Stephanie Hurd

By: Stephanie Hurd on September 24th, 2021

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3 Ways Co-Managed IT Services Can Help Your IT Department

Technology Strategy | Business Strategy | Outsourced IT Support

The overwhelming responsibilities of IT are stressful. As if daily new security threats weren't enough, you're also keeping up with general troubleshooting and network administration demands. You're facing more pressure to perform amid staffing shortages and a global pandemic that crammed five years of technology advancement into a few months. It just never feels like there are enough hands to respond to day-to-day end-user support needs while ensuring the network runs as securely and efficiently as possible.

Technology is constantly evolving. Your internal IT team knows your business systems inside and out, but they can only stretch so far in handling everything. Your IT department cannot plan for future projects or improvements while facing the overwhelming day-to-day tasks that take too long to accomplish.

While your leadership is open to investing in resources, IT is a bit of a mystery to them. You need a proven solution that eliminates the burdens of hiring and retaining talent, adds much-needed capacity to your team, and delivers efficiency, accountability, and critical decision-making data to your organization. 

The Value of Outsourcing to a Co-Managed IT Service Provider

If the above scenario sounds familiar, you are not alone. Outsourcing some of your IT functions to a managed service provider (MSP) could be an ideal solution. But not all MSPs partner with internal IT teams. You need an MSP that offers co-managed IT services.

Outsourcing to a co-managed IT service provider means that a third-party provider takes responsibility for some of your IT functions.

In today's uncertain economic landscape, you want to get the most out of your IT budget and department so that you can continue to innovate without overspending. In addition, you want your internal team to function without being overwhelmed and be as efficient as ever.

That is where a managed service provider (MSP) comes in to help by offering co-managed IT services. MSPs have the knowledge, skills, experience, resources, and ability to provide various services depending on your business needs. This includes, but is not limited to, infrastructure management, hybrid cloud solutions, tech support, inventory and lifecycle management, information security, and system monitoring and alerting. With co-managed IT services, you share IT functions with the MSP.

Benefits of Partnering with a Managed Service Provider

A partnership with an MSP brings several significant benefits to your company.

There are three key reasons you should consider partnering with a co-managed IT service provider.

You Get a Team to Work with Instead of One Person

Instead of hiring just one additional person to join your IT team, partnering with an MSP offers you an entire team. A team can accomplish more in less time than one employee thanks to combined efforts and the efficiency of working at scale.

In addition to the benefits of productivity and flexibility, an MSP team reduces or eliminates the HR issues, payroll overhead, and other administrative and management functions associated with in-house employees. Plus, your MSP can scale with your business. If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us nothing else, it taught us that we never really know what the future holds. The ability to scale back or scale up resources on short notice is incredibly beneficial to any business.

Unlike hiring an individual employee, MSPs never take sick days or vacations. They're available all day, every day to jump in as needed, covering increased volumes of day-to-day tasks. Their efforts free up your time to focus on future planning and growth initiatives – which the MSP can also help with. They can be as involved as you need them to be in things like solution brainstorming, advocating to leadership, and budgetary planning. An MSP partner goes a long way in expanding your current IT team without adding additional employees. 

Specialized Skills and High-Level Expertise

Hiring full-time, upper-level IT talent is expensive. When you partner with an MSP, you add specialized skills and high-level expertise at a lower cost than hiring a top-tier, highly specialized employee. While MSP fee models vary from one company to another, the cost of an MSP partner is usually cheaper than hiring a technician with higher-level expertise. 

For example, assume you have IT tasks that require the skills of a level 3 technician. While you likely have some needs for level 3 expertise, it's unlikely you have 40 hours of work that only a level 3 technician could do. So, if you hired a level 3 tech, you'd end up assigning them tasks that a level 1 or 2 technician could complete during the times when you have no level 3 work for them. That means you will pay a level 3 salary for level 1 or 2 functions. 

On the contrary, an MSP's team is comprised of experts with different levels of skills and areas of expertise. An MSP aligns skills and expertise of the tech assigned to the skill and expertise required for the task. 

Additionally, MSPs are better equipped to manage higher-level technicians. They have enough technical leaders to dedicate time to coaching and mentoring others. Plus, they are better equipped to offer appropriate professional development pathways to develop and maintained specialized expertise and skill levels.

Access to Enterprise-Grade Tools and Partnerships

In addition to the benefits of their people, MSPs offer you access to enterprise-grade solutions and tools. These include ticketing systems, documentation systems, monitoring systems, as well as cloud, storage, and cybersecurity solutions.

Not only do you get access to tools you may not have been able to access otherwise, but your MSP also brings their experience and processes for utilizing those tools to the table. When your MSP partner provides technology tools and systems, they're deployed and maintained by a highly skilled team with established processes for maintaining, testing, and updating these solutions and resources on your behalf. It's one thing to purchase a tool. It's another to embrace and use it fully. Your MSP can drive that change within your organization and hold your team accountable for using tools effectively.

An MSP partner also brings their strong vendor relationships to the table. Let's use a computer vendor as an example. Your IT department might only purchase 10 or 20 computers each year. An MSP purchases hundreds, likely even thousands of computers every year. As a result, they build strong relationships with their suppliers and manufacturers. This results in better service from manufacturer-certified technicians, improved vendor support, and expedited warranty processing.

Are You Ready to Partner with a Co-Managed IT Service Provider?

Outsourcing your IT functions to a co-managed IT service provider can help reduce your worry about your business IT needs. MSPs can support your business growth by offering expert help to your existing IT team. They work around the clock and bring an added layer of accountability to ensure your systems are in good order and every function is performed for maximum results. 

Remember to do due diligence when partnering with an MSP. Not all MSPs offer true co-managed services. Ensure the partner you choose is willing to share their knowledge and expertise and is not looking to replace your internal team. 

Finding a reliable MSP that offers co-managed services can sometimes be an uphill task, but it doesn't have to be with Innovative on your side. For more than 20 years, we have provided IT services to our clients for the best experience with technology. Visit our services page to learn more about our co-managed IT offering and how we can help your business. 

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