When your IT team isn’t able to get to all of the tasks that are required to run a high-functioning IT department, it can be hard for them to ask for help. They may consider admitting they can’t do it all as a defeat. They may feel pressure about adding anything more to the IT budget. It’s also possible that they may not have let go of the hope that they will eventually catch up. Hope is not the same as a plan.
Running an IT department is becoming more complex all the time. There’s little chance that one person, or even a small team of IT staff, can know all there is to know and handle all there is to handle when it comes to managing IT and mitigating cyber risks. That’s where co-managed IT services come in.
Co-managed IT Services are outsourced IT and cybersecurity managed services that augment the capabilities of your internal team. With a co-managed IT partner, you gain access to all the expertise you need for high-functioning IT.
In this article, we’re going to describe how co-managed IT services work so that you can decide if co-managed IT services is the solution to the IT problems that you’re experiencing. We’re going to answer these questions:
- Who is best served by co-managed IT services?
- What are the benefits of co-managed IT?
- How do you decide who does what?
- What does onboarding with co-managed IT look like?
- What are the outcomes of co-managed IT?
Factors for Assessing the Suitability of Co-Managed IT
1. Who is best served by co-managed IT services?
There are many different scenarios where co-managed IT services make a lot of sense, but the problem is the same. The company needs more IT resources than they have in-house. This problem can turn up in any size organization, but companies that have from 70 to more than 1,000 employees very often turn out to be a good fit for co-managed IT.
Size, however, isn’t the only indicator that executives should be looking at co-managed IT to supplement their internal IT department. The following situations may also apply:
- The IT manager wants more visibility and control over the IT environment.
- The IT team is better at overall IT management than helping end users.
- The IT team is better at helping end users than at overall IT management.
- The IT manager needs more insight and guidance for IT strategy.
- The business is growing quickly and needs to ramp up IT fast.
2. What are the benefits of co-managed IT?
To uncover the benefits of co-managed IT, executives need to first recognize the value that technology brings to their business. When they do, what often goes along with that is that they want technology to do more to support their business strategy and the benefits of co-managed IT fit right in with that.
These benefits include:
- IT resources that can scale up or down.
- Reduce risks by having backup coverage for internal IT.
- Reduce the burden of attracting, hiring, and retaining a full IT department.
- Internal IT can focus on innovation or your proprietary applications.
- Internal IT can focus on helping users instead of IT management.
- Access to IT specialties that are not available in-house.
- Access to IT guidance for technology planning and budgeting.
- Access to an IT project team for network improvements.
3. How do you decide who does what?
Co-managed IT services are customized to your organization’s unique needs, however, deciding who does what isn’t exactly like picking items off an al a carte menu. There will be some things that the co-managed IT provider will insist on to make sure that your environment can be supported and secured. For example, someone needs to own the responsibility of updating and patching software.
The best way to begin formulating a co-managed IT plan is to start with your goals and where you have gaps. So, if you want to free up your IT manager to work on high level projects, then you’ll need help desk support and IT management. If your internal IT team is best suited to help employees with help desk support, then your co-managed arrangement would primarily be IT management.
Cybersecurity expertise is a huge benefit that you can get from co-managed IT services. If one of your goals is to improve how you’re managing cyber risks then having an outsourced cybersecurity team can relieve your internal team of the tasks associated with cyber defense.
4. What does onboarding with co-managed IT look like?
The way that you get started with co-managed IT depends on what the outsourced team is going to do. Whether it’s for help desk support or IT and cybersecurity management, the co-managed IT company will need to deploy their tools to your IT environment and endpoints.
The co-managed IT provider most likely made a high-level discovery of your IT network, so they’ll want to take a deeper dive as you begin onboarding. They may uncover security vulnerabilities or instabilities in your IT environment that require urgent attention to bring everything up to industry best standards.
Expect a lot of communication back and forth with your internal team and the co-managed IT team. It will be important to share any documentation about your network. If documentation doesn’t exist, that’s something else that the co-managed team can help with. Documentation facilitates the sharing of knowledge about your network and enables troubleshooting when issues pop up.
5. What outcomes can be expected from working with a co-managed IT partner?
The overall outcome of working with a co-managed IT company is that you have all of your IT bases covered. What’s more, because your internal team isn’t stretched with unrealistic expectations, they can become more successful.
When struggles with the IT function of an organization go away, business leaders find that they’re able to utilize technology to improve operations, enable success, and they’re more confident about how they’re managing risks.
Time to Up Your Game with Co-Managed IT Services?
We’d like to help you explore if co-managed IT services are right for you. We know what good IT and cybersecurity management looks like, and we’re eager to come alongside you to make IT the strongest part of your business.