7 December 2020

Untangling the Myths of Co-Managed IT

Untangling the Myths of Co-Managed IT

How do you make the most of your internal IT resources? For many organisations, rather than continuing to add extra in-house resources to cover the ever-increasing required skill set, they are outsourcing the more mundane or highly specialist skills and tasks they need.

Which leads to the question – how do the internal and outsourced teams work together as efficiently as possible? Can they work co-operatively or are they in competition?

The use of a co-managed IT model is becoming an increasingly popular strategy to enable internal and external teams to function better together. For example, to share access to the same RMM and security tools to monitor and respond faster to threats.

It sounds ideal. But it takes more than two teams to make it work.

For many organisations a joint approach makes sense. Combining an MSP with your IT department helps you share IT responsibilities along explicitly defined lines. It gives your business a blend of skills and infrastructure to manage critical operations, close the gaps in daily tasks, and make space for strategic projects – all while responding quickly to changes in the IT environment. The result is improved productivity, reduced downtime, and faster project completion.

This mix of in-house and external IT resources gives you a serious advantage in a few key areas as you grow.

It’s built-in risk management.

If you have business critical services, it can pay to keep them under internal control. With a co-managed approach, your internal IT team can share risk management with their MSP, while keeping granular control over security decisions and capabilities.

A co-managed IT solution with an MSP offers excellent risk mitigation. Their systems offer excellent insight into the IT environment, while also giving internal IT staff the control they need to act without needing to lodge a support ticket. Say a device goes missing, or you suspect an account may have become compromised. With the co-managed approach, internal IT have the control privileges they need to respond quickly, locking the device or isolating the account for inspection before the security event escalates further.

It’s the help you need when you need it.

Your in-house IT department does impressive work. There’s no doubt that they have the skills and insights you need to get the job done. But as your needs grow, there are always new constraints. Maybe there’s no space for that new server or no budget for that cybersecurity expert. Or perhaps there aren’t enough hours in the day for your in-house team to complete strategic projects while keeping the lights on.

Co-managed IT can fill the gap. You get the resources of a company dedicated to IT, along with the expertise of a whole team of seasoned technology professionals. Your MSP can look after daily maintenance tasks, provide 24/7 monitoring, and help desk support. Essentially building up your IT capacity as you work towards your long-term IT strategy.

It’s extra resources that work with your team.
Think about how long it takes to hire new IT staff. The costs involved. The resources it takes away from other parts of the business. What are the opportunity costs of these decisions? What else could you do with these resources?

Co-managed IT is increasingly popular for two key reasons – it adds value to your business without the costs of additional in-house staff.

Your MSP gives you access to a large team of skilled professionals, but without the overhead costs that come with hiring full-time salaried employees. Your MSP works alongside your in-house IT, letting you keep the experienced team you have come to rely on while giving them the resources they need to get things done more efficiently.

It’s finishing projects faster.

Do you have an IT project that’s lagging? Are your deliverables stuck in development hell? Would an extra set of hands make the difference?

Whether you are implementing new systems, supporting remote employees, or scaling your business’s technology, co-managed IT can deliver the extra support you need to get IT projects off the ground. MSPs can offer tailored project consulting services to help you know which activities to prioritise and how to complete them faster and with better results.

Alternatively, if you’re getting swamped in the middle of a project, an MSP can deliver the support you need to clear space on the dashboard and start making headway.

It’s taking control of essential tasks.

Your in-house IT staff have detailed knowledge of your business’ workings and specialised software. Their knowledge and experience are what makes them ideally suited for internal projects – and in many cases, you want to keep their roles in-house.

But managing critical tasks and support tickets can impact their capacity to deal with other value-adding projects.

That’s why many companies choose a hybrid IT solution. Instead of completely outsourcing IT or placing 100% of the burden on internal staff, co-managed IT helps cover what’s missing. They can supply everything from a 24/7 help desk to on-site IT support, with the MSP working alongside your in-house IT department to take care of these essential (but time-consuming) tasks.

This frees up your team to focus on tasks aimed at enhancing business growth. And it’s this combination of external capacity and internal capability that makes a co-managed model so appealing.

It’s strategic planning made simple.

IT innovations and technologies can help drive business growth, allowing for more efficient processes and communication while improving business functions. But it can be challenging for a limited in-house team to keep up with strategic opportunities while managing daily tasks.

MSPs often work across a range of different industries and sectors. This experience lets them offer valuable insights into the systems that work best for specific businesses. Some offer access to a virtual Chief Information Officer vCIO as part of their services.

A vCIO can give you access to granular industry knowledge regarding new tech developments. They have experience deploying niche solutions that help their partners meet their business goals, and in developing concrete plans that help drive change while controlling timelines and costs.

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