your preferences. However, one of our big values is our depth of experience. Clients that get the best results are the ones that are open to new ideas and can keep an open mind.

4When the leadership team is unwilling to invest in IT. We get it – everyone has to watch costs. However, starving the IT department is very risky. Some C-levels may question the expense of co-managed IT, and think they might be better offering hiring a full time resource. However, they forget that they are getting more than just a single person - they are getting an entire team, specialized skills and access to software and tools.


How Ntiva Supports Co-Managed IT

Ntiva offers co-managed IT support services that simplify your IT operations and reduce your costs. You have the option of outsourcing as little or as much of your IT function as you need to in order to manage your IT requirements and your budget.

Co-Managed IT Support

 

Our co-managed IT support can include:

  • Day-to-day tasks (such as troubleshooting, remote help-desk for employees, upgrading software, backing up & protecting data)
  • Onboarding and offboarding
  • Asset management
  • Server maintenance
  • Business application upgrades (Microsoft 365, Apple/Mac)
  • Onsite support
  • Backup and Disaster Recovery
  • Supplementary or total cybersecurity protection
  • Cloud migration
  • IT regulation compliance
  • BYOD and mobile support
  • Strategic planning (vCIO or vCISO)
  • Employee training
 

What C-Level Executives Are Saying About Co-Managed IT

"Patching, help desk, and even things like cloudbased Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) are good candidates for outsourcing to a managed service. Once those workloads are shifted from your internal IT, you can start focusing on more strategic initiatives."

– Brian Shea, Chief Information Officer, MBX Medical Billing Experts

"There’s no way a company of 200 employees or smaller is going to develop subject matter expertise in the full range of technology enablement they need."

– Kirk McLaren, CEO of Foresight CFO

"The MSP leverages its resources to bring additional value when fulfilling your IT requirements. When the relationship works, clients benefit from their service provider’s mature infrastructure and extensibility."

– Mark Drever, President & CEO, Xcelerate Solutions

"Outsource IT needs that require specialized knowledge and attention. Other services that can be purchased cost-effectively from a massively scaled vendor – such as cloud data storage – are also good candidates for outsourcing."

– Stephanie Jones, COO, Alpa Diagnostics

Read the Co-Managed IT Case Studies

 

 

The Future of Co-Managed IT

The Future of Co-Managed ITCo-managed IT is not for everyone, but it is certainly a fast-growing area. Global demand has spiked over the past few years, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The impact of the pandemic highlighted a lack of agility in many organizations. Many struggled to quickly set up secure, large-scale work from home environments, and those that managed to do it often had huge holes that have never been properly addressed.

IT downsizing was also a casualty at the time.

Now those same companies are trying to ramp up, and are finding that hiring and training IT talent is difficult and expensive. In addition, technology is moving faster than ever. The pandemic has brought major and lasting changes in how businesses operate and it’s hard for small teams to keep up.

The need for external technology expertise to add scalability, agility and security has never been greater. Partnering with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can help alleviate many of these challenges, while keeping costs manageable thanks to an “as a service’ model of co-managed IT.

Ready to Explore the Benefits of a Co-Managed IT Partnership?

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