Many small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) believe that IT management entails only one of two things: hiring an internal IT staff or partnering with a managed services provider (MSP). While these are common in Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland, there is also a growing trend of combining an internal IT staff and an external contractor — also known as co-managed IT services.
How do co-managed IT services work?
Given the complexity of IT networks, software and hardware, cybersecurity, and industry regulations, among other things, proper IT infrastructure management is not a one-man job. With co-managed IT services, your internal IT staff and MSP can work hand in hand to create solutions that will optimize your business’s IT infrastructure.
In case of a malware attack, for instance, your internal staff may get rid of the malicious program, but they may need help in recovering infected files. To save time, an MSP can come in and do the work your internal IT can't.
In many instances, a co-managed IT arrangement allows the MSP to provide tools for the internal IT staff to more effectively manage the technology--remote support tools, tools to automate patching, and basic security software. These same tools are utilized by the MSP to assist when needed, cover for vacations, assist with projects, etc.
What are the benefits of co-managed IT services?
There are many benefits to co-managed IT services that SMBs can take advantage of, such as:
Co-managed IT services serve as an ideal solution for businesses who may not be able to afford a large IT team or full-time managed IT services.
In this setup, your internal IT staff will handle the most common IT issues and only seek MSP assistance when needed. This can lower the overall costs by leveraging internal staff to provide the primary support, utilizing automation tools provided by the MSP for many routine tasks, and partnering with the MSP when it makes the most sense to bring in additional outside resources. This is a more cost-effective solution than hiring professionals who may not always be needed in the office.
2. Better workplace culture
Freeing your internal employees from the burden of repetitive IT issues while ensuring that the most critical issues are taken care of by the MSP helps the former focus better on their assigned tasks. This can boost their productivity and morale.
3. More dependable support
To grow your business, you need to adapt to new trends and develop new business strategies. In many circumstances, it makes sense to maintain support from an internal IT team that you can directly control.
In a co-managed IT services arrangement, however, the MSP could take of any some routine or specialize IT work, allowing your IT team to better focus their energy on IT solutions for your new business strategies.
In many instances, the MSP can provide 24/7 monitoring of your systems via a Network Operations Center (NOC) that can take care of issues after-hours when your internal IT staff are not working.
4. Improved security
By signing up for co-managed IT services, your business will benefit from the MSP's experience with the latest technologies and cybersecurity services. This reduces the need for you to invest in your own security solutions while ensuring that your company has the best threat protection possible.
For instance, your MSP can secure your system from data breaches by installing the necessary security solutions and patches, encrypting company data, and blocking access to unnecessary websites. And if you still encounter issues, MSPs can quickly assist your team in preventing intrusions or mitigating incidents.
Are co-managed IT services right for you?
If your IT department is constantly overworked, you may think of hiring more in-house staff. However, this may not be a cost-effective solution. Co-managed IT services can ease your burden by providing only the services you need. For instance, if your company is retooling for extended work from home scenario, the MSP can provide the tools to effectively manage the remote computers, allowing your internal IT staff be able to support your remote staff effectively and keep those remote systems updated and secured.
What’s more, if your internal IT team is limited in size or experience to carry out certain tasks, co-managed IT services may be a good fit. This way, your company can tap into additional expertise on demand.
No one knows co-managed IT services better than Fidelis. Your businesses will get the biggest advantages of an MSP while retaining the benefits of having an in-house IT team. We can even monitor your critical systems 24/7/365 and remotely troubleshoot issues. Get in touch with us today.