Kharmela Mindanao

By: Kharmela Mindanao on January 12th, 2022

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Co-managed IT vs. Managed IT (Pros and Cons)

Managed IT Services | Co-Managed IT

Companies have limited resources that need to be spent wisely. And thus, choosing between Managed IT and Co-managed IT becomes a question of intelligent resource allocation. Which service do you truly need from your Managed IT Service Provider (MSP)? 

ITS helps business owners choose which service would be best for their situation as an MSP ourselves. We’re aiming to help you decide as well.  

So in this article, we’ll take a look at the following questions:  

  • What are Co-managed IT and Managed IT? 
  • What are the pros and cons of choosing Co-managed IT? 
  • What are the pros and cons of choosing Managed IT? 

By the end of the article, you’ll know the pros and cons of Managed IT and Co-managed IT. This will help you choose the right service for your business.  

What are Co-managed IT and Managed IT? 

Co-managed IT and Managed IT both have the same goal: to help you manage your IT network. They’re all about helping you manage your digital setup and protecting you from the latest cybercrimes. 

However, here are the following key differences:  

Co-managed IT is a supplement to an existing IT team. Co-managed IT is meant to work in conjunction with your current IT. If your IT team has a problem, Co-managed IT aims to help.  

Managed IT steps in as an IT team. You completely outsource your IT to the MSP. They’re entirely in charge of what goes on in your IT department and need to work closely with the key decision-makers in a business so that their actions can align with the business’ goals. 

Pros and Cons of Co-managed IT  

When considering the best IT management system for your organization, you should look at Co-managed IT. It’s great for small businesses with one or two employees as their IT team.  

Co-managed IT Pros 

Here are the following advantages of Co-managed IT over Managed IT.  

Co-Managed IT Pros

1. It’s cheaper than Managed IT. 

Co-managed IT costs around two-thirds of Managed IT. So if the quote for each user for Managed IT is $150, you can expect around $100 for Co-managed IT.  

If your organization is on a budget, looking into Co-managed IT instead of Managed IT is a good move.  

2. It provides an escalation point for your IT needs.  

Because Co-managed IT works with your current IT team, there is a clear escalation point from your company to the MSP. In Managed IT, the escalation points are between the employees in the MSP and not between you and the other company.  

3. You can keep your IT staff.  

The biggest pro you have in Co-managed IT is the ability to keep your in-house staff. You may have people essential to the company that you’d loathe to let go of. Maybe they’re overwhelmed, and you need a quick fix to keep your IT department running. Co-managed IT can help with that.  

Co-managed IT Cons 

The following are the disadvantages of choosing Co-managed IT over Managed IT. 

Co-Managed IT Cons

1. Possible friction between in-house IT and Managed IT team.

When introducing a new team into an existing team, there can be tension between the two groups. There may be the misconception that the Co-managed IT team is meant to replace the in-house team. 

This is not the case. It’s up to the company leaders to explain why the Co-managed IT team is there. According to Rob Schenk, ITS San Francisco Partner, the Co-managed IT team’s goal is to make the entire IT department look good.  

2. Incomplete mental offboarding of IT needs

When you’re getting Co-managed IT, you still have to consider your in-house team. You’ll need to make more decisions and manage the day-to-day of your IT department. A Managed IT team will free up more of your mental space so you can focus on improving your business. 

Read - Full list of Co-managed IT (Pros and Cons)  

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Pros and Cons of Managed IT 

Managed IT is another service you should consider when improving your IT department. It’s great for small businesses growing rapidly or establishing a strong IT foundation for future growth.  

Managed IT Pros 

The following are the advantages of choosing Managed IT over Co-managed IT.  

Managed IT Pros

1. Offload the mental load of managing your IT infrastructure  

The biggest perk of Managed IT is completely offloading the mental burden of your IT infrastructure. You don’t need to worry about cyber security or scheduling backups, as your MSP will do all of this scheduling for you.  

2. No staff costs to consider - just a monthly fee 

Another benefit of Managed IT over Co-managed IT is the complete elimination of staff costs. In co-managed IT, you’d have to pay for staff costs and the co-managed IT fee.  

Managed IT Cons 

The following are the disadvantages of choosing Managed IT over Co-managed IT.  

Managed IT Cons

1. More expensive than Co-managed IT  

Due to having more services involved, managed IT is more expensive than Co-managed IT.  

If you disregard staff costs, Managed IT is overall more expensive than Co-managed IT. It also might not be worth it if you only have one in-house staff to get managed IT instead of co-managed IT completely.  

2. Lack of an integrated workforce management strategy 

You will need to work closely with your MSP to ensure that your business goals align with the actions they’re taking. If you’d like to switch back to a complete in-house IT department, it will also take more time to switch back than with co-managed IT as you don’t already have dedicated staff in-house. 

3. Loss of complete control over IT team 

If you’re the kind of person who loves to make decisions about the day-to-day tasks and procedures, you’ll have difficulty adjusting to Managed IT. The whole point of getting Managed IT is to let other people run your IT department for you, which is difficult for certain people.  

Who needs Co-managed IT and Managed IT? 

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of Co-managed IT and Managed IT is all well and good, but how do you decide if you need any of these services?  

Well, here are the typical qualities of businesses that benefit from obtaining Co-managed IT or Managed IT:  

  • Have at least 10 users and plan to expand 
  • Experience recurring IT problems that can’t be fixed despite the effort 
  • Have tried in-house IT but need to improve their IT infrastructure  
  • Looking into cybersecurity insurance but don’t know where to start 
  • Want to spend less mental resources in managing their IT 
  • Need to protect sensitive data of employees or customers 

If you have most of these qualities, you should evaluate if you have enough resources to invest in Co-managed IT and Managed IT.  

Ready to invest in Managed IT or Co-managed IT?  

Investing in your IT is a necessity in our current era of technological advancement. However, you need to choose the right way of investing in your IT department. Thus, if you’re looking into Co-managed IT and Managed IT, you need to choose wisely.  

To do that, you need to be aware of the pros and cons of each for your business. These are:  

Co-Managed IT Managed IT
Pros Cons Pros Cons
1. It’s cheaper than Managed IT.  1. Possible friction between in-house IT and Managed IT team  1. Offload the mental load of managing your IT infrastructure  1. More expensive than Co-managed IT  
2. It provides an escalation point for your IT needs.   2. Incomplete mental offboarding of IT needs  2. No staff costs to consider - just a monthly fee  2. Lack of an integrated workforce management strategy 
3. You can keep your IT staff.      3. Loss of complete control over IT team 

At ITS, we recommend either Co-managed IT or Managed IT to businesses if they have the following qualities:  

  • Have at least 10 users and plan to expand 
  • Experience recurring IT problems that can’t be fixed despite the effort 
  • Have tried in-house IT but need to improve their IT infrastructure  
  • Looking into cybersecurity insurance but don’t know where to start 
  • Want to spend less mental resources in managing their IT 
  • Need to protect sensitive data of employees and/or customers 

And overall, we want to make sure each business gets what they need from each service. However, knowing the pros and cons of each service isn’t enough. We know business leaders need a solid grasp of what these services are going to cost their business.  

So to help you out, read either “How Much Does Co-managed IT Cost? [Important Price Factors]” or “How Much Does Managed IT Cost? (5 Price Factors)”. ThisThe articles will help you decide what kind of IT management system you need.  

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