When Are Co-Managed IT Services a Good Fit?

By: Dustin Bonn
June 28, 2023

In this prolonged period of economic turbulence and IT recruiting challenges, more businesses are turning to managed IT providers to add enterprise-scale IT capabilities without additional full-time staff. 

This blog will explore which organizations might benefit from co-managed IT and when another solution might be a better choice.

What Is Co-Managed IT Services for Business?  

Co-Managed IT is a service model where an IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) supplements an organization's in-house staff. A trusted MSP can expand your team’s capabilities quickly and reduce their workload.

What Co-Managed IT Services Can You Get?

No two providers or managed service contracts are exactly alike. Your services will depend entirely on what an MSP offers and where your internal IT team needs additional help. 

These common IT services can be outsourced: 

  • Help desk support
  • Cybersecurity
  • Upgrading and patching software and systems
  • Data protection
  • Backup and recovery services
  • Maintaining cloud systems
  • Maintaining servers
  • Compliance issues
  • Management of additional locations

When Should You Consider Co-Managed IT?

If you currently have an internal IT team that requires more long-term support, co-managed IT is often a decent way to boost your internal staff’s responsiveness and ensure their time is spent wisely.

This short quiz can help provide insight into your IT team's current demands. Many internal IT teams these days are overburdened with accommodating remote work and providing robust cybersecurity in addition to supporting regular operations. Not surprisingly, stress and burnout statistics are alarmingly high industry-wide, so if any of the following is true, you should strongly consider partnering with an MSP:

1. You Want To Maintain an Internal Team, but You Need Additional Capabilities

If your business is relatively unique and relies on industry-specific software, it can be beneficial to have an internal IT staff. Many organizations also enjoy a team that’s on-site and familiar to the rest of their staff. However, by outsourcing some of your IT needs, you can reduce the burden on your staff and supplement their capabilities. An MSP offers the additional benefit of bringing new insights into the solutions that have worked well at other organizations like yours.

2. Recruiting Is a Significant Challenge

If your organization has struggled to recruit IT talent lately, you’re not alone. Additionally, as the demands on internal IT teams keep growing, if you don’t find a way to reduce the burden on your internal team, eventually, you may struggle to retain the staff you have. Co-managed IT can be an elegant solution to persistent IT recruiting challenges.

3. You're Worried About Cybersecurity

Cybercrime is continuing to rise exponentially. In 2021 alone, 45% of U.S. companies experienced a data breach. It’s very difficult for any internal team to provide a comprehensive cybersecurity solution that can stand up to today’s sophisticated hackers. On the other hand, a skilled MSP has the dedicated staff and resources necessary to keep your organization well-protected at all times.

Is your organization in alignment with cybersecurity best practices? This checklist can reveal your current areas of strength and where you may have hidden weaknesses. 

4. Your Long-Term IT Staffing Needs Are Unclear

If you haven’t found recruiting to be a challenge, but you’re still wondering if you should bring on additional staff during a period of economic volatility, with co-managed IT, you have more flexibility to scale services up or down as needed.

5. Your Internal Team Puts Off Important Upgrades and Patches

Keeping up with critical software updates is increasingly difficult for internal teams. It’s shockingly common for teams to put off patching known vulnerabilities, and many organizations are unaware of the risks that come with significant delays. Considering that 95% of data breaches are preventable, if your team routinely delays patching in favor of, say, providing a responsive help desk, outsourcing such services could spare your organization from a costly breach.

6. Your Internal Team Can’t Help With Strategy

Are there more efficient tools that your staff could be using? Could new software expand your capabilities? Could you be serving more customers faster? If your IT department primarily spends its time putting out fires and fixing what’s broken, it can’t be proactive and help you find better solutions.

When Is Co-Managed IT Not the Best Solution?

Project-based IT might be a better solution if you only need help with a specific project, like a large cloud migration, or getting a detailed technology or cybersecurity assessment. And if you don’t currently have dedicated IT staff and rely on an employee with a few additional tech skills, fully-managed IT would likely be a better fit.

Furthermore, if your organization’s IT needs are very simple (your staff uses three computers or fewer), one skilled in-house team member may be sufficient.

Finding the Best MSP Partner for IT Projects

There are a lot of financial benefits that come with partnering with an excellent MSP. If you’re looking to outsource some or all of your IT needs, the first step would be to find a provider that offers the expertise and the flexibility to offer what your business really needs. That shouldn’t be too much of a mystery — check out a provider’s strategic partnerships and certifications for the level of support they can offer on the tools you use most. 

And here’s a pro tip: If you’re curious about managed IT services, but not quite ready to make a commitment, one of the best ways to find out exactly how a provider would help your business is to work with them on a specific project. 

Browse our project menu by clicking below!

Project-Based IT Services

Topics: Managed IT Services