In late summer 2021, officials and local government staff were stretched close to their breaking point as they dealt with the wildfires that were raging across Oregon. This included the IT department at one the cities as it battled to keep systems operational and lines of communication open.
An additional and unwelcome weight on the IT team’s shoulders at this time was the fact the city’s entire data backups were stored in the town, so they were at significant risk because of the approaching fire.
Our team at StepUP IT quickly and effectively dealt with this problem by implementing an additional cloud backup solution for the city’s data. This eliminated the immediate fire risk to the data, while allowing the IT department in the city to get on with the long list of other important tasks they were dealing with.
The above example is co-managed IT in action.
To help you get a better understanding of co-managed IT, and whether it is a solution that could be implemented in your business, here are answers to the most frequently asked questions.
- What is Co-Managed IT Services?
Co-managed IT is an IT management model where you keep some services and tasks in-house, where they are looked after by your IT department. Everything else is allocated to an MSP.
In other words, it’s an approach where an MSP supplements your IT team with clearly defined areas of responsibility. It is a highly flexible approach to IT management as it allows you to decide the areas of IT that are best kept in-house and those that would benefit from the additional capacity and expertise of a third-party partner.
- What are the Benefits of a Co-Managed IT Approach?
IT departments and technical resources often work at capacity just to deal with the day-to-day issues and requirements of managing an organization’s IT infrastructure. In fact, there are often situations where internal IT teams are stretched beyond capacity, to the point where they are overwhelmed.
Even when an IT department is functioning, there is often not enough spare capacity available to devote sufficient time to things like IT strategy development, improvement projects, and optimization.
Internal IT teams can also face skills challenges, where they need to be across all aspects of the IT landscape. Unless there are unlimited IT resources and plenty of time for ongoing training and professional development, skill gaps inevitably arise. Those skill gaps can be damaging for the business.
For example, a lack of skill in automation can result in your business falling behind your competitors when it comes to productivity or the customer experience. Skill gaps in cybersecurity can be even more harmful.
Therefore, the main benefits of co-managed IT include the following:
- Increases IT management capacity
- Allows your internal IT resources to get on with what they are good at and what can bring real value to the business
- Enhances skills availability and fills skill gaps
- Enables your IT team to move away from day-to-day firefighting, instead functioning as a team that delivers continuous technical and IT operational improvement
There are other benefits, too, depending on the types of services that you need, your current IT infrastructure, and the capabilities of your IT team. Those other benefits include:
- Increased automation of standard, repetitive IT tasks as an MSP will have automation tools and processes that can be implemented immediately
- Additional expertise and a new perspective to assist with IT strategy development
- Access to enterprise-level tools to improve IT management processes and the employee/customer/user experience
- Reduced impact when an IT resource leaves as your MSP partner can bridge the gap while you recruit a new member to the team
- Ability to maintain service levels throughout the year, including when internal IT staff are off on vacation or due to illness
- Assistance with developing business cases for IT initiatives, budgets, and planning documents for IT improvement projects
- What Services Can be Allocated to an MSP?
Co-managed IT services can be customized according to your requirements, so the services that can be allocated to an MSP will often depend on things like the capabilities of your IT team and the plans you have for the organization.
Some examples of services that can be taken on by an MSP to free up your internal technical resources include:
- Disaster recovery, backups, and business continuity – these are essential processes that need to be properly set up, monitored, and optimized. Not only will an MSP have expertise in this area, but they will also have tools and proven processes that are reliable, efficient, and cost-effective.
- Cybersecurity – most areas of IT are fast-moving, but none more so than cybersecurity. Partnering with an MSP can boost the cybersecurity capabilities of your IT team through expertise, tools, and processes.
- Remote Monitoring and Alerting
- Standardized and automated patching
- Technology Alignment and Roadmapping
- What Types of Companies are Good Candidates for Co-Managed IT Services?
Co-managed IT services are suitable for just about any type of company or organization. Some common situations where it is beneficial to implement a co-managed solution include:
- Where your existing IT resources are under pressure to keep up with day-to-day requirements
- Where you have a small IT team so need additional expertise
- Where you are growing and need your IT team to scale rapidly with the business
- Where you have dips in service levels throughout the year because of staff absence, particularly where those dips in service levels impact business performance or the customer experience
- Where there are IT-related skill gaps that you need to bridge
- Where you want to reduce business risks in areas like cybersecurity, monitoring, and disaster recovery
- How Much Do Co-Managed IT Services Cost?
There is no simple answer, as it varies from company to company depending on the types of services that you require and the nature of your existing IT infrastructure (number of devices, etc).
- How to Get a Better Answer to the Above Question
We admit it – the above answer is very generic. Unavoidably generic, but generic, nonetheless.
That said, you can get an accurate and definitive answer to the question by contacting us at StepUP IT. We specialize in co-managed IT services, and we have extensive experience developing and implementing solutions for businesses and other organizations in a wide range of industries and sectors.
To speak to our team about your requirements and to get a quote, please get in touch with us today.