Sometimes, even the most competent IT staff needs a little help. There aren’t always enough hours in the day to get everything done. Plus, your IT support and security shouldn’t have to stop when everyone goes home at the end of the day. What if your company decides to implement a new tech project? Who’s going to handle the day-to-day tasks while they’re busy on the new project? Moreover, would the new tech project benefit from expert input?
There are many reasons your IT department might need a little help, which is where co-managed IT services come into play. Even the most talented IT team can have knowledge gaps. Rather than putting new people on the payroll, you can outsource some of the work to experienced professionals through co-managed IT. Plus, outside professionals can help keep you up to date with the latest technology trends to make your company more competitive.
Companies of all sizes who use managed service providers (MSPs) are more likely to outsource IT work than any other business service. And for good reason. Using outside IT professionals can rescue an IT team that’s stretched to its limit, fill in knowledge gaps, and even save you money.
Let’s look at some common questions people have about co-managed IT services to help you decide if it’s a good fit for your company’s needs.
1. What Are Co-Managed IT Services?
Is your IT team feeling overworked and understaffed? Do they have a big project coming up? Are they feeling the strain of a knowledge gap for a new project? If so, co-managed IT services is a way to provide extra help for your IT team from a professional outside source. It combines your in-house IT team with services from an outside professional IT company.
The beauty of co-managed IT is that your team can evaluate their needs to decide what stays in-house and what would help them most to outsource.
For example, your in-house team might handle daytime support, troubleshooting, and software and hardware updates. Meanwhile, an external IT service would handle after-hours, weekend, and vacation support; security; and legal compliance. Or, you might hire an external IT company just to help with one specific project.
Co-managed IT services offer several advantages, including:
- Optimized efficiency
- Adding up-to-date resources, knowledge, and expertise from an external IT team
- Allowing specialists to perform tasks beyond the scope of your internal IT team’s experience
- Creating a partnership to support, supplement, and enhance your existing IT team
- Adding additional IT support for a small staff without paying additional salaries and benefits
- Being able to pick and choose when to use additional IT support
2. How Can an MSP Enhance/Help an Internal IT Department?
Rather than replacing your current IT team, adding outsourced IT services enhance your team when and where they need help. Co-managed IT can also make the difference between providing standard IT and providing strategic IT.
They Can Be Extra Team Members or Provide New Skills
Your internal IT team has day-to-day tasks for which they’re responsible. However, at the end of the day, they only have so much time and are limited by their existing skill sets.
Co-managed IT supplements their efforts when your current IT team…
- Doesn’t have the time to get everything done
- Doesn’t have the skill set to handle specific tasks
- Needs to take a vacation or personal leave
- Needs help with a special project
They Can Save You Money
If you find that you need additional IT support for a specific project or even for regular tasks, hiring a co-managed IT team can allow you to utilize the experience and skills of specialists without having to pay full salaries and benefits.
They Can Provide More Security and Expert Abilities
Additionally, if you had to hire new team members on a temporary basis, you wouldn’t be guaranteed to get quality workers who would feel a sense of loyalty to their work.
A reputable co-managed IT assures IT security and expert abilities.
They Can Provide Scalable Services
Using co-managed IT resources allows you to easily scale your IT department up or down on a per-project basis. Finding a reputable co-managed option for outsourcing your IT needs allows flexibility in the size of your team.
3. Which Services Can the MSP Manage for the IT Department
Managed IT can enhance your company’s IT infrastructure by providing extra services, taking care of mundane tasks, handling after-hours issues, and working on special projects.
Some services that a managed service provider (MSP) can assist your company with include:
- Lightening your overworked team’s workload
- Increasing IT productivity and efficiency
- Finding and eliminating security vulnerabilities
- Answering end-user-initiated support calls
- Supporting overflow services
- Providing remote user support
- Providing after-hours, weekend, and holiday support
- Proactively monitoring systems and security
- Providing partial network management
- Transitioning to the latest monitoring, management, and ticketing platforms
- Offering a la carte services
- Offering consulting services for new processes and platforms and proven best practices
4. How Much Do Managed IT Services Cost? / How Are Managed IT Services Usually Priced?
Pricing varies from company to company based on what services you need from an outsourced IT company. A company may structure its costs based on the number of users receiving help, the number of devices serviced, or an hourly rate.
It’s common to sign a yearly contract with an external IT support company and then receive monthly bills for services rendered.
5. What Kind of Companies Are Good Candidates for Co-Managed Services?
Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re wondering if you are a good candidate for co-managed IT services:
- Do I need to increase the size of my IT team quickly?
- Can my IT team benefit from a broader range of technical skillsets?
- Is my company looking for new tools my IT department can use to increase efficiency?
- Am I looking for a fully-managed IT support plan?
- Do I need more end-user support?
- Does my company need someone to handle IT support after-hours, on the weekend, and during vacations?
- Does my small team have time constraints?
- Do I have a new IT project that needs support?
- Does my IT team have a knowledge gap?
- Does my company have a monitoring and management platform?
If you answered yes to even one of the above questions, you are a good candidate for co-managed IT services.
6. Is Our IT Staff Too Small or Overworked?
Do you just have a handful of people handling all the IT tasks for your company? Do you have to wait for more than a couple of hours to get help when there’s an IT issue at work? Does your team frequently look bewildered or have to put in overtime to get everything done?
If these images paint a picture of your IT team, your IT staff may be too small and be overworked as a result.
The smallest spike in demand for a product or service can create a situation that is unmanageable for your current team. While it’s possible to hire extra staff members, the process can be costly and time-consuming. It also might not be worth the hassle if it’s just a temporary need.
Supplementing your IT department with a third-party co-managed solution might be exactly what you need as a long-term or short-term solution.
7. We Are Taking on a New Project and Can’t Possibly Do More. Can You Help?
A new project can certainly put a strain on your most valuable resource: humans. No business wants to compromise resources that are already stressed. If your IT team is stretched to its limit, an outsourced external IT team can help.
An external IT team can work alongside your staff or take on other support duties so that your IT department can focus on the new project.
8. There’s a Knowledge Gap, Our Team Knows Our Business, But We Can’t Keep Up on the Latest and Greatest. Can You Help?
A wise person can admit when they don’t know everything.
Even the most experienced or gifted IT department may encounter an issue for which they don’t have time to train.
As tech changes, it’s also not uncommon for your IT team to have limited knowledge about the tech possibilities that are available for your company or how to implement them.
A co-managed IT team can provide knowledge and skills to fill in the knowledge gap your team may have. Rather than wait for your team to catch up on learning the new skills, you can hire a team of experienced experts for your project that won’t be learning as they go.
Final Thoughts About Co-Managed IT
Choosing the right partner for your co-managed IT needs is essential. Before you hire a co-managed IT company, it’s a good idea to do a self-audit to determine what you’re missing to meet your IT goals.
After you have a list of needs, you can present it to the company you want to help co-manage your IT department to see how they can assist and what services they have that are within your budget.
Using NSI for your co-managed IT services allows you to take advantage of years of experience from our IT specialists without having to pay an extra salary for someone of our skill level. Our affordable services can help you reach your IT goals by providing short-term or long-term IT support where you have a need.
Contact NSI today to find out how we can increase productivity, efficiency, and security in your IT department while saving you money.