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What are Co-Managed IT Services? Are They Right For You?

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Outsourced and co-managed IT models have become the strategic go-to for SMBs who want to focus their efforts on business growth rather than the rigors of daily IT support.

How do you know if your organization should consider co-managed IT services and for what IT functions you should outsource?


The growing importance, complexity, and scope of IT, as a whole, has driven many companies to favor co-managed IT services.

In a co-managed IT model, an organization’s internal IT team collaborates with their managed service providers to divide IT responsibilities based on skill gaps and time, among other considerations.

Companies benefit from this model by gaining access to experience and expertise it may not possess internally while maintaining visibility and alignment with business/technology objectives.

When to Consider Co-Managed IT?

When your business experiences accelerated growth, the technology workload can quickly increase to the point where you find the internal IT team overwhelmed, which quickly leads to drops in production across the business. With over 25% of business being conducted online in 2022, these slowdowns and drops in production can have serious consequences.

Strategic initiatives and alignment such as digital transformation initiatives, effective and timely project management, access to enterprise-class tools, and security become major concerns as the IT team falls further behind, struggling to keep up with the day-to-day leaving no time for strategic planning or adoption of newer technologies.

Co-management takes the burden off of your IT department so that they are able to focus on the tasks and projects they are highly skilled in.

IT Functions to Consider for Co-managed IT Services

What are some of the critical table stakes for co-managed IT services for growing companies?

Project Management

Smaller businesses may have one or two IT staff on hand who are great at what they do, but lack experience in project planning and management. When partnered with the right Managed Service Provider (MSP), your IT staff benefits from a lighter workload that allows them to focus on projects that enable business growth.

Outsourced IT project management gives your business access to experts who know how to plan and manage projects of all sizes.

Digital Transformation / IT Roadmapping

The creation of an IT strategy for a Mid-Market organization can be a huge challenge. Aligning agile short-term and long-term goals with the technologies needed to actualize them can be more than a small IT staff can handle.

Working together with your MSP for IT roadmapping provides access to a team of experts that will immediately boost the productivity of your IT staff and pass the benefits of increased efficiency to faster business growth.

Enterprise Tools

When you work with the right MSP, you gain access to enterprise-class tools that provide your business with the same level of insight and service that large companies can provide for themselves.

The best part is that you don’t have to make huge investments in developing a sophisticated IT team or software to do this. When you outsource, you gain immediate access to the same kinds of tools and services your business could not afford otherwise.

IT Security

One of the critical areas of business operations is the security of its IT infrastructure and digital assets. SMBs and Mid-Market organizations often lack the resources and skill set necessary for implementing and maintaining an effective security strategy.

Outsourcing your security needs to a reputable MSP/security services provider makes robust security much more than a pipe dream.

With the right security partner, your business gains access to state-of-the-art technology and security experts who know how to keep your IT infrastructure and digital assets safe.

Outsourcing is about much more than just handing off a bunch of work to another business. It’s also about forming mutually beneficial partnerships that help both businesses grow.

Most Common Co-Managed IT Service Models

Model #1: Outsource Helpdesk, Insource Escalation Resources

In this scenario, a business partners with an MSP to provide everyday tech support while keeping escalation in-house.

This allows your tech support experts to focus on resolving the toughest issues while your co-manage partner takes on the mundane helpdesk calls.

This is a particularly effective model for companies that are spread out across multiple locations and time zones.

One of the greatest advantages of co-managed helpdesk services is the standardization of service across all of your company’s locations.

Your business also gains the ability to reliably provide support services outside of normal business hours.

When you have a professional, co-managed helpdesk strategy in place, you eliminate the need for one or more IT personnel working the graveyard shift waiting for someone to call.

Model #2: Outsource Infrastructure Management, Insource Tier 1 Helpdesk

This option is a great fit for a business that:

  • Have over half of its employees at one location
  • A handful of remote workers or offices that connect into HQ resources
  • Remote work schedule that’s aligned with HQ time zone

In this model, your business outsources all of its IT infrastructure management while keeping first-line technical support in-house.

You may have an IT staff that lacks the time and advanced skills necessary to provide advanced infrastructure support or the resources to plan and manage projects.

Your business may also lack dedicated security resources to protect IT infrastructure and digital assets.

You may have a company culture where employees expect to be able to just walk down the hall to IT rather than calling over the phone.

Outsourced IT infrastructure management is ideal for an organization that needs expert IT skills and experience to manage and secure IT infrastructure.

This removes the burden of infrastructure management from your IT staff, freeing them up to provide first-rate, personalized help desk support to everyone throughout your organization.

Is Co-managed IT Support Right for You?

Co-managed IT support offers flexible solutions that meet your internal IT team where they are. Need a partner to focus on the day-to-day rigors of IT support? Or are you looking for a partner to focus on long-term planning for new technology initiatives and growth while your internal IT team focuses on the day-to-day? Maybe you’re just trying to fill a skills gap to complement your existing IT team. If any of these situations sound like your business, co-managed IT services could be right for you. If you’re a mid-market organization with a need for co-managed support or managed services, reach out to learn more about our solutions today!

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