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Everything You Need to Know About Managed IT

By: Mark Sheldon Villanueva

In an ideal world, your network never goes down, all your devices are optimized, and you wouldn't need to spend a dime of your organization's hard-earned profits to keep them that way. In reality, however, IT costs are steep, and your network and devices require constant care to keep them running optimally. 

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Don't have time to read now?

Don't fret, we can send you a PDF copy of everything you need to know about Managed IT  that you can read in your free time.

Co-Managed IT: A Complete Guide For Businesses

As a Managed IT and Co-Managed IT Service Provider (MSP), ITS has put together a guide to show you what Co-Managed IT services are, and what they offer your business.  

What You’ll Learn

Get ready – this is a comprehensive guide that will lay out everything you need to know to make an informed decision about Co-Managed IT for your business.  

We’ll be answering the most common questions our clients at ITS ask. These questions include:   

  1. What is Co-Managed IT? 
  2. What are the services that Co-Managed IT offer? 
  3. How is it different from Managed IT services?  
  4. What are the pros and cons of Co-Managed IT vs. Managed IT?  
  5. What are the benefits of Co-managed IT? 
  6. What are the disadvantages of Co-Managed IT? 
  7. When do you need Co-Managed IT?  
  8. How much does Co-Managed IT cost? 
  9. What types of businesses benefit from Co-Managed IT? 

Who is this Guide for

Not everyone is going to want to go through this entire review. We get it; it’s pretty detailed. You’ll find this guide more helpful if you:   

  • Want to improve your business’ IT infrastructure 
  • Are curious about how Co-Managed IT services can help your business 
  • Want to shift to a Co-Managed IT model for your company 
  • Need more information before selecting a Co-Managed IT partner 
  • Are growing to the point where Co-Managed IT makes sense 

By the end of this document, you’ll have a better understanding of Co-Managed IT and will be able to decide if it’s the right choice for your business. 

What is Managed IT Services

What is Co-Managed IT?

Co-Managed IT is a service where your MSP partners with your in-house IT and they work in tandem to more efficiently manage and support your IT infrastructure.   

Both your internal IT team and your MSP partner work together to improve your network’s security and efficiency. You’ll have peace of mind afforded by an on-site team supplemented by the support of an entire MSP behind them. There isn’t any pressure to hire more and more people; your MSP partner can scale with you as needs change. 

Do you need Co-Managed IT?

What is Managed IT Services

Essentially, Co-Managed IT is a three-way partnership between your leadership team, your internal IT group, and your Co-Managed IT service partner.  

Your Co-Managed IT service partner works to make your internal IT department look good. They handle the tasks your internal IT team doesn’t specialize in and let them focus on more important duties as well as the ones they’re best at.  

Co-Managed IT providers can also supplement your IT department by offering the hardware and software they need to scale-out operations, manage systems more efficiently, and better secure your critical data.  

A proactive Co-Managed partnership like this can reduce a lot of stress on business owners. Knowing that you have the back-up of an entire group of well-trained technicians without the huge price tag (if you had to hire them yourselves) allows you to focus your time on growing your company - and not just maintaining day-to-day operations.  

What are the services that Co-Managed IT offers?

Co-Managed IT is a three-way partnership that’s unique for each company. In our experience, the most successful Co-Managed IT partnerships are those that clearly find and define what you need.  

For example, some questions to ask that help identify what you need could include: What are the challenges you face with your IT department? Is your one-person IT person or your larger IT team overloaded? Are you concerned about gaps in your network security, need help with regulatory compliance or are worried about hackers or ransomware?? Does your company need to transition to a new line of business application and you need project help to keep your business goals on track?  Or maybe you recently lost an important leader or member of your IT department and you need to fill these gaps as soon as possible? After all, we find ourselves in a very tight labor market.  

Once you’ve identified some of these key drivers and important needs for your business, then you can get an appropriate proposal from a service provider. Co-Managed IT is ultimately flexible and customizable – specific to what you need.  

There’s a range of services that a Co-Managed partner can offer. Here’s a list of the most common Co-Managed IT offerings:  

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Support for day-to-day IT tasks

such as troubleshooting assistance, functioning as the helpdesk for employees, patching or upgrading software, backing up & protecting data

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Improved cybersecurity protections

through better tools, process, and guidance

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Server maintenance

and infrastructure/network management

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Business application upgrades

and project augmentation help

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Cloud technologies

including migration assistance or management

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Help with IT regulation compliance needs

including HIPAA, PCI, CMMC, etc.

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Scalable support

if you have a rapidly expanding business

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Provides tools to improve the efficiency of your IT team

such as reporting, metrics, documentation, and incident/ticket tracking

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Assist with management

and support of remote locations your business has

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Function as an escalation point

for your IT technicians when they need help

A critical point to remember is that Co-Managed IT services are not meant to replace your IT department. Co-Managed IT partners with your internal IT team to help them better manage your company’s technology 

Co-managed IT is often linked with Managed IT because they offer similar services. But it’s critical to note that Managed IT and Co-Managed IT services are better fits for different businesses with varying goals and needs.  

How Co-Managed IT Helps Your Company Save Money

How is Co-Managed IT different from Managed IT?

The reason they’re often interchanged is that there are some services that both Co-managed IT and Managed IT offer which overlap. They’re both meant to lessen the burden of managing an entire IT department. However, they are different based on the level of control you need over your technology investments.  

In simple terms, Co-managed IT is a supplement to an existing IT team, while Managed IT steps in and functions as your in-house IT team 

Co-managed IT is meant to help support and scale your existing IT department, while Managed IT is intended to be your IT department.  

Co-Managed IT vs. Managed IT

What are the Pros and Cons of Co-Managed IT vs. Managed IT?

There are benefits to Managed IT that you won’t get with Co-Managed IT, and vice versa. Each service comes with its own sets of pros and cons. Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of Co-Managed vs. Managed IT services:   

Co-Managed IT Managed IT
Pros Cons Pros Cons
1. It’s less expensive than Managed IT.  1. Possible friction between in-house IT and Co-managed IT team, unless there is leadership buy-in  1. Offload management of your IT infrastructure; focus on growing your business instead  1. More expensive than Co-managed IT
2. Functions as an escalation point for your IT team  2. Potential stepping on toes unless boundaries and expectations clearly defined  2. No internal hiring costs to consider - just a monthly fee  2. Depending on service plan, physical onsite support may be extra charge  
3. Focus your internal team on more important initiatives     3. Scope of work that an MSP provides may not cover all facets of your technology 

Based on this list, some companies may find Managed IT services more appealing. If you’re part of that group, please read “Everything You Need to Know About Managed IT” to help you better understand Managed IT services.  

But for others, Co-Managed IT services is a better choice. Let’s review the benefits of working with a Co-managed IT partner.  

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

What are the Advantages of Co-Managed IT?

Co-Managed IT comes with a slew of benefits that aren’t related to Managed IT at all. It is a vital service in and of itself.  

Here are the main benefits of Co-Managed IT solutions:  

Better leverage your in-house IT team.

It’s less expensive than fully Managed IT solutions.

It provides an escalation point for your IT needs. 

There are multiple specialized team members. 

It provides better security for your network.

What are the disadvantages of Co-Managed IT?

A Co-Managed IT partnership isn’t for everyone. There are a few disadvantages of Co-Managed IT that are worth noting. These include 

It needs leadership buy-in and is an investment.

Possible friction between in-house IT and Managed IT 

End-user related impact from change initiatives

When do you need Co-Managed IT?

It’s true that not all companies need Co-Managed IT. For those companies that do need Co-Managed IT services, they’ll often fall into one of the categories below 

Only have a one-man team, that is often overloaded

Missing a leader in your IT team

You have projects that you need to finish but can’t do due to lack of staff 

Lack of budget to hire entirely new staff and get a complete set of equipment

You want to keep current IT staff but need more people

You have a distributed workforce in multiple locations

You have around 50 to 75 employees or are continuing to grow

What businesses benefit from Co-Managed IT?

Aside from having the previous problems, you might also be a business that has the following characteristics:

Having all of the previous qualities is a good indicator that you need Co-Managed IT.  

Top 5 Advantages of Co-Managed IT for Businesses

How much does Co-Managed IT cost?

If you’ve identified yourself as someone who needs Co-Managed IT, you’re now asking yourself: well, how much is it going to cost 

Unfortunately, there isn’t one straight answer for this. Remember, Co-Managed IT is a flexible service, which is why its prices are also pretty flexible. 

However, a good price range to start at is $100-$200/user per month + one-time onboarding fees. There are a lot of factors that go into this price, which can cause the price to go either up or down on this sliding scale.  

The factors that go into the cost of Co-Managed IT are:

Number of locations

Number of users

Current IT setup

Take these factors into consideration when estimating the cost of Co-Managed IT.  

And aside from the monetary costs, evaluate the time and effort you’re willing to invest in Co-Managed IT.  

It’ll take around a month or two before a Co-Managed team can completely support your in-house IT. The main decision-makers of your business also need to coordinate with your Co-Managed IT team consistently. That way the Co-Managed team’s actions are aligned with company goals.  

How Much Does Co-managed IT Cost?

Ready to get Co-Managed IT?

Now that you’re aware that Co-Managed IT is a complementary team for your in-house IT, it’s time to decide if you’re going to invest in it or not.  

Getting a service that’s geared towards filling in the gaps of your in-house IT is great for both your in-house IT staff and your overall business goals. They’ll be able to help with big projects, escalated issues, and security breaches – things that could have fallen into the wayside if you’re stuck in sticky situations.  

At ITS, we’ve helped our clients get Co-Managed IT services that are fit for their business. Most companies need Co-Managed IT when they find themselves in the following Scenarios:  

  • They only have one-man team 
  • Missing a leader in your IT team 
  • You have projects that you need to finish but can’t do due to lack of staff  
  • Lack of budget to hire entirely new staff and get a complete set of equipment 
  • You want to keep current IT staff but need more people 

We’ve also walked them through the price of Co-Managed IT – which is around $100-$250/user per month. However, the final cost of Co-Managed IT will always be dependent on your business needs.  

Get A Customized Co-Managed IT Action Plan

To get a customized Co-Managed IT action plan for your business, please contact us for a meeting. You can also schedule a free network assessment for a holistic review of your IT setup to help identify risks to your business.

Schedule a Meeting Get a Free Network Assessment

Tech-Team-in-Discussion

Get A Customized Co-Managed IT Action Plan

To get a customized Co-Managed IT action plan for your business, please contact us for a meeting. You can also schedule a free network assessment for a holistic review of your IT setup to help identify risks to your business.

Schedule a Meeting Get a Free Network Assessment