Many businesses hire Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to get the IT hours, resources and expertise they need to function. To outsource your IT department may mean eliminating or reducing the need to pay for in-house IT employees and the many expenses that come with hiring full-time positions.
Many MSPs offer an all-or-nothing approach, working only with clients that sign up for fully managed IT services. That means you completely outsource your IT department and all its functions to the vendor. But, many companies don’t need or want to outsource all of their IT needs. Some just need extra support for their already established in-house IT departments.
That’s where co-managed IT services comes in. This kind of arrangement allows businesses to bring on only the IT resources needed and nothing more.
How to Avoid the Need to Outsource Your IT Department
Here are three signs your business may benefit from working with an MSP that provides co-managed IT services:
Your IT staff is limited in size or experience
Plenty of successful companies operate with one or two IT professionals in-house and/or service desks that only employ engineers with a specific skill set. However, businesses can easily find themselves in positions where their internal resources cannot accomplish a given challenge or opportunity. That doesn’t mean you need to outsource your IT department in order to get more support.
With a co-managed IT services arrangement, companies of any size can tap into additional manpower and expertise provided by the vendor, when needed.
For example, leadership could determine that in-house IT staff will focus on day-to-day tasks while the MSP can be contacted to handle issues that require higher-level support. Having IT professionals on staff and calling in the MSP only on occasion can also be more cost-effective than having higher-level professionals on the payroll full time.
Your in-house IT team is overworked
Any company can find its IT department is getting overworked, even those with large in-house teams. Seasonal swings, special projects and fast growth can all put undue pressure on existing IT teams. While a typical knee-jerk reaction may be to hire more staff, this may not be cost-effective nor necessary. And it certainly doesn’t mean you need to completely outsource your IT department.
Co-managed IT services allows businesses to bring in only the resources it needs, when it needs them. For example, one of our fast-growing clients is regularly acquiring other businesses. Rather than throwing something else on the plates of the in-house IT team, the company brings us in to maintain or help transition the acquisition’s IT into the existing infrastructure.
Co-managed IT services can also help alleviate the pressure on a busy service desk staff. For example, we handle overflow work for some clients that the in-house service desk doesn’t have the time or expertise to resolve. This helps prevent the tickets from piling up on the overworked staff and increases the response and resolution time for the problems.
Your in-house IT team lacks experience with an upcoming initiative
Business strategies and technology are changing all the time. Businesses are often faced with opportunities to implement new IT systems and programs. But, existing in-house IT teams may not have the experience needed to successfully plan, implement and/or maintain an upcoming initiative. However, this doesn’t mean you need to fully outsource your IT department.
Co-managed IT services can provide businesses with a broad range of experience and deep bench of experts beyond that of the existing in-house staff. Good MSPs are regularly sending their engineers to continuing education courses and encouraging them to get professional certifications. Also, due to working with various clients, they have also seen and worked through all kinds of issues, which are valuable learning lessons. These are strengths you can tap into with co-managed IT services, without having to outsource your IT department.
For example, we often help clients migrate their email programs from an Exchange or IMAP/POP environment to Office 365. Because we have done this dozens of times, our experts can efficiently and effectively make this transition for clients without having to distract the in-house team from their typical areas of focus. We can also then train staff on how to maintain it moving forward.
Final Piece of Advice
Finally, here is a tip if you’re looking to hire an MSP to provide co-managed IT services rather than to completely outsource your IT department. Find a partner who will provide the intention and tools to collaborate seamlessly with your in-house team. For example, we provide a customized setup and train co-managed clients how to use our business management software. This allows our engineers and our clients’ in-house IT professionals to truly work together, alongside one another.
The ideal tool and set up will enable in-house IT staff to:
- See the dashboard
- Allocate tickets and resources
- Check the status of open items
- Communicate directly with the MSP’s team
This arrangement provides businesses with better visibility, more streamlined collaboration and full transparency. It makes it easier for the MSP to serve them. And, clients better understand what the MSP is doing and how.
There’s not always a need to fully outsource your IT department. Contact us today to learn more about our Co-Managed IT Services.