Your small to mid-sized business (SMB) faces many IT challenges – from unfulfilled security initiatives to balancing priorities in an uncertain economy. If you want cut costs, while still bolstering technology initiatives, you should consider co-managed IT services.
Benefits of Co-managed IT Services
Not only will co-managed IT reduce costs (more on that later) but there are several other ways it can boost your IT strategy:
- Overworked Staff: Technology managers are often juggling a myriad of tasks. The right MSP can help your staff focus on core strategies during seasonal peaks, digital transformation, or through fast business growth.
- Robust Security: Every organization needs cybersecurity tools and strategies. There are ransomware attacks happening every 11 seconds, and that’s one threat! To make matters worse, 60% of SMBs never recover from a data breach. The downside, of course, is most SMBs don’t have the resources to invest in enterprise-level protection. Partnering with an MSP to mitigate those risks is priceless in securing the future of your organization.
- New Projects: A co-managed IT solution can help you tackle large projects with the resources necessary through the lifecycle.
A Co-managed Misconception
A common misconception is that MSPs who offer co-managed support replace the internal IT staff and/or take over the IT process. A reputable MSPs objective is to complement the internal IT staff – not replace them.
A co-managed IT service provider aims to provide a collaborative environment so they can help technology managers (e.g., CIO, vCIO, CISO, IT Operations, etc.) in carrying out day-to-day business tasks.
Technology managers will find that the right managed service provider (MSP) will augment their team in ways that allow them to focus on core business initiatives.
The right MSP partner will help your organization:
- Increase efficiency
- Fill important security gaps
- Reduce IT costs
- Enhance internal training
- Manage help desk responsibilities
How Co-managed IT Services Reduce Costs
Deploying managed services will help reduce IT cost by 25-45% and increase operational efficiency by 45-65%. In addition, Intelligent Technical Solutions reports 25% of organizations experienced downtime costs of approximately $301k-$400k per hour.
That makes employing co-managed services the perfect solution for technology managers who are overworked and on a limited budget. Sharing the responsibility of the organization’s infrastructure helps you:
Reduce Overhead Costs
Scaling up can be a big issue in IT. Many SMBs face staff challenges, such as:
- Minimal time to recruit, hire, and train
- High IT salaries
- Low retention rates
By working with an MSP, you can augment your internal team with industry experts for a small fraction of the in-house cost. Co-managed services allow you to keep the resources you have and supplement with services to fill gaps and relieve stress from your team.
Gain Enhanced Tools & Resources
Boost your IT with enterprise-level tools and resources at a fraction of the cost. MSPs can offer this to you with reduced pricing because the cost is shared among clients.
Aligned experts recommend you work with an MSP who not only supplies general IT support, but also cybersecurity tools and support.
Increase IT Value
You can choose to work with an MSP who offers 24/7/365 support. This level of support can lead to increased system uptime, prompt ticket resolution, and enhanced cybersecurity.
Co-managed IT providers also stay on top of leading technology trends. This means you can boost your marketplace advantage with their expert knowledge.
Maintain Proactive Maintenance
Technology managers need to focus their energy on core business strategies; however, downtime prevention is equally important.
A co-managed solution will take care of day-to-day IT operations such as:
- Implementing timely upgrades
- Security updates and patches
- System monitoring to ensure that equipment performs optimally
Proactive and preventative maintenance from your co-managed provider prevents downtime and revenue loss. This allows internal staff to focus on critical business initiatives and reduces their workload – increasing productivity and boosting morale.
Reputable outsourced IT service providers will provide you with a contract detailing fixed monthly fees – so you’ll always know what to expect.
How to Choose the Right Co-managed IT Service Provider
Partnering with the wrong co-managed IT service provider can adversely affect your business. That’s why it’s important to do your due diligence and research MSPs before hiring one.
Just because they offer services, doesn’t mean they will be the right fit for your organization or in alignment with your business strategies.
Before Researching MSPs…
It’s crucial that you assess your internal resources and responsibilities before looking for a complementary MSP to provide co-managed IT support. This will inform you of the tasks and responsibilities you want to outsource and help your organization reach its goals.
When Researching MSPs…
As you begin your research, look for these key deciding factors:
- Great Service: Pay attention to how they interact with you and your team. Ensure they are interested in your company, your goals, and offer clear solutions. Excellent customer service is the hallmark of a great IT MSP.
- References/Reviews: Ask for references and/or client reviews. Find out what other business leaders liked and didn’t like about the company.
- Experience: Choose an MSP that has experience working with your industry, size, and scope. They need to understand how to streamline processes, meet compliance requirements, and manage operations.
- Services Offered: Ensure they offer the services and solutions you need to meet your goals.
- Outcome Driven: Ensure the MSP is outcome driven to help you grow your business. Each company has nuanced requirements that need to be met. Invest in a company that will give you the personalized approach you deserve.
- Scalability: IT needs can change – as your business grows or due to seasonality. Choose a company that can scale up or down when necessary to prevent paying for services you don’t need.
- Pricing: Get quotes from several companies. Compare the pricing structures and what is covered.
Aligned provides co-managed IT services and we tell our clients, “We measure our success by yours.” A good MSP is genuinely interested in your goals and helps to provide solutions to reach them. They also are transparent when they know they are not a good fit for your company.
IT Due Diligence Checklist
If you’re considering co-managed IT services, check out our IT Due Diligence Checklist. It highlights critical items to look for when evaluating MSPs. It covers everything from first interactions to transitioning to your co-managed IT service provider.
Related content: Tips to Help You Stop Wasting Money on Cybersecurity